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The chaotic twists of Christmas in your Manchester Uni flat

It’s not Christmas unless someone’s steaming by 4pm


Christmas – that special time of the year where we collectively replicate Mariah Carey’s vocal chords, impulse buy on Amazon Prime, and temporarily pretend to get on with everyone.

Now, whether your family prefers their special morning to entail a long walk or drinking Buck’s Fizz, generally the routine of Christmas is an experience as common as brussel sprouts on a Christmas dinner plate.

But, when this realm of festivity is placed in the hands of students, the predictability of this merry routine is disrupted. Whether its innovative imitations of Christmas trees, secret Santa, or collectively turning the kitchen into an auditorium for the fire alarm, uni Christmas is a special time where we can temporarily forget about those approaching deadlines, let loose and make memories with your closest companions.

Flat Christmas tree

Choosing the Christmas tree is a key element of the university Christmas experience, offering insight into how students put their unique twist on festive celebrations. Unless you have been blessed with the rarity of a household all in agreement when it comes to embracing the Christmas spirit, then the topic of Christmas tree shopping can be quite a stressful one. For many, the prospect of cutting into the last of their student loan on a low-budget tree isn’t a particularly enticing one, especially when it seems surpass its usual purpose by transforming the living room into a pine-scented astro turf.

But just remember: Creativity has no bounds! Whether it’s sticking tinsel to your wall or piling up something green, you are a Christmas innovator who can imitate a tree with almost no cost.

Secret Santa

Another pivotal factor in university Christmas is the struggles of secret Santa; the annual tradition to decipher your housemates’ wish lists.

It’s not only a time where you’re faced with the decision between practicality and hilarity, but a timeframe where everyone subtly assumes the role of detective, attempting to unravel the mystery of “guess who” or gauge the depth of their knowledge about their housemates. It’s all part and parcel of the experience, although it’s often ruined by everyone telling each other who they have. Not very Christmassy.

Flat Christmas dinner

Then finally, the big day arrives. The dress code is strictly pyjamas. For some lucky souls, it’s a day of leisure, a breakfast feast, and a lie-in. For the rest knee-deep in deadlines, consider it a well-deserved break after the dismal season of midterms.

After a solid afternoon consumed in the practice of doing absolutely nothing, it is time to tackle Christmas dinner – note to self: The microwave is a massive no no. For some, this is a walk in the park. A task of simple harmonious coordination achieving the perfect canvas of festive flavours. For others, we’ll just say that the fire alarm becomes music to one’s ears.

Whether you go down the route of buying a turkey, chicken, or a veggie option, there’s bound to be some tension in the kitchen. The head chef has tried to take command and the rest of you bicker over what the best Christmas song is (its War Is Over, obviously).

After just about overcoming the inevitable of grappling yourself out of an unavoidable food coma, it’s time for the secret Santa’s to come out alongside Saino’s cheapest wines and a few sweet treats to boot. One of your mates has gone way over budget, another’s present hasn’t arrived yet and someone’s just got it completely wrong. The joys.

Aftermath