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Getting Festive for Christmas

If you are a first year student, this might be your first Christmas time away from home. Whether you’re nervous or excited about the prospect, I’m here with some suggestions on how to make December that little bit better and, before you know it, term will be over and Christmas will be here!

First things first, make sure you have picked out an advent calendar. Everyone loved doing this as a young child, so bring back the memories and look forward to opening a new square every day. You can find them easily in most stores (think Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s) but don’t forget about Home Bargains to see what they might have in store. Then, prepare for some chocolate indulgence each morning before you head off to an early morning lecture!

Next, you will want to make your room festive too (like the picture below!).

Whilst you might not be able to be quite so extravagant in your efforts, you will definitely get into the Christmas spirit by putting up some fairy lights. Make sure that these are not restricted by your residence’s rules before buying; you don’t want to have your decorations taken off you. Head over to any number of shops in the city centre and buy a variety of decorations from lights to tinsel to baubles. Put all of your decorations up, take some pictures and circulate them on social media to make all of your friends back at home jealous of your Christmassy University bedroom.

After that, you will probably be in quite the festive mood. If you haven’t already completed your present shopping and were not planning to do it all online, get yourself to the stores as soon as possible to avoid the mad rush of last minute shoppers. You will save so much time and energy! Also, if possible, try to avoid the Apple store at peak times (you will thank me!).

Even if you wisely got your shopping done in a timely fashion, you may still find yourself tired and worn out from all of the present buying. Make sure you treat yourself to a fabulous Christmas treat (the mini Lindt Gold bears are 3 for £1 at Sainsbury’s!) or, maybe you would rather indulge in something special from a coffee shop. Starbucks have 4 drinks for the holiday season: Gingerbread Latte, Toffee Nut Latte, Eggnog Latte, and Honey and Almond Hot Chocolate. Which one do you think sounds best? Costa also has many festive options available, such as the Black Forest Hot Chocolate, Brownie Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread & Cream Latte, Orange Hot Chocolate, Praline Cappuccino, Sticky Toffee Latte, and White Hot Chocolate.

Now that you are in Leeds, make sure you visit the German Christmas Market (also called the Christkindelmarkt) for authentic German food and mulled wine. This is also a great place to find Christmas cards and decorations (just in case you weren’t fond on anything you found at the stores). Get there soon so that you can find something special for the people in your life, even those who are a challenge to buy for!

Once you have gone through the market and filled yourself up on German food and drinks, go back to your place and settle down to watch some amazing Christmas films. If you haven’t already seen National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation”, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. The subheading is “Yule Crack Up” and I really think you will! Settle down with some hot chocolate with marshmallows and enjoy!

I hope you bought some Christmas cards at that Christmas market because it surely will make you feel festive to send pretty cards out to your friends and family. Whilst doing this, put on your favourite Christmas songs and listen to them as you write messages in your cards.

If you are a baker, find some recipes for your favourite Christmas cookies and biscuits. You absolutely cannot go wrong with cut-outs, where you spread out the dough and use Christmas cookie cutters to make shapes of candy canes, reindeer, Santas, and anything else you can find. Then, you can decorate them with icing and other treats!



Christmas would not be complete if you didn’t go to an ‘Ugly Christmas Jumper party’, so make sure yourself an appropriate jumper. Don’t worry about spending too much – the cheaper the better, right? If none of the societies you belong to are throwing a Christmas party, get together with your friends and host a party yourself. It will not feel like Christmas without this party!

Hopefully, after these suggestions, you are more than in the mood for Christmas. Hopefully, you are planning to spend some quality time with your loved ones on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; that is where you will find the most festiveness of all. I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas!

Picture sources:

Christmas lights in residence hall: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/55/93/7d/55937d0c349455de9f0d5be473015a49.jpg

Leeds Christmas market: http://www.christmasmarkets.com/photos/1316.jpg

Christmas Cutout Cookies: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ie1Qf_rF7_w/TvX9LbXgpDI/AAAAAAAABe4/I3XSxrxxXbk/s640/done.JPG

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