How to host your own Christmas market
To raise morale and unite people under this magical time, Niamh gives some tips as to how to make Christmas more ‘normal’ between cooking, baking and decorating.
With Christmas fast approaching, and the confirmation that Exeter’s Christmas market will not be going ahead this year (at least not in its classic outdoor format), one way to get into the festive spirit is to host your very own Christmas market. A home Christmas market comes with several perks: no queuing, no wandering around in the freezing cold, and no spending money on overpriced food and drink. Below are some top tips for hosting your very own Christmas market.
Refreshments are key to an enjoyable home Christmas market, mulled wine is traditional but, if you’re like me and find mulled wine unappealing, I suggest a boozy (or non-boozy) hot chocolate. When it comes to food, asking each member of your house to contribute a different tasty treat can be a fun way to get everyone involved and ensure your market has a diverse range of foods. There are lots of simple recipes online for festive snacks such as gingerbread men, brownies, and traditional German sausages. Not only will baking make your house smell amazing, but it’s a fun way to get all of your flat mates involved in the festivities.
If you don’t feel up to baking something from scratch, why not buy some plain cupcakes or gingerbread men, whack on some Christmas tunes and get your flatmates together to decorate them. Lots of societies have run cake decorating socials with great success, so get your flat together, have a boogie to some Christmas music, and decorate some festive treats to collectively boost your serotonin. If you’re feeling competitive, you could turn decorating your sweet treats into a competition, with the winner getting to choose a festive film to watch together later.
You don’t need an abundance of traditional decorations, the main aim in hosting a home Christmas market is to bring people together
The other essential to a home Christmas market is decorations. Mental health workers in Nottinghamshire recently campaigned for Christmas decorations to be put up early to improve people’s mental wellbeing, so why not join the Light Up Locally campaign and decorate your student house. Grab some paper, embrace the nostalgia of school Christmas parties and cut out some paper snowflakes, or make a paper chain with some cut out snowmen, or gingerbread men that everyone can decorate.
If you have fairy lights, or shop bought decorations, decorate your shared living areas, even if it’s something as simple as a Santa hat on the corner of the TV. My flat and I put up our Christmas tree this week, as we’re aware we won’t get to spend much of December together. Among traditional baubles our Christmas decorations included a classic red cup from pre drinks, a red festive letter from Tesco, and a red thong. You don’t need an abundance of traditional decorations, the main aim in hosting a home Christmas market is to bring people together. After all, Christmas time is about spending time with loved ones.
However you choose to host your Christmas market, try to include your whole flat –university can feel quite lonely right now, and if you do decide to purchase snacks or other trinkets, support small businesses.