Once again as in olden days, it’s the happy golden days leading up to Christmas! For those that celebrate the holiday or like to partake in the festive season, this 2019 Christmas guide will give you some great ideas, advice and shout outs for current seasonal events and student deals.
What to look forward to:
If you weren’t planning on going home as the semester ends, the community of Reading host some promising Christmas events in the upcoming days and weeks.
- Reading Winter Wonderland on Ice Forbury Gardens RG1 3EJ now until 10th January 10am – 10pm daily readingwinteronice.co.uk for booking
- The inaugural Reading 5k Charity Santa Run December 14th 9am, readingsantarun.co.uk
- New Year’s Eve comedy special Just the Tonic Comedy Club at Sub89 31/12/19 (New Year’s Eve) 6:30pm-2:00am, tickets on skiddle.com
Stepping into the Christmas mood:
While you may be hounded with plenty of options from TV or radio/Spotify to get yourself feeling festive, here are some student favourites. Also, for those who are done with xmas music, some lesser known songs.
Must see Christmas films:
- Elf, 2003
- It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946
- The Muppets Christmas Carol, 1992
- Meet Me in St. Louis, 1944 (The song ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ was written for this film!)
- Die Hard, 1988 (A debatable choice)
Some lesser known Christmas songs:
- Senor Santa Clause by Jim Reeves
- Mele Kalikimaka by Bing Crosby
- The Twelve Pains of Christmas by Bob Rivers
- Mull of Kintyre by Wings
- Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher from the cast of Billy Elliot
Are you really a student who celebrates Christmas if you haven’t had your house/flat xmas dinner? A great way to feel closer to your house/flat and commemorate your first term at university is to prepare and sit down together for a meal, Christmas theme or not. By all chipping in together even the most elaborate meal can be cheap. And be sure to use that instax camera (because there’s always at least one person with that camera) and make some memories.
Here’s the part that can make even the students with jobs shudder… Christmas shopping! Whilst we all know that should we have Kylie Jenner money all our friends and family would receive all the presents they deserve. However, for most student’s funds are limited but we still want to spread some Christmas cheer with gift giving anyway, it’s the thought that counts in any gift. If you aren’t one for planning gifts well in advance and didn’t snag gifts during the sale season in autumn or Black Friday sales, there are still options out there for you to save money on presents this year. Remember to only spend what you can and don’t feel pressure to spend beyond your means! You still need food and a social life in January.
If you weren’t aware of UniDays or StudentBeans, these apps provide students with discount codes of varying savings across a huge number of brands and stores, use your student email to sign up and save on your gift shopping! As well as this other places like Etsy are great for finding a more personal gift whilst also supporting the person who makes the items you buy.
Thinking of others and looking out for each other:
Although this is a very happy time of year for many, it can be very lonely for people, especially students living away from their friends and family. There are also many other circumstances in which people may be feeling down this time of year. Some students may not be able to return home during the winter break, or many may not be looking forward to going home. Suicide rates in the UK have reached their highest level in 16 years, and while we should all show kindness and understanding to people always, during this time of year, I implore you all to look out for your fellow students who may be feeling low, homesick or lonely.
If you or someone you know is feeling particularly low here are some useful helplines:
- 24/7: Samaritans: Call 116-123
- If you live in Wales: 24/7 Community Advice and Listening Line on 0800-132-737
- Under 25s: The Mix on 0808-808-4994 (Sunday-Friday 2pm–11pm)
There are also plenty of volunteering opportunities to help those around the reading area, one of them is ReadiFood, the food bank in reading that would appreciate as much help with donations and volunteering as possible. Find them on readifood.org.uk. Check out the local volunteering opportunities page on the UoR website for more information.