Nine alternative Christmas presents for Exeter students

Dear Santa, please bring back the Pret subscription to Forum

Christmas time: a time for family debates, overcooked sprouts, undercooked carrots, fights over heating bills, and deadline induced breakdowns. No need to stress over what to get your secret Santa anymore, as we’ve got you covered. Or maybe you can sense a family member stressing over what to get you, unable to work out what an Exeter student would enjoy – don’t worry, just send them this list as it has something to make every Exeter student smile.

1. The Pret subscription back in Forum

I’m not going to tot up how much I’ve spent on coffee this year, partly for the sake of my mental health, and partly because I don’t think there is a modern mathematical principal that would be able to solve such a problem. *Cries into oat iced mocha*. Between the lack of heating and deadlines, never has caffeine been more needed. We’ve been through most of the stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, depression, bargaining – even acceptance in some cases.

But if dreams really can come true at Christmas, the subscription’s return is the miracle we’re asking for. Mainly, I’m tired of taking tea bags to campus to make myself a disappointing cuppa in Queens.

2. Hot water bottle

What is a student house without multiple *ahem* conversations over the heating and who’s been turning it on? Thanks to the cost of living crisis, many a student has turned to blankets (electric or otherwise), hats, (skinny) scarves, gloves, and duvets to help stay warm – why not go the extra mile and bring someone the joy of warmth.

3. British Gas gift card

Speaking of the cost of living crisis… Seeing as about half of the UK has been graced with snow, most households are finally giving in and realising they probably have to switch the heating on for a bit. If you want to go one further than a hot water bottle why not go the full monty and let them turn that heating on for more than hour?

4. Hair sye

Times are tough, haircuts are expensive, and most of the roots are well and truly showing. Help an Exeter girl preserve her deepest secret – that she’s not a natural blonde.

5. A loyalty card for the library that guarantees you a seat

If only.

6. A TP Wednesday ticket

The holy grail – the nirvana of Exeter nights out: a (reasonably priced) TP ticket. You may have thought this would come well under budget being just £2.80, but how wrong you’d be – lest we forget the time someone tried to resell a TP ticket for £80.

7. Cillit Bang

Behind every tidy house is one procrastinating student – one who will literally do anything to avoid their 3,000 word essay, one who invited friends/siblings to stay and suddenly realised that the hoover had not been taken out of the weird, dingy cupboard since they moved in. Deciding to treat their guests to a mould-free shower, why not help make that dream come true with some truly cracking cleaning products – no Aldi knockoffs, just the true, branded Cillit Bang.

8. A lift back home

Almost as big as the divide between Montagues and Capulets: the split between students who drive and those who are relying on public transport. All we wanted was to get back home to the family, to be cooked food and not have to fight over who missed bin day. But alas, the rail strikes and snowy roads have decided it’s not to be. Whilst standing in solidarity with the strikers, we’re still wishing for our homecoming dreams to come true – meaning we’re calling our parents begging them to come and pick us up.

9. Pregnancy pillow

A rouge one for sure, but life changing. It’s like having someone to sleep on/snuggle with but one who doesn’t snore, talk in their sleep, breath heavily, or move – ideal. Honestly, if everyone had one of these, I bet there would be far, far fewer one night stands, and truly that’s the best gift: the promise of fewer bad ideas…

Related stories recommended by this writer:

The anxiety diaries: Exeter Christmas markets

The twelve days of Christmas menus from Exeter campus’ own

Avo toast, Batty Bingo, Circuit Laundry: The definitive A-Z of Exeter student life