Everything wrong with Christmas in Cambridge

Bah humbug

balls bridgemas Cambridge Christmas Christmas holidays festive season holidays jesuan jesus presents secret santas selwyn ball snowball

It’s that time of year again. Time for hot chocolate with marshmallows, Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé, arguing with racist relatives, good old commercialism and freezing your tits off. 

You may think it’s the best time of the year, but here’s why it definitely isn’t in Cambridge.

The stupidly long holidays

I remember when the six week summer holidays of my youth seemed like heaven. Now the prospect of spending so long at home, forgetting everyone I’ve met since I’ve been here, sounds awful.

Not to mention that during the first and last weeks of the holiday my friends will all be relaxing their way through their 12 week terms, my family will be at work or school, and I will be forced to live as a hermit watching Netflix in my bed instead of being productive. As if my misanthropy needed encouragement.

A social butterfly who refuses to fly from her cocoon.

A social butterfly who refuses to fly from her cocoon.

What are we even celebrating?

You can ramble on about the meaning of Christmas being the importance of family, love, and merriness for as long as you like, but we all know the real point of Christmas is getting presents, and Bridgemas is just an excuse for a ball. As a Jesuan, I can tell you that our college’s namesake is the last thing on our minds this time of year.

Peaches may be healthy but I'm not sure Jesus died for this.

Peaches may be healthy but I’m not sure Jesus died for this to happen in his college

The Christmas Lights Switch On

An incredibly underwhelming event. I don’t really need to leave my room to see someone nobody knows or cares about turn on some lights which a lot of money was wasted on.

I see that every morning in my reflection when I switch on the light in the ensuite I’m spending four grand a year to use, in the bedroom which is only a short commute from my actual home. At least this way I’m indoors and warm, thanks to the heating which is also draining my student loan.

Bad for the environment? But it wouldn't be Christmas without some gaudy lights!

Bad for the environment? But it wouldn’t be Christmas without some gaudy lights

The cold

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s bloody freezing outside. As an English student I get teased a lot for the lack of time I spend in lectures, but can you really blame me for not making that long 9am trek to the Sidgwick Site when I could be in the library, wrapped up in a blanket with a lovely, warm (and illegal) cup of coffee?

It wouldn’t be so bad if we could get some snow out of this weather, but the only snowball you’ll ever see in Cambridge is at Selwyn.

Giving presents

I’ve said that the best part of Christmas is getting presents. Unfortunately, common courtesy means you also have to make the effort of giving some and spending money on other people is the last thing I want to do on a student loan. Arranging Secret Santa with your friends might seem like a good idea to be kinder to your bank account but even that’s problematic.

There’s always that one person in the group whom you don’t speak to enough to know what they’d like, and of course you’ll inevitably pick their name out of the proverbial hat.

If I'm your Secret Santa, you're getting the cheapest thing I can find: my heart's at least two sizes too small.

If I’m your Secret Santa, you’re getting the cheapest thing I can find: my heart’s at least two sizes too small.

Of course, it’s not all bad.

During the intensity of our short terms it’s easy to forget the things that should really matter to us, so take some time to relax, refresh, and remember that there is life outside of Cambridge. Whatever you’re celebrating, happy holidays!