Finally, the John Lewis and Coke-Cola adverts have hit the tellies and the mad rush for an even more festive Christmas than before has arrived, but now you’re a student and you cant rely on mum and dad to buy gifts on your behalf or to cook up a delicious turkey, so what do you do? Well, don’t panic, you can still make the absolute most out of your student Christmas by following the three pillars of the festive season; decorations; presents and food. I know at home the decorations would start being dusted off around the first or second week of December, but most of us don’t have that kind of time since Christmas holidays begin around the 20th so it’s best to start putting them up a week earlier than normal. Decorations can come up to a pricy amount if you don’t keep a cap on what you and your flatmates are spending, so on your next trip home, raid the cupboards and attics for old decorations that won’t be missed, you may even get lucky and grab a tree. For any extras like baubles and tinsel, places like Poundland offer an abundance of cheap bits and bobs to ‘deck your halls’ with. If you’re a bit more creative and fancy getting into arts and crafts, try having a go some homemade decorations, there’s lots of instructions online for all sorts of stuff from paper chains to snow globes, it’s also a really fun thing to do with flatmates. Just a warning though, from one unassuming first year to another, do not stick things to painted walls, or use spray snow on windows, believe me, you’ll want to keep your flat deposit. The next great pillar of festivity – presents, a very difficult part of the Christmas process, especially for first years who most likely have only just got to know their new university family. So for both money saving purposes and so you don’t end up with a bunch of impersonal presents, do Secret Santa. via GIPHY With a total of 8 flatmates, including myself, last year it was a bit overwhelming to buy gifts for all of them so we put our names in an Aldi bag and pulled one out each. It was an absolutely hilarious outcome, with the zoology student receiving a ‘My first animals’ book, the Minions fan getting a Minion lamp, obviously, and me getting my flatmate who has a fondness for tattoos, a stick-on tattoo kit. This was also with a cap of £10 each, even if the gifts weren’t over the top, it still gave us a lot of laughs. Lastly, there is food, possibly the most daunting part of all. Who gets the food, who cooks, who cleans? Well never fear, you can make a plan of action to tackle the Christmas dinner dilemma and it’s called going out. Everywhere is offering deals and discounts around Lincoln from Toby Carvery to Weatherspoon’s and there won’t be as big of a rush the earlier you go as there is still a while before the big day. If you really must display your culinary prowess, don’t go straight to buying a massive turkey, you’ll only be feeding 7 at the most. Morrison’s is great for cheap food including straight-to-the-oven turkeys and other pre-prepped food to make your cooking time easier, just don’t forget the crackers and out-dated Christmas tunes. Surely these tips will help to make your first Christmas as a student a very festive one.