With the Christmas tunes already infiltrating most public spaces, it’s hard to ignore the festive season. Whilst most of you will be heading home to connect with loved ones and family, some of us live too far, can’t afford the transport home or shudder at the thought of having their beliefs mocked around the dinner table. Whatever reason you may have for staying in Leeds this Winter, there’s still loads of great stuff to do here over the holiday season.
Here are five of the things on my Christmas to-do list this year:
Going out on Christmas eve
At home or in Leeds, this is a yearly classic. Christmas eve is a notorious night out that sees locals and tourists alike huddling around fires in pubs, dancing through the cold and singing out of tune Christmas carols long into the night. You don’t have to celebrate Christmas to have an excuse to go out and, unlike New Years Eve, you don’t have to find someone to kiss at midnight.
Take some personal time
Although every advert might make you feel it a necessity to be surrounded by people, not celebrating Christmas can be quite liberating, especially for the Marxists amongst us. Drink wine, have a long bath, read books, watch the sitcoms your housemates hate. Instead of shying away from a quiet time, embrace it. With no distractions, you might even find it a great time to study.
If you love festivities and have nobody to celebrate with then look at local volunteering. Many people are in need at this time of year and volunteering can be doing anything from feeding the homeless to keeping the elderly company. You’re likely to get a free dinner and some great company, so long as you’re happy to pitch in with the washing up.
Do some university events
The university and university union has a whole bunch of Christmas themed activities which run over the holiday. From film screenings to gingerbread making to Christmas themed walks, there is bound to be something that you enjoy so check out the website to find something to do.
Watch some sports
As well as the copious amount of food, drink and presents, there is also a tonne of sport in the festival season. Spend boxing day cheering on Leeds as they play Wetherby at rugby. With the cold weather and the comradery of sport, you’ll soon forget that you were ever alone in the holidays. Without even playing sport a day out in the cold will get you pining after a hot shower and an early night in bed, perfect for these dark nights!
It can be daunting being alone for the holidays and if you are feeling lonely then it is important you talk to somebody about it. Luckily we live in a world of FaceTime so even if your family is half the world away you can still give them a call and see their faces. If this isn’t an option and the season is really getting you down Mind are a wonderful charity that support those around Christmas. Mind are contactable on 0300 123 3393.