Christmas is always a hectic time of year; full of last minute plans and the usual mad rush to find the perfect gift. This year is no different, and while we’re all now familiar with the way the pandemic can cause a sudden disruption to our plans, it doesn’t make it any easier.
But don’t panic! If you’ve found yourself having to change your Christmas plans and are now staying in Manchester this Holiday season, there are plenty of festive events to keep you in the spirit.
- Christmas at HOME
- Christmas at Dunham Massey
- The Hallé – The Snowman & Hairy Maclary at Bridgewater Hall
- Now That’s What I Call Christmas at Bridgewater Hall
- Lightopia at Heaton Park
- Glow at RHS Bridgewater
- Secret Hidden Christmas Festival
- The International Society’s ‘Christmas and New Year get together’
- Christmas Carol Programme at Refuge
Ideas for Christmas day
Making sure you have a strong support network around you this year will help make all the difference. Reach out to your mates who you know are also staying in the city – you could plan a friends-Christmas! Divide up the cooking responsibilities, create the ideal Christmas film marathon, organise a secret santa and make sure you’ve stocked up on the festive chocolates. While it may not be what you originally planned, it could easily become a Christmas to remember!
If you want a real ‘blast from the (COVID) past’, why not organise a zoom quiz with your friends and family? While they definitely lost their novelty 2 or 3 lockdowns ago, it’s a great excuse to connect with all your family at once – no matter where they are in the world.
Alternatively, head to the Manchester Craft and Design Centre on Saturday 18 December for their Printed Christmas Cards workshop to get creative and create the perfect set of cards to send to your loved ones.
If you’re an international student, read our Student Content Ambassador Malaika’s tips for feeling at home in Manchester this December.
This time of year is all about giving, and if you’re looking for ways to connect with the local community while you’re in the city this Christmas, why not consider volunteering some time to help spread the festive spirit. It would also be the perfect opportunity for you to get out and about meeting new people, spending your time on something worthwhile and feeling good about yourself.
Even if you don’t feel able to physically go out due to COVID restrictions there are opportunities you can get involved in from the safety of your home. Visit the Christmas Volunteering page or the Volunteer Hub for more details on how you can get involved.
You’re not alone this Christmas: we’re here to support you year-round, both on and off campus. Whether you need IT help or mental health support, you can find the details of where to find it here.You can also access trained counselors by calling the Health Assured 24/7 helpline on 0800 028 3766. This phone line is available in 240 languages via a translation service.