Because it’s *the most wonderful time of the year*…
Exeter’s Christmas lights will be switched on in less than two weeks’ time, the Costa on campus is already using Christmas cups, and Christmas day itself is less than two months away. Whilst you might internally be screaming “but it’s barely November!”, I’m very much wondering why more people aren’t sharing my enthusiasm for the festive season now.
Hear me out.
The first thing to remember is that we’re running on student time: there is little over a month left at university before the end of the academic year. If we are effectively racing through the year about a month early, then, technically, in the broad scheme of the great Christmas countdown, we’re in the equivalent of early December (and you really must be excited for Christmas by then, come on). More to the point, who doesn’t want to celebrate a little bit of the festive season with some of their friends before they head off home? It it isn’t premature to start celebrating now at all.
we’re running on student time
However, it is not just a reluctance to begin celebrating Christmas that is troubling. Even more concerning is the fact that few people are talking about it, illustrating the wider trend that every year, less and less people seem to be excited for the festive season. Whilst for some it is the *most wonderful time of the year*, many will insist that “it’s just not the same when you’re older”.
Christmas is, in actual fact, at its very best for us right now as university students, because we have a new appreciation for so many aspects of the festive season that escaped our younger selves. Saving up, picking out gifts and watching people open them makes the ‘giving’ part of Christmas more gratifying that it ever was as a child. For the first time, you have total artistic direction over Christmas decorating, which necessarily results going completely overboard and not being able to move around your halls for tinsel. And then there’s the food. As a student, any meal that you don’t have to cook yourself is a luxury, but the gastronomic delights of Christmas are second to none (which probably has nothing to do with the fact that everything tastes better washed down with mulled wine.)
At the same time, student life embodies the ultimate ‘get out of jail free’ card when it comes to the things typically seen as Christmas gripes. Splashing out on super expensive gifts? Being on a student budget means that nobody expects you to spend too much. It also means that if you do decide to treat somebody, they look upon the fact that you didn’t just opt for a classic 3 for 2 on Boots gift sets with new appreciation. As for mucking in with the cooking on Christmas day? If you’re desperate to get involved, you might be trusted with one of the less important vegetable dishes (probably the carrots, or something else very difficult to burn). But if you don’t offer, you most likely won’t be asked for your culinary expertise, because your mum told everyone about the time you tried to make a korma using very pieces of toast instead of chicken (zero out of ten, would not recommend). You’re in this glorious liminal space between being a child and an adult, and what you end up with is essentially all of the fun and none of the responsibility.
all of the fun and none of the responsibility
So next time you’re tempted to kick over the advent calendar display in Tesco or shoot daggers at the flatmate that suggests you stay in and watch ‘Elf’ on a Friday night, just remember: November is the new December. Being away from home is not an excuse to fall out of love with Christmas, but the perfect opportunity to throw yourself into it. You’ll be blasting The Pogues from your MacBook before you know it.