Most Christmas decorations have a shelf-life after which they become too tatty or too unfashionable to make out of the attic again this year. Next time you’re home, beg or borrow some of these to use in your own flat. (Note: this has the added benefit of de-cluttering your parents’ attic).
Make your own decorations
Just Google ‘make your own Xmas decorations’ and you’ll find 100’s of suggestions for creating your own paper chains, hanging baubles, tree toppers, centrepieces and door wreaths. There are plenty of unusual suggestions too – including reindeer made from wine corks, sleds made from old lollipop sticks, snowflakes out of wooden clothes pegs, paper angels, as well as pine cones spray-painted silver and gold; we even found someone who’d made a christmas tree out of an old wooden stepladder wrapped with lights, decorated with cards and topped with a plant pot!
If you share with other students, you may already have a kitty for basics like tea, coffee, bread and milk, so why not extend that in the run-up to Christmas. If everyone puts an extra pound or two over a couple of weeks you’ll soon raise enough cash to buy those decorations you can’t inherit from home or make yourself.
Shop – and plan – carefully
If you leave everything to the last minute, you’ll probably end up buying expensive decorations from the nearest shop you can find. Instead, check supermarkets online and investigate your local ‘pound shops’ to see what decorations they’re carrying this year. Charity shops can also come up trumps as well – especially for Christmas cards – and have the added benefit of helping out a good cause.
Make your own advent calendar
All you need is a pinboard, 24 bits of paper (one for each day in December until the big day) and drawing pins to stick them to the board. Since you and your fellow students are so thrifty there won’t be any actual gifts behind the bits of paper so instead, you can write ‘credits’ that the person who turns the paper that day can redeem, like ‘One day’s washing up’ or ‘Cup of coffee in bed” and so on.
Hang your Christmas cards
Instead of putting cards up on the mantelpiece (or just putting them back in their envelopes ‘to do something with later’) thumbtack some string to the wall and hang the cards off that. This is a really simple way to cheer up a hallway or landing area; alternatively, Blu Tack them to doors and door frames.
And finally, when all the festivities have died down, now’s the time to make a killing on all the cut-price decorations that will be on sale as soon as this Christmas is over. Get yourself down to the sales and grab some bargains so you don’t have to jump through all these hoops again next year!