Everyone knows that the most important thing about Christmas is family. Okay, it’s pigs in blankets and then family. But while at home you can afford to put your feet up as your mum does 96% of the work, to give your university family the Christmas they deserve you’re probably going to have put some work in. Forget going for an average Christmas carvery at the union pub: here’s the Student Hut to doing a proper university Christmas.
The first thing to do is decide where you’re going to host your big Christmas event. This is an easier choice to make in first year because your options usually consist of several identikit halls kitchens (choose the one with the smallest pile of washing up). If you’ve moved out of uni accommodation, pick the house/ flat with the best kitchen. Your top priority should be oven space to maximise the size of your meal. It isn’t a Christmas dinner if you don’t eat until you think you might actually die.
Who should you invite to your university Christmas? As many people as possible of course! Unless you’re a literal Grinch, you should be trying to share the festive spirit with as many people as you can- ‘tis the season, and all that. Even if you can’t feed everyone, it’s well worth dropping an invite for drinks to anyone you haven’t seen in a while. Consider it a chance to reconnect with that guy who you went out with every night in freshers’ and then never saw again. The worst that can happen is someone gets too drunk and makes an idiot out of themselves. Just consider them the university equivalent of your drunken uncle!
No-one expects you to whip up some veal cutlets or beef wellington in a student flat (and on a student budget). Keep things cheap and cheerful with a traditional meat-and-veg roast. You can get a whole chicken and a big haul of carrots, parsnips and potatoes for a very reasonable price, freeing up cash to spend on other, more exciting things (namely pigs in blankets). This food requires minimum expertise can all be left happily in the oven to cook while you get on with the day’s festivities. If you need pointers on cooking, consult your mum, the internet, or this handy online cookbook.
Given that a lot of people associate both Christmas and university with drinking, a university Christmas is never going to be a sober affair. What you should drink really comes down to personal choice. One of the nice things about celebrating a festival with people your own age is that you don’t have to obey tradition for fear of confusing your grandparents. In other words it’s perfectly acceptable to neck a double vodka and coke alongside your Yuletide feast. That said, a cup of mulled wine after dinner is a pretty tempting proposition whatever your age.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without some games, preferably scheduled in for that beautiful sleepy period after dinner when everyone is just a little too tipsy. Classics like charades are fun, but might feel a bit too homely for what is probably a slightly less dignified affair than an Xmas hosted by your parents. A good card/ board game might be the best route to go down. If you’re yet to play/ get bored of Cards Against Humanity, you probably know someone you can borrow it from. Alternatively, if the option is available to you, PLAY ROCKET LEAGUE.
The Secret Santa
Like it or not, Secret Santa has become part of the Christmas tradition for groups of friends. Some people hate it but that’s mostly just because it’s often done really badly. When setting your price range, either go so low that no-one will expect anything fancy (think Poundland) or so high that people will actually get something half-decent. It’s the £5-10 middle ground that produces the gifts of throwaway tat. Alternatively, if you have reservations about the compatibility of your group’s tastes, put the money into a communal fund and buy something that you can all enjoy (suggestion: more food and drink).
The Cleaning Up
Okay, there’s no way to dress up the fact that this is the worst bit of Christmas, both at university and at home. Unfortunately we haven’t got any tips to make this enjoyable. Still, it’s a small price to pay compared to all that festive charm, eh?