Christmas at University on a budget


It’s nearing the middle of December, and so I’m sure that plenty of you are now wanting to decorate your flat/house and have pre-celebrations for Christmas. At home one of my favourite parts of December is decorating the house, and this doesn’t change whilst at University. I thought I’d share with you my top tips for decorating, and some pre-Christmas fun on a budget so that you can feel that bit more festive before you leave for the holidays!

Make some of your own decorations
Rather than buying all of your decorations, why not make some? There’s so many tutorials out there on different decoration ideas, and there’s something for all abilities. From making snowflakes to stick on the wall/window, to more intricate origami or sewing projects there’s lots to choose from! I love having an evening where I can sit and make some decorations, stick on some Christmas music and get stuck into it. This is also a really lovely group activity to do with your flatmates/housemates, and it can become quite funny with what everyone comes up with!

In my first year as I couldn’t have fairy lights in halls, I didn’t want to buy a little Christmas tree and not be able to put lights on it, so I made myself one out of a folded magazine!

Joint Buy Decorations
If you do decide to buy some decorations, why not go as a flat/house to the shops and buy some things together? This will share out the cost and will be an enjoyable afternoon out. You don’t have to splash out on anything extravagant, there’s a lot of choice out there in shops like B&M, Wilko’s or even Poundland. I’ve found a lot of supermarkets have lovely but inexpensive decorations; I bought a 45cm tree from Tesco for only £2!

Secret Santa
 Secret santa is a firm favourite with coursemates/housemates. This is a great way to buy someone a gift that doesn’t break the bank as it’s only one gift, and if you set a maximum spend this really helps. You can have a lot of fun with the gifts; in my first year we had £1 budget so had to get creative!

We like to have a Christmas meal (or Christmas curry with my coursemates) where we exchange the gifts, and watch a Christmas film! This is a lovely way to spend quality time with friends and feel festive without having to spend too much. If you’re in a group where everyone’s busy, you can use a secret santa simulator online which will email everyone with their recipient and save the trouble of having to get everyone together.

Christmas Playlists
 If after all of this you’re still not feeling festive (don’t worry you will be) make a Christmas playlist! I use Spotify to make my playlists (Michael Buble’s Christmas album is a firm favourite), and I find this is great to put on in the background. If you have a DAB radio/use your laptop for the radio, SmoothExtra has become SmoothXMAS for December. This is great if you don’t have time to make a playlist/want some instant Christmas songs!
If you’re stuck for some songs for your playlist, here are a few of my favourites:
I Believe in Father Christmas – Greg Lake
Christmas Wrapping –  The Waitresses
Step into Christmas – Elton John
Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Jackson 5
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams

What are some of your favourite Christmas songs?

Christmas Bedding
Now this might not be something that immediately springs to mind, but a Christmas duvet cover set immediately makes your room that much more festive. I always buy my festive duvet sets from Primark as they’re made from brushed cotton so are super soft, but are inexpensive and come in a range of designs. As you’re only using them for a few weeks of the year, they should last you for the whole of your degree and beyond!

I hope that this has given you some ideas. If you have any of your own please share them in the comments as I would love to hear what they are! Here’s to a fabulous last week of term!

Jess x

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