Who is excited for Christmas? I am. I can second Joe Cunningham’s reflection, expressed in his fantastic article about all the must-re-watch Christmas movies, that as we get older Christmas becomes less about the presents and more about other inarguably better and far more important things: the quality time we spend with family and friends, the fluffy PJ’s and movie nights in front of the fire, the Christmas songs, and the food of course. I love the weather, I love the cosy-dark evenings (when I get to spend them at home in front of the fire), the refreshingly cool, biting air (nothing cures a winter-celebration-induced hangover like the cold, fresh air of a winter’s day), but most of all I love getting my friends and family the best presents I possibly can.
Christmas shopping, the getting of the gifts and presents, can often add unwanted stress to the festive season for many that struggle to think of what to get, but also for those that are stuck (as students we feel this struggle acutely) for funds. But not to worry; you need not break the bank with gifts, and I have done up a little Christmas Shopping Special piece especially for this issue that I hope will inspire those struggling to think of what to get their family, friends and Secret Santas this year.
Not to mind the Christmas shopping, as college students we’ve also got Christmas exams and assignments to get through. Caoimhe Coleman advises how best to use music to accompany our study, a great piece which you will find in the music section. My personal favourite tip is the one about a playlist that is exactly 40 or 50 minutes long so that you know when it’s time to take a study break, to get up and stretch your legs. Be clever with the use of your time over the next few weeks so that you’re not left cramming and doubly stresses when it comes to the week/night before your exams – a little bit every day goes a long way.
Make sure also to feed and nourish yourself properly, and to stay well hydrated and reasonably caffeinated. You’ve got this, we’ll all get there; we’ll be hitting the 12 pubs in our Christmas jumpers and enjoying the festivities more thoroughly and guilt-freely come December 21st when all exams are officially over. (Enjoy your festive and celebratory drinks responsibly, and respect all those in pubs and restaurants that work through the Christmas – it’s rough enough having to work at Christmas without dealing with drunken, rude and ignorant people that show no patience or consideration for others around this time.)
Remember that this time of the year, as wonderful and all as it feels for the most part, can be a really lonely and particularly hard time for a lot of people. Look out for friends that you know have recently lost a loved one, perhaps have recently gone through a break-up, or are just going through their own struggles and may not be feeling the greatest this Christmas. Rían, our Sexpress editor, offers some great self-care advice if you’re feeling like you’re in need of a bit of TLC yourself. Do take care, of yourself and your loved ones, this Christmas. Wishing you all a lovely one.
Ciara D. xo