Ella Robson studied a postgraduate degree at our School of Media and graduated in 2014 with a BA (Hons) in Media and Communication.

Christmas in Birmingham may seem crazy and hectic if you venture anywhere near the Bullring shopping centre! Experiencing the festive season in a new location – especially one as big as Birmingham – was definitely an eye-opener for me as a first year student. Three years later, I’m studying for my Master’s and I consider myself something of a Christmas pro, mainly as I’ve survived the city’s Frankfurt Christmas Market for three consecutive years!

Birmingham has a lot to offer at Christmas time, and celebrating Christmas, or simply taking in the festive atmosphere, is a lot of fun. Whether you decide to attend one of the many events happening across the city or to celebrate in your own quirky way, there’s plenty to do.

I get really excited during the festive season as it’s the perfect excuse to sing Christmas songs and celebrate with your friends. When I’m in Birmingham I either attend events or organise my own festive activities. Here are my top festive suggestions for students:

Christmas events in Birmingham:

  1. Frankfurt Christmas Market – the market is great for shopping, eating, watching live music and getting into the festive spirit! The market is open until 22 December, so be sure to check it out!
  2. Christmas carol service – The University’s annual service takes place at Birmingham Cathedral on 10 December.
  3. Digmas – Digbeth’s alternative Christmas is a packed event hosted by the Custard Factory, with Santa, reindeer, street food and much more. Takes place on 5 December.
  4. Santa Run at Brindleyplace – The annual Santa Run returns to Brindleyplace on Saturday 5 December – join in or come and watch as countless Santas raise money for charity!

A do-it-yourself student Christmas:

  1. Cook festive food – Food is one of the best parts of Christmas so why not gather your fellow students and flatmates together to make a Christmas feast? You could bake cookies or build a gingerbread house. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could even cook a festive roast!
  2. Decorate your flat – Tinsel and Christmas lights are great for getting you in the festive spirit. There are plenty of shops in the city centre that sell cheap, fun decorations.
  3. Get ‘Christmas crafty’ – If you don’t want to spend money on decorations you could always make your own! Get creative, make decorations or Christmas cards, and listen to your favourite festive tunes while doing so!
  4. Have a Christmas ‘movie marathon’ – Once you’ve eaten all the food you baked earlier, sit down and watch some festive films.
  5. Secret Santa – A great way to celebrate Christmas with your friends is to buy (or make) each other presents! Set a price limit and have fun finding the coolest presents for your friends.

Whether you choose to celebrate the festive season or not, be sure to take a rest and enjoy yourself during the holidays! December in Birmingham is packed with many great events, so make sure you spend time with your friends and celebrate the end of the first semester – although save a bit of time to work on your assignments as well!

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