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Finding Joy this Christmas

It’s a difficult time of the year: nights are getting longer, it always seems to be dark and rainy, and there’s not even the consolation of a warm flat when heating is so expensive. It’s easy to feel a bit down, but luckily December is drawing closer, and Edinburgh does Christmas particularly well. So, why not get festive and make the most of the city?

Edinburgh is one of the Christmas capitals of the world, complete with cosy pubs, bustling markets, and holiday charm, but sometimes it can be a bit demoralizing to have to return from the festivity to student halls or a cold flat. But you can get into Christmas spirit at home. The first step to a festive flat is of course the decoration. This may seem an unnecessary expense but there are plenty of ways to transform your flat for cheap: places from bargain stores to Primark are filled with Christmas bunting and fairy lights, and even a mini (fake) Christmas tree is do-able if you’re splitting it with flatmates.

Film marathons are a great way to get in the festive spirit, especially when it’s cold outside. Grab some friends, snacks and line up the Christmas classics (and by classics I of course mean Home Alone and Elf). Sometimes it’s much more appealing to tuck up under a warm blanket with a glass of mulled wine and watch a Christmas film than actually going out! Plus, it’s certainly much more festive than queuing for a club in the rain.

And of course, it wouldn’t be the Christmas season without good food. Christmas dinner is a staple, and while it might be daunting in theory, it’s easier than you think – if you’ve got a small kitchen, you might have to get creative. My tip is to divide and conquer: one person takes the potatoes, another’s in charge of the Yorkshires and so on. If a whole turkey seems like a luxury, swap in a chicken or just enjoy the side dishes (they’re the best bits anyway). Make an occasion of it – buy some crackers and get those paper crowns on and enjoy Christmas lunch on a budget. If you’re in a catered accommodation or don’t have the space, a pub lunch is an equally festive substitute – loads of pubs do Christmas menus and even student deals.

Finally, don’t forget to get out and about around the University! If you missed the switching on of the Teviot lights, there’s still time to make the most of the special festive drinks at the Library Bar, from Mulled Wine to Hot Toddies. Or ditch the library for a seat at a cosy café and enjoy a hot chocolate.

So, rather than letting the cold get you down, make the most of this festive city and get in the Christmas spirit!

Photo Credit: photo provided to The Student by Eden Kersse, used with permission