Blogs | Merry Bleedin' Christmas

I’m writing this from bed, clad in the most hideous of multi-coloured jumpers and thinking of excuses to relieve me from a night out.

Because the truth is this: despite the twinkling of Christmas lights in the city centre, the jingles playing incessantly on the radio like a chronic case of tinnitus and the- frankly excessive- beauty of half-naked Rosie Huntingdon Whiteley in the M&S Christmas advert (watch it), my survival instinct has prevailed.


When ‘night’ falls around 4pm, and the temperature drops to a level that no hipster shearling can contend with, that age-old Darwinian voice of sense telling me to hibernate has a lot more sway than the Christmas spirit.

Nor has embracing the festive spirit worked out for me in the past. Last Christmas, in an attempt to emulate the insipidly cute couples gliding around Millennium Square’s ice rink, my boyfriend dragged me on a romantic ice-skating venture. Floored by a seven foot hulk after pulling off a rather impressive performance of ‘Bambi on Ice’, I can’t say the experience will ever be repeated.

I also make the annual mistake of trying a mince pie. This only firms my conviction that the combination of minced meat, dried fruit and spices is the product of an elaborate 13th century prank that, for the sake of tradition, no one has bothered to question.

Needless to say, it is only mid-November, and any rational nation wouldn’t have put any thought into Christmas yet. But, with the fizzling out of the last Bonfire Night’s fireworks, it seems we all need something shiny to get us through the winter months. So, here comes the Christmas build-up to get us all prematurely excited.

Of course, that is probably how Scrooge felt.

Having slipped seamlessly into ‘dull third year’ mode, here are the things that will never fail to bring my Christmas cheer:

Knitwear: As a university which so shamelessly adheres to an ‘ugly knitwear’ culture, Leeds is the perfect place to flaunt your Christmas jumper, day-in, day-out. Wear it over disco pants if you want to avoid looking like a particularly jazzy snowman.

Mulled wine: It’s a hot drink, it’s delicious and it’s alcoholic. Personally, I don’t see why we restrict ourselves to having it at Christmas time.

German Christmas Market (Christkindelmarkt): Unleash all that repressed road rage on the dodgems, grab all the chocolate delights you can and get into that beer tent in order to have a lot more fun than you would at Space.


Christmas films: My particular favourite is ‘A Christmas Carol’: Alistair Simms is unbeatable, and you can never fault Dickens for a heart-warming story.

End of term socials: A great time to fall over, tell someone you love them or get that bit too drunk on Jagerbombs at the Terrace. The beauty is, it will all be forgotten by January.


So, whether you are- like me- an ageing third year, or a bright young Fresher, get out there and enjoy what the holiday season has to offer. And Merry Christmas! Almost.

Chez Specter

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