Cardiff students’ best-decorated flats

What does your Christmas tree say about you?

It’s Christmas Eve and what better way to share how the students of Cathays have matched the spirit of all the decorations around Cardiff by cramming as many Winter Wonderland plushies, tinselled-up traffic cones, and Lidl Christmas trees as they can carry into their flats. Who cares about the lights in town when you’ve got a sparkly traffic cone and a unicorn in a christmas hat?

Log fire charm

We will see several trees throughout the duration of this article, however this display stands out due to the wonderful log fire showing on the TV next to the baubled-up tree, creating a cosy aesthetic for you to snuggle down in a blanket with your takeaway and relax to. If you concentrate hard enough, you could pretend to feel the warmth radiating of it if your housemates are the kind to refuse to turn the heating on. However, it slightly falls apart as soon as you switch on Netflix.


Bows, baubles and fairy lights

The following two trees are your bog-standard Christmas centrepieces, that will likely still be there in February as putting them away is too much of a hassle. The real demonstration of Christmas spirit is the flat bonding session you have when assembling and decorating the tree, whilst listening to Mariah Carey, drinking Lidl’s own mulled wine, and ignoring those looming deadlines.

Stars ft. Some of ‘A Starry Night’



A cone-iferous tree

Whilst most people go for real, or even fake imitations of the famed coniferous tree, this house have chosen a more creative and practical take on the traditional Christmas tree. As a student, you likely have a traffic cone somewhere in your house; you’re not sure how or why, but it just appeared one morning after a trip to YOLO. This flat added a green coating, lights, ribbon stars and a beautifully-tied bow to transform their traffic redirection device into the perfect festive ornament.


Mood lighting

The following tree’s owners are clearly the angsty type, with dimmed lighting to allow their centrepiece to shine in its full beauty. Either that or they forgot to pay their electric bill, who knows. Unlike most students, they have neatly wrapped presents below the tree: our guess is postgrads tbh, as the majority of undergrads will be lucky if the last-minute Secret Santa goes smoothly.


Sparkles and Santa Paws

So that’s where the cracker hats ended up. This flat have gone all out in hiding their hall’s rules and regulations behind what looks like the backdrop of your parent’s prom pictures, tinsel and customised stockings. The tree, made from all the books that English Lit students will tell their lecturer they have read, is another practical way of replacing your flatmate’s ambition of spending £40 on a tree that you’ll struggle to dispose of in a month’s time. It would be a crime not to mention the good boy in the corner, all kitted up with his Santa hat: though if he was won in Winter Wonderland, let’s hope that the owners aren’t leaving by train or he might end up on Overheard looking for a new home for next Christmas.

Chris the dog all dressed up for the photo-op


The COVID safe tree

Here we see a finely decorated tree, with all the usual baubles, tinsel and lights, but with some additional custom features. The Budweiser 4-packs thrown in celebrate the remnants of parties old, and alongside other tokens such as Tesco name-tags, they have made it their own. Importantly though, the occupants clearly acknowledged the current climate and protected their star decoration with a face covering. Might get some odd looks if they take it to the vaccination centre though.


A minimalist look

Not every flat needs a huge tree or excessive decorations. For those of you who realised Christmas was upon us too late to properly decorate the flat, these smaller trees still bring the Christmas spirit into our homes. On the plus side, at least you know that they aren’t compensating with grand festive displays to impress guests for Christmas dinner. This tree is the perfect jovial mood-lighting to accompany the Christmas drinks-do whose ingredients lie next to it; though if those are actually “presents under the tree” then the gift wrapping is very much that of a student.


No tree is too small

This beautiful tree measures only 20cm in height, but in true Christmas spirit it is very much loved. Rather than having a star at the top of the tree, it’s there on the plant pot: some of us like to be different. Despite the lack of decorations weighing the leaves down, we’ll be amazed if it’s still alive after the holidays.


From everyone here at The Cardiff Tab, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.

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