With the festive season officially upon us, it’s time to get in the spirit - by any means necessary. Christmas time at university can be hard. With encroaching deadlines, assignments, separation from family, and more socials than any one person can reasonably expect to attend, it’s easy for the joy of the season to be lost, or even just forgotten about. By the time you return home, any Christmas spirit you began the month with has been left behind in the tear-stained pages of a library book. But fear not! There is a way to avoid inadvertently becoming the Grinch this Christmas: compulsory Christmas cheer. There is no easier way to force yourself and your housemates to have a good time than decorating your uni house to excess – you can’t forget about Christmas if every surface of your house in covered in tinsel.
I am a firm believer that anything can be festive if you try hard enough. Take my house, for example, in which we have been given the early Christmas present of an apocalyptic rat infestation. However, instead of letting our new furry friends ruin the festive season, we have decided to embrace them in a festive experience we have coined ‘rat-mas’. As we all know, nothing says the spirit of Christmas quite like a rat in a Santa hat, and we were luckily able to find a decoration fitting this description! Whilst most uni homes will thankfully be free of rodents, the somewhat traumatic experience of the past couple of weeks has shone a light on the power of enforced festivity – you can’t worry about rats gnawing through your walls if you’re blasting Step into Christmas at full volume! With this in mind, my first piece of advice for turning your uni home into a haven of festive joy, is to convince yourself that you can.
If you don’t have uninvited rodent residents this year, worry not. There are still plenty of easy, low-cost ways of spicing up your uni house this Christmas, the most obvious of which is a Christmas tree. Although these festive staples can come in at extortionate prices, with a bit of hunting around you can find some great options on a lower budget. One of my personal favourite Christmas crafts is orange garlands. Simple, colourful and cheap, these little decorations are great for bringing some Christmassy warmth into your house, as well as covering up the smell of any mince pie mishaps. Get yourself some big oranges, chop them up into slices and throw them in the oven at 200 degrees for a couple of hours. When you take them out, they should be dry and ready to be strung together. You could even put a few cinnamon sticks in with them if you’re feeling extra fancy.
Whatever you decide to do in your uni house this Christmas, remember that this is a time to spend with loved ones and celebrate the difficult year gone by, so try not to get too stressed out!