As December rapidly approaches, that means one thing for the majority of students here in Lancaster: they will be heading home across the country to join their families for the holidays. But that’s not the case for everyone. Whether you’re from very far afield and just can’t feasibly make it home, or you’ve decided to stay in Lancaster for personal reasons, you may be wondering what you can do with yourself on Christmas Day this year.
This time of year can be lonely for people unable to be with their families, or for those who don’t celebrate Christmas. Almost all public places are closed on the 25th here in the UK, and if you’re not partaking in any festivities at home, you might be at a loss as to what to do that day.
Well, we’re here to help. Read on to find out what’s going on locally this Christmas and what you can do, if you’re sticking around in your student accommodation in Lancaster for the holidays.
Have Your Own Christmas Meal
Whilst most places, such as shops and museums, will be closed on the 25th, plenty of places will be serving food for those who like to eat out on Christmas Day. If you still have housemates who are joining you in Lancaster over the holidays, why not book a meal with them? Lancaster has an abundance of fantastic restaurants keeping their doors open on Christmas Day including:
Bella Italia – A three course meal with a glass of prosecco on arrival, includes tea or coffee, amaretti biscuits and a Limoncello finish.
Butcher and Tonic – Locally sourced traditional Christmas cuisine.
Greaves Park – A festive feast menu including a two-course lunch or a three-course dinner.
Water Witch – A special three-course Christmas day menu that includes coffee, mince pies and party crackers.
Bear in mind that Christmas day gets booked up quickly, so book as soon as possible; they will also most likely require a pre-order and a deposit.
Alternatively, if you and your housemates are sticking together on Christmas day and aren’t able to secure a booking, a nice idea would be to cook a Christmas meal together. All supermarkets will be selling products to make the process that much easier, such as frozen roast potatoes and veg, food selection platters and roast in the bag chicken and turkeys. If you all band together to cover the costs and help with the cooking, you can have an amazing Christmas meal together as a house – and don’t forget the Christmas crackers!
Do Some Good in the Community
If Christmas really isn’t your thing, plenty of charities will be desperate for volunteers this time of year. Christmas is an especially lonely time for one of the most vulnerable groups in society: the elderly. According to Age UK, an estimated 873,00 older people have little or no contact with people over the Christmas period. As a result, many charities have started initiatives appealing for people to volunteer and help older people around this time of year.
Organisations such as Community Christmas believe that no older person in the UK should be alone on Christmas day unless they want to be. They run community Christmas lunch events across the country, allowing members of the community to attend and meet up with these older people, creating bonds in the community that last well beyond that single day.
Their website has a useful postcode search function which you can use to find out if there are any of these events happening close to you. Currently, there are a few taking place close to the Lancaster area, such as the Emmanuel Christian Centre in Ulverston where they’re hosting a free, traditional Christmas lunch and are looking for volunteers. There is also the St Peter’s Church Hall in Blackpool hosting a Christmas lunch for older people with needs and are also looking for volunteers.
You can use this search function to check for events closer to Christmas Day as additional information becomes available. You could even use the site to find out about hosting an event of your own, if you feel you have the resources to do so. If you’re not going to be occupied on Christmas Day, it could be really beneficial to both yourself and the wider community to volunteer your time and help those less fortunate than yourself.
Contact Other Students
If it’s just you this year and the rest of your house has left for the holidays, it can get very lonely. Thankfully, social media offers the perfect solution. You can use platforms such as Facebook to contact students who are also sticking around in Lancaster for the holidays. Post on student groups and find yourself some people to spend the day with. You could offer to host an event or find out about any events you could attend being thrown by other students.
Your University might even be doing something for students staying over the holidays, so check their website, social media or contact the welfare advisors to find out. If not, you could ask your University to send out a University-wide email to students to put you in contact with those also looking for people to spend time with at Christmas.
If you’re staying in Lancaster this Christmas, make sure you don’t spend it alone. Plan ahead, utilise social media and plan a fantastic way to spend the holidays surrounded by others. It’s easy to feel alone this time of year, so take care of yourself. From everyone here at Student Housing Lancaster, we wish you a very Merry Christmas however your choose to spend it.