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Seeking that festive feeling: a Leeds how-to guide

Christmas has always been and probably always will be my favourite time of year. Since finding out the unfortunate truth about Santa, the magic element has admittedly diminished (sigh) and the way I feel about Christmas is changing as I get older, but this isn’t to say that there isn’t fun to be had in early adulthood! As a 19-going-on-20-year-old, the highlights of Christmas at my house have certainly changed over the past few years. My average Christmas day consists of the consumption of far too much food, getting tipsy with my aunties around the dinner table (hilarious), playing a few tiresome games of Trivial Pursuit (we only own a 1980’s edition, so my cousins and I nearly always lose) and eventually slumping onto the sofas – Irish Cream Baileys in hand – to watch the Downton Abbey Christmas special.

While I’d usually have got excited about the festive season and the big day well before now, this year has been much different to others. Uni has kept me so physically and mentally occupied, i’ve found myself not thinking at all about Christmas. With 24 days to go, I’ve decided to make it my aim to find some more festive cheer before I trade Leeds for Warwick in a fortnight. Needless to say we’re very lucky to be at university in a buzzing city with plenty of ways to get us in the mood. Below are my intentions for the next few weeks, including activities I suggest you consider, if like me you’re also still seeking that warm and fuzzy festive feeling.

Put up some Christmas decorations in your halls / house

If you’d seen the state of my flat, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the likelihood of the nine of us decking it out with tinsel or a tree this year is pretty small. Despite my best efforts, it would also seem that I’ve failed to convince one of my male flatmates to dress up as Santa for the entertainment of the rest of us. In an ideal world, I’d like a Christmas tree with plenty of sparkle, (even if it is one of those miniature ones you find in Poundland) tinsel and Christmas bunting lining the ceiling and fairy lights to add to the festive atmosphere in the cold winter evenings.

Go to the German market

I’ve been once and was really quite impressed by the sights and smells of the stalls. If I fit in another trip over the next fortnight, I intend to buy myself an über festive hot drink, some kind of Christmassy souvenir to jazz up my room in halls and maybe some fancy winter woollies if I can find any!


Go late-night shopping in the Trinity Centre

I’m determined for this to happen. On top of it being super convenient for someone who has no attention span for studying late, late-night shopping always makes me feel a lot more physically and emotionally prepared for the big day! Open til 9pm Monday to Saturday, the Trinity should expect a visit from me and my shopaholic friends pretty soon.

Invest in a tacky Christmas jumper

Coincidence or not, the Society socials I’ve been invited to over the next few weeks involve wearing one of these beauties, so I guess I need to embrace the idea. I’m thinking something reindeer-related could be fun, or perhaps some kind of Christmas-tree print…?

Bake something festive

If I can get some friends to split the cost, I know I wouldn’t get any complaints for going ahead with this plan. As someone with the sweetest tooth ever, my shortlist of possibilities is made up of chocolate log, mince pies and Christmas pudding. 


Watch some Christmas films

Love Actually is the most popular suggestion in my flat. For me though; The Holiday, Miracle on 34th Street, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Elf never fail to get me in the mood.

Buy the mulled cider in The Library / Dry Dock

My friend has done so several times, and after allowing me to have a taste the last time we went, I now understand his obsession. This gem of a festive drink is an ideal winter warmer and costs under £3 for a little taste of Christmassy heaven.


Listen to some festive music

Despite my better judgement, I suspect the next few days will see me putting together a festive Spotify playlist to pump out each evening before we all head home. Yesterday even saw me checking out the tracks on ‘Now that’s what I call Christmas 2013.’ There are 56 altogether. Wish me luck.

Christmas is well and truly on its way and after writing this I already feel a little more festive. Follow my example and make this your to-do list before the end of term and I’m pretty sure that you too won’t be disappointed.

Julia Connor

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Student of BA Linguistics and Philosophy and 2014/15 Her Campus Leeds Co-President
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