• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

How to enjoy Christmas on a student budget

ByMallika Sriram

Dec 14, 2015

With less than a month to go before Christmas, Edinburgh is now at its most festive – everywhere you look, you’ll find a person wearing a Christmas jumper. However, as students, many of us cannot afford to spend extravagant amounts upon Christmas decorations, food, outings, and presents. With that in mind, here are some suggestions on how to do Christmas on a student budget!

Secret Santa

If the idea of buying presents for each and every one of your friends is more strain than your bank account can take at the moment, Secret Santa is a great alternative that still allows for everyone in your group of friends to receive a thoughtful gift!

Potluck dinners

Having a Christmas gathering with friends to listen to (and drunkenly sing along to) Christmas classics like the Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’ and eat a veritable feast of mince pies, ham, turkey, roast potatoes and so on would be a great break from exam revision. Organise for everyone to bring a different dish/drink, make a playlist of the cheesiest Christmas songs in existence, and you’ll have a lovely evening that doesn’t leave you eating beans on toast for the next week.


If you’re anything like me, you’ll be keen to get a festive vibe going in your flat; bring on the miniature Christmas tree! Avoid spending too much of the money that could be going towards glühwein by making your own paper snowflakes (YouTube has tutorials galore), draping tinsel over every square inch of your flat, and getting decorations on the cheap from shops like Poundland and the Edinburgh Bargain Store.

Making merry

All I ever seem to want to drink at this time of year is mulled cider, but at £4 a pop at the Christmas market, that doesn’t seem realistic. Teviot is offering a variety of winter drinks in the month of December, and Google is your friend for finding simple recipes for mulled wine/cider (you can even buy ready-made mulling spices in a shop for a delicious short-cut)!

Hopefully these tips will help you to enjoy the next month without exhausting your student loans – use them well, and have a happy festive season!

Image: Flickr: Erin Boyle

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