Doing Christmas on a shoestring

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Well it’s that time of year again and if you’re worried that weeks of present buying and getting merry are going to leave you a little strapped for cash this festive season then fear not – there are a number of ways in which you can have a jolly nice Christmas without using up half your student loan in the process.

Christmas is still Christmas, even with all the trimmings

The act of present giving sees its roots in the traditional Christmas story with the bringing of gifts to Jesus from the wise men. However, if, unlike the wise men, you do not possess a handy stash of gold or frankincense you may want to look at ways to economise while you shop. Why not arrange to do a Secret Santa with your flat, or organise a Bran Tub, this way everyone gets a present but you cut down considerably on the cost. Also Secret Santa is a great way of finding out just how much you’ve learnt about the people you’ve been living with for the past 10 weeks – you may be surprised at the result!

For the more creative amongst you, why not try doing homemade gifts this year – these are often a hit with the older family members. Try your hand at making some Christmas decorations for the family or creating some fancy homemade jewellery. If (unlike me) you aren’t a complete mess in the kitchen then baking some Christmas cookies or other treats is a great way of adding a personal touch to your gifts.

If the homemade approach doesn’t appeal then there are plenty of places in town to go Christmas shopping, many of which offer a handy student discount either with a Purple card or an NUS/NUS Extra card. New quirky gift shop ‘Unbox’ offers a 10% discount with an NUS or Purple card, and savings are even to be had online this season with Amazon.co.uk offering a 5% discount with an NUS Extra card. Also keep an eye out for the market stalls at the campus Christmas Festival on the 9th and 10th of December as these are sure to be filled with potential Christmas gifts. Many of the stalls will be offering items which are homemade which makes presents seem a bit more thoughtful but means a lot less pressure on your part.

In the end, as Christmas often brings with it a feeling of generosity and tidings of good cheer, this year don’t let money problems get you down. Just remember, it’s the thought that counts!

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