As I sit here in my living room, surrounded by candles, listening to Christmas music and sipping mulled wine, I can’t help but think that in the wise words of Andy Williams, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Especially for university students, Christmas is synonymous with family reunification. Whether family or not, coming home for Christmas signifies being reunited with those you haven’t been able to see during term time. It’s about being surrounded by loved ones, young and old, old and new.

It is also of course synonymous with food, and lots of it. Mince Pies, turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, mulled wine, sherry, and champagne. It’s about filling up so much on home cooked food  that facing the next term without it seems much less of a problem.

Finally it’s about fun and games. What better way to spend a Christmas afternoon than getting together with your family and playing a good board game. Games should be a staple part of any Christmas, they bring moody teenagers out of the depths of their rooms and busy dads away from their laptops and Blackberrys.

But aside from the parties and games, the present giving, the reunions and the endless decorations, the best thing about Christmas for me, is something less material, less obvious but something that is everywhere and affects everyone, something that I am going to call “festiveness”. By this I mean the, merriment, joyfulness, jubilation and any other happy word to describe the ‘Christmas’ feeling. The average level of happiness is increased at Christmas, where the phrase “it’s Christmas” is used to justify anything and everything from having an extra mince pie to opening that fifth bottle of wine.

And it is this that I love most about Christmas, the general understanding that all worries are put aside for a few days, and all disputes are solved simply by saying “no arguing, its Christmas”. It is a time where generosity is both expressed and rewarded, where the best in everyone comes out and the worst in everyone is never seen, and where for just a day nothing else matters apart from spending time with the ones you love.

On behalf of everyone at Label and LSU Media, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Ella Stanbrook


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