For many students this will be their first holiday period away from home and it can be difficult without familiar home-comforts or clashing family traditions. But not all hope is lost; it is entirely possible to fill the final few weeks of term with (secular) festivities. With 4 weeks to go — here is some accumulated wisdom from a girl on her second student Christmas:
1. Roast dinner
Essentials; sage and onion powdered stuffing mix, the seemingly immortal frozen peas at the back of the freezer and some gravy granules (always stir in a bit of ketchup and vinegar so you aren’t just lathering your potatoes in dissolved rabbit food).
Don’t worry if the Yorkshires are powdery or explode (because we all agree the best bit of the roast is a fork-full of the middle bit).
Get your flatmate’s boyfriend to bring carrots, parsnips, and halved potatoes in a roasting tray and its almost as if you’re sat at your grandma’s dining table with an after eight on your head.
A stuffed mushroom or veggie sausage should suffice for our plant-based friends (or just those who haven’t a clue how to roast a chicken nor have any desire to.)
…As you’re spending a lot of time inside- might as well kit out your communal spaces with enough tinsel to elicit Christ himself each time you emerge for a tea break.
Make a day of it!
There’s nothing like being sat on the floor with four other 19 year olds surrounded by rizzlers and empty bottles of magnum that is somehow reminiscent of Year 2 Christmas crafts. The inevitable surplus of cardboard cereal boxes can be totally reinvented to manifest some fake presents for under your tree:
Collect everyone’s fairy lights (we all know you packed them in freshers along with some FreePrints and a cacti) and cop some spiced apple Febreze from B&M. While there are still leaves on the ground — collect pinecones, spare baubles and make a woodland wreath!
(Greta would be proud of this one) Take all the leaflets for Bierkeller and Walkabout shoved under the flat door and staple them into paper chains:
And to warm your arthritic hands from all the Zoom chatrooms-
Bailey’s Hot Choc
Split the price of a Tesco’s Irish cream liqueur, stir over the hob with some powder and milk and ladle out to your heart’s content.
Mulled (House) Wine
Empty your half drunk reds into a pot on the stove; powdered cinnamon will do, brown sugar and an orange. If you’ve already drank enough of the hot chocolate you’ll barely notice the difference…
Honestly; a jar of mince and some short-crust pastry and you’ll put Mary Berry out of a job.
Buy your parents literally anything from the city you just moved to. It’s novel, appears more thoughtful than it actually is, and can be really inexpensive. Locally brewed beer or some fudge normally works but even if you find a sharpener with ‘University of Sussex’ written on then you’ll be good to go.
And lastly, (when Covid permits) the 12 Pubs of Christmas Bar Crawl: staggering around the locals’ of your new beloved city and attempting at least 5 pints before smacking your head in a curry.
By Alice Connor