Deck the halls with cheapo holly

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With deadlines flooding in and the Coca-Cola TV advert on constant loop, it can only mean one thing, Christmas is coming and it’s time to dust off those decorations. You might think that the last thing a student, with suffering funds, needs to start thinking about is how to turn their accomodation into a Grotto. But, whether you’re living in halls or a tiny terrace, there are lots of opportunities to turn your humble Lancaster home into a Winter Wonderland, without having to blow the budget or the fuses.

It’s deflating seeing an empty window at Christmas, neglected by the students who failed to realise their inner Art Attack mojo. Although this all may sounds slightly Blue Peter, when you see other houses cluttered with all things shiny I’m sure that you’ll be throwing tinsel around in no time. As much as we don’t always admit it, we’re all secretly five inside when it comes to Christmas. So why not channel that inner toddler and make your own decorations? Not only will you spark that festive spirit but you’ll also find it’s an excellent excuse to procrastinate without affecting the bank balance.

Never underestimate the potential of a sheet of A4. You’d be surprised how long a paper chain can get when six of you sit around one night with a stack of corrugated card and a bottle of sherry to get you in the festive mood. Get rid of all those lecture slides you printed incorrectly and turn them into the vital components of a snow scene. Recycling is after all, aptly encouraged.

However, no matter how excited you are about all things festive, or how similarly enthused your flatmates seem, wandering in with a Christmas tree and a stack of glittery baubles might not go down well with everyone. Instead, avoid excess, take a more innovative route. Build a snowman out of cotton wool balls, make a tree out of empty beer cans(trust me, it’s oddly festive) and sit back and watch in awe as others attempt to imitate your unique take on the North Pole. But beware, the competitive nature of student window dressing is only for the ruthless, Santa sabotage is common, especially if a college prize for best decorated window is up for grabs.

Oddly enough, all this creative genius may seem wasted when you realise that it’s bad luck to keep Christmas decorations up past the January 6th. Seeing as Lectures are spared until weeks after this, the superstitious amongst you will have to take them all down, box them up, and clutter up your living room at home. Your Mum will love you for your innovative festive spirit, your Granddad will appreciate the Santa hat you found on the floor at the Carleton, but above all, you’ll be able to keep them safe to save spending next year.

But remember, don’t forget to throw your pennies away on at least one decoration. Mistletoe. A sprig from the market, placed over the right door, could well turn out to be your best investment of the term.

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