It is that time of year again. Gaudy tinsel, repetitive music and fake snow (vaguely reminiscent of dandruff) pops up in every shop on the high street and terrible displays of taste in the form of “fun Christmas lights” adorn house fronts and gardens.
What with this influx of festive cheers it's time to think of the real virtues of a Christmas at home from a student’s perspective. As such, here are our top tips for making the most of this magical time of year at home.
Eat, eat, eat
Fill every square inch of your stomach with home-cooked fare till you’ve reached full capacity. Whatever can’t be stored in there must be hidden in your socks for later.
Make the most of utilities you aren't paying for
Run long, luxurious baths (it’s not your water bill!) filled with Christmassy spiced cinnamon scents that don’t have “value” or “basic” written on the side.
Savour alcohol that doesn’t taste like paint stripper - it probably cost more than £3.50 per bottle. Swill it round your mouth like a connoisseur and remark on all the different flavours that probably aren't there at all.
Sabotage the choccies
Stealthily steal into the kitchen at night and open the box of celebrations. Remove the best ones (we all know which they are) leaving one of each to avoid suspicion and take the rest to your room to eat at leisure. When the box is opened by the family a few days later, vigorously join in with the annual complaints that "they never put enough of the good ones in" – they’ll never know.
Dress the tree
Insist your family buys an audaciously large, bushy Christmas tree for you to adorn with all the horrible decorations you wish. Enjoy the smell of pine, confident that it won’t be you who has to clear up all those dropped needles.
Insist on having a stocking at the end of your bed to open in the morning. They’ll do it. They miss when you were younger too much to pass up the opportunity.
All the cakes
Eat mince pies, chocolate yule log and stollen cake for breakfast… and lunch… and dinner.
Well, they might let you have a party
Wait till your parents remark how much they missed having your friends around whilst you were at university and jump on this opportunity to ask for a New Year’s Eve party. In all honesty they’ll probably still say no, but you had to try.
Get your 12 hours
Stay up late drinking and chatting on Christmas Day and then have a fantastic lie-in on Boxing Day because, well, everyone knows students don’t get out of bed early in the mornings.
All jokes aside, have a wonderful holiday surrounded by the people you love… safe in the knowledge that you’re going back to university full (belly- and sock-wise) of fantastic food you could never be bothered to cook yourself, with fabulously cleansed skin and an all-round well rested feeling – the only downside is that basic vodka will taste all the more foul after all the real ale and mulled wine you’ve become accustomed to.