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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

Whether you just met your new roomies or you’ve been living with them for years, the Christmas season is a time to celebrate and spend time together. University may ruin a bit of the Christmas spirit with exams rolling in, but breaks are a necessary piece of your day to keep you from going crazy. Instead of isolating yourself away in your room, bring your roommates together and try one of these fun Christmas activities!

decorating Gingerbread houses

It’s a pretty basic activity, but gingerbread house decorating is a fun and simple task that can be done while watching movies. The best way to do this is to get everyone their own small gingerbread houses; there’s tons of kits at the store, and this way each roommate can have their own house and you’ll be able to have a fun competition! Gingerbread house building brings out the silly and competitive side of people because everything is falling apart, but you’re laughing and chatting or maybe even just quietly watching a movie, so this makes it a good activity for roommates who have been friend for years or who have even just met.

visiting Christmas Markets

If you and your roommates can find a block of time⁠—like maybe your exam schedules leave you with a few empty days⁠—you can take a trip down to a Christmas market. If you’re in Toronto, the Distillery District is a short walk from Union Station; in Ottawa⁠, the Xmas Christmas Market can be found at Lansdowne just a short bus ride from Rideau; and most cities have their own sort of Christmas market or activity. This activity may be a bit harder to plan, but it’ll get you out of the house and spending time getting a little bit of that Christmas spirit during a time that doesn’t feel Christmassy at all.


Christmas cheer can be found in a lot of places but one of the best ways to add it to your own space is by decorating! Even if you don’t have any decorations, just stringing up fun, colourful lights in your main living space can bring a great Christmas feel to the space. If you want to go a bit more adventurous, you can bring some decorations from home or any dollar store is an amazing place to find cheap and cute decorations. Decorating together can be done quietly with music or just chatting your heads off, so it makes it perfect for any type of roommate situation⁠—just make sure all your roommates are ok with strictly Christmas decorations! If you all celebrate different holidays, you can either mix various holiday decorations together or simply decorate for winter with white garland and snowflake-type decorations.

making Christmas Cards + taking Photos

This activity is probably best saved for roommates who are quite close, but it could also be a fun, silly activity for anyone. Sending out Christmas cards is a tradition in many households and if it’s one in yours, this could be a fun activity to bring it into your roommate family! This activity can be broken into a few different pieces. First, you can go out as a group to pick out the Christmas cards you want to send⁠—the dollar store has cheap options but most times you can find some more expensive ones on sale at places like Indigo. Second, sign the cards! Put on a Christmas movie, sit around the table, and have each person go around and sign their own name; this gives a more personal feel to the cards. (You can even put stickers on the envelopes for more fun!) The third activity that can be done with Christmas cards is Christmas photos! There are two fun ways to do this: number one, you can combine it with your Christmas market trip by taking a cute photo at the Christmas market, printing it out, and putting it in the cards; or number two, if you’re looking for something a bit more involved, set up a cute backdrop in your apartment and start taking group pictures! This second version lets you be a little more creative with the photos. These cards can be sent to anyone you want⁠—your parents, your grandparents, your friends from back home⁠—and they’ll give everyone a little bit of holiday cheer.

Whether it’s your first year in a dorm far away from home or you’ve been living with your roommates in an apartment for years, these activities can be adapted to let you and your roommates have a little bit of holiday cheer during the stressful exam times in December.

Hi! I'm Catrina. I'm a fourth year Biopharmaceutical Sciences undergrad trying to find her passion in a shut down world. I'm the type of person who believes that buying books and reading them are too very different hobbies, and I think that says all you need to know.