How to Combat Holiday Homesickness

Ah, the holiday season. A wonderful time to indulge in mulled wine, eat a bit too many sweets and pies, and spend time with family.

But what do you do if you’re away from your family for the holidays?

Not all of us have the money to travel home for the winter holiday break—international students like me know this feeling all too well—or even have a good family to go home to. So what do you do when the holiday homesickness strikes?

  1. Reach out to friends and loved ones

Your family doesn’t have an embargo on holiday celebrations. London is a vibrant city, full of diverse people celebrating all the winter holidays. Talk to  your friends, co-workers or anyone else that you enjoy spending time with and ask them to attend a holiday celebration happening in the city with you.

Saving money this holiday? Even just inviting them over for some homemade mulled wine (this recipe looks pretty simple) and board games can help beat away the blues.

  1. Take a solo trip

It seems counter-productive, but taking a trip on your own can be helpful to battle homesickness. Since you can’t be home, travel to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go! You’ll create new memories and will be so focused on travelling, you won’t have time to mope. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet others in similar situations—and there’s never a wrong time to make new friends.

  1. Make a new holiday tradition

Sure, nothing can beat those Christmas morning cinnamon pecan rolls that only your mom can make—wait, is that just me?—but you have the freedom make your own traditions. Check out one of the Christmas markets around London and enjoy some hot chocolate with friends, or have a Christmas Eve sleepover.

Maybe your parents make the perfect latkes, but making them with friends can become a fun new tradition for Hanukkah. It won’t be what you’ve always had, but you’ll make heartwarming memories that can bloom into new—maybe even better—traditions.

  1. Remember that you’re not alone

It can be disheartening to see Instagram stories full of families laughing and Christmas presents being opened, but remember that you’re far from being the only person in your situation. There are lots of reasons why people can’t go home for the holidays, and there’s nothing shameful about it. Take this time to relax, indulge in some tasty food, and be renewed for 2019.

Are you staying in Kingston for the holiday break? Share your plans in the comments!

The Christmas Spirit Comes to Southbank

If you’re looking to really get your Christmas spirit on this holiday season, then make your way to the Underbelly’s Christmas Market in Southbank, London.

The Underbelly is known for throwing exciting and fun events that bring in thousands of people each year, such as their Summer Holiday festival that takes place in the same Southbank venue over the summer.

Those of you who are properly Christmas obsessed will truly love everything this market has to offer: mulled wine, handmade items, delicious warm food, and even a Christmas themed ferris wheel. The Underbelly’s Christmas Market is one of the funnest–and certainly one of the cosiest– within London.

The market runs until 6 January, so there’s still plenty of time to make your way over and indulge in the Christmas spirit.

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Christmas in Kingston: Fun Events on a Budget

It’s almost that special time of the year! Christmas season is for magic, celebrations, gifts and festive events. Here’s a list of fun and affordable activities around Kingston University to get you in the Christmas spirit without breaking the bank.

  1. Christmas Lights Switch On and Christmas Market

Kingston’s Christmas Lights Switch On event is coming up this Thursday (15 November). The lights will be turning on at 6pm in Clarence Street, but you can enjoy live music and entertainment all around town throughout the day. The Christmas market will also open on the same day, so make sure to check that out–and don’t forget to visit Frangos to get a free portion of churros with any platter purchased.

  1. Frozen sing-along at Rose Theatre

Are you a Disney fan? Head to Rose Theatre on 17 December to watch Frozen in their main auditorium and sing along to all the songs! The event is only £8 and it’s probably aimed at kids, but aren’t students basically kids anyway?

The price of your ticket will help raise funds to support the Rose Theatre’s programme of drama, cultural and learning opportunities. This means you’ll get to sing along to a fun Disney film and do charity at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.

  1. University Christmas Carol Service

Looking for a more traditional event? A free Christian service will be happening at St. John the Evangelist Church on 5 December from 5:30pm. The service will include Bible readings, as well as music and free refreshments at the end of it, and will be open to everyone – Christian or not. This is actually a Kingston Uni event too, so you may spot some familiar faces there.

  1. Christmas at Kew

Although this event isn’t in Kingston, it’s easily accessible to students and definitely worth the short journey. Christmas at Kew will be happening at Kew Gardens from Thursday, 22 November to Saturday, 5 January 2019, and it’s bound to be a truly magical experience. For £16.50 (off-peak price) you can enjoy Christmas lights, 300 origami boats on a lake, and so much more!

Will you be attending any of these events, or are you going to any other fun Christmas events happening around Kingston? Let us know in the comments and share the festive fun!