You’ve squandered the majority of your student loan on those staples of the Oxford diet: caffeine tablets, comfort food and Everyday Value Vodka. You’re lagging so far behind on work that life outside the library is but a distant memory. Maybe you’re not yet be feeling the festive cheer? With that in mind, here are some tips on how to inject some holiday spirit into even the most Scrooge-like among you, with the OxStu’s countdown to Oxmas.
22nd November: Getting into the spirit
Oxmas comes but once a year, and the only way to approach it is with a healthy dose of enforced merriment. Listen to a generic Christmas CD on repeat. Immerse yourself in your seasonal movie of choice, The Muppets’ Christmas Carol being my personal recommendation. Raid Primark’s knitwear section for an ‘ironic’ Christmas jumper. Sob into said jumper whilst you put yourself through the emotional rollercoaster that is this year’s John Lewis advert (the snowman… the journey… just beautiful).
The best way to achieve optimum festivity is, of course, to decorate. Fate, or a cruel room balloting system based on Excel’s random function, may have been unkind enough to leave you exiled to the depths of Cowley or the architectural monstrosity of most colleges beginning with ‘St’; in these bleak surroundings it might seem hard to feel Christmassy. Covering every available surface in tinsel and all manner of Poundland-sourced tack is the way to resolve this. Flout llicit fairy lights at your own risk.
OK, you may have found the Christian Union a little annoying throughout term. But they mean well, and besides, you’ve pilfered a large quantity of free food from them under the pretence of a deep interest in God’s work. It is Christmas, after all, so in a flurry of goodwill you’ll find yourself swept up in the crowd heading to the CU carol service. You may even find yourself enjoying this – that is, until your CU rep swoops down en route back to college, eyes glinting at the prospect of a conversion, and gleefully tells you they’ll add you to their mailing list. You can’t protest. After all, they’ve promised post-carol mince pies.
24th November: Oxmas Shopping
It’s Oxmas Eve, and time to shop.
Perhaps you unwisely joined your college Secret Santa scheme in a bout of Christmassy merriment, and are now tasked with finding the perfect gift for that third-year engineer who lurks in the library. Or maybe you decided it would be a good idea to do a college family Christmas, despite the fact you’ve not spoken to your college kids after your failed Freshers’ Week sharking attempts. Either way, present shopping is the time to realise you know literally nothing about any of the friends-for-life you’ve accrued in your eight weeks at Oxford. My advice? Give up now. Opt for the generic box of chocolates, and instead devote that valuable shopping time to something of far greater worth: your bop costume. Sexy Santas, slutty elves and Primark’s reindeer onesies are bound to be out in full force. But under the mistletoe and, crucially, under the influence, this is your last chance of term to impress, so avoid the clichés and go for something more niche, perhaps of the Holiday Armadillo variety…
25th November: Oxmas
You will wake up on Oxmas morn brimming with hope and joy, ready to partake fully of the festivities and skip around Oxford in a cocoon of knitwear as you enjoy the BEST DAY EVER!!! But wait – what’s going on? ‘Oxmas dinner’ leaves you feeling slightly queasy, and you don’t even like mince pies. Your Secret Santa has pidged you the same chocolates you got them, but in a smaller box; you feel cheated and it’s all very awkward. Six other people came up with the same genius bop costume as you, and you’ll probably end the night face-planting in your icy quad, a tinselly mess. In short, you’ve been swindled. Come B-ox-ing day, post-holiday depression will set in fully as you realise you still have an essay deadline at 5pm and the only Oxmas miracle will be if you’ve managed to survive the combination of college Christmas dinner, mulled wine and bitter disappointment vom-free.
Not to worry though, you’ll get to do it all again in just one month’s time… And, this time, with drunk, fratricidal relatives. Maybe Oxmas wasn’t so bad.