Advice

How to make a student house festive

By Jackie Edge

Is it possible to express your Christmas spirit on a budget? Yes, even if you are a student. These are some quick and easy changes you can make that will transform your house into somewhere all your friends want to spend the festive period at, because there’s simply not enough cheer at theirs.

Obviously the most important thing to start with is a tree. I mean you’re never going to achieve Christmas spirit without one of those. Where would the presents go? Remember size isn’t everything and you do not need a 6ft freshly cut (and probably costing a fortune) tree. I have received several compliments for our choice of tree this year. It is artificial, 4ft and came with decorations so I didn’t have to go spending more money. Furthermore, it was only £11 from Amazon.

Now a tree in the corner of the room isn’t going to completely fill a room with festivities. A simple trick my flatmates discovered is that the decorations don’t necessarily need to be entirely Christmas themed. Our lounge currently has a star shaped balloon and coloured bunting, in part because we hosted a party a while back, but also because it fills the room with spirit despite not being the sort of decorations you’d expect at Christmas. This is an even better money saving technique, as you can use these decorations for other housemates birthdays throughout the year. Some would even say it is an investment!

In terms of what you can actually do to celebrate Christmas, we have developed a tradition of doing secret Santa with some questionable gift choices. When the aim is humour the gifts don’t cost anywhere near as much, and doing secret Santa means you wont break the bank buying everyone in your friendship group a present.

You can even still have a fancy Christmas dinner on a budget. Most supermarkets offer some form of chicken or turkey (or even nut roast if a meatless meal is more your preference) which is seasoned and just needs sticking in the oven for a few hours. If everybody pitches in; it won’t max out your overdraft.

Finally, small finishing touches go a long way in completing Christmas. Now that you’ve simplified dinner a bit,and left some of the expensive items out, cute and Christmassy table decorations will hide the gaps. But maybe not flowers as they wont survive until you all return in January, and I personally think the plastic ones look slightly tacky!

A good table decorations is always candles! If your visitors can smell Christmas before they’ve seen it, you’ll definitely be the host of all the Christmas parties.

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