Written by Emily Cockbain, one of our Brand Ambassadors.
Here's how to throw the ultimate Christmas dinner as a student. From decor to trimmings, we've got you covered.
It can be easy to host a cheap and cheerful Christmas party as a student (whilst still having all the trimmings).
Christmas dinners in student homes are infamous for their kitchen mishaps and questionable results. So, we’ve done our research and put together the ultimate guide for throwing your own student Christmas dinner party. These tips take a little more preparation than your usual student night pres, but they’re 100% worth it for the festive fun.
Feed the family
This one‘s important; you can’t have Christmas dinner without any food. We’ve crunched the numbers and compared prices across popular UK supermarkets to find the most student-friendly costs for your party.
When shopping for Christmas dinner to feed 4-6 people, we’ve got you covered. Complete with a turkey, vegetables, roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, stuffing, pigs in blankets, and a dessert; the results are as follows.
1. Aldi wins the top spot at £24.63
2. Closely followed by Lidl, at £24.66
3. Third cheapest is Asda at £25.06
4. And finally, Tesco with £27.20 (don’t forget your Clubcard!)
At these stores, you’ll only spend around £5 per person on your Christmas dinner. Plus, it’s filling and (relatively) easy to make, as most items are already prepared (you’re welcome).
Asda’s pork, sage and onion stuffing balls (£1.97) are an essential side to your main, as are Tesco’s pigs in blankets (£2.50). For a dessert, you can’t go wrong with this Belgian chocolate yule log (£3.29) from Aldi.
Getting a fresh turkey will be difficult until a week before Christmas, but frozen ones do the job just as well. Just remember to take it out the freezer a few days before the meal. (No one wants to have to get the hairdryer out).
For vegan options, most supermarkets have an extensive range this year (yay!).
Lidl has the best value for money on their veggie and vegan options. These lentil, red pepper and almond nut roasts (£2.49) look especially delicious, or try Asda’s mushroom and vegan cheese wellington (£3).
To add to the festivities, why not buy some Christmas crackers and prosecco (like this organic one from Aldi, £7.49) for the table? The fighting over cracker prizes will provide extra entertainment.
Choose your booze
Would we be truly British if we didn’t use Christmas as an excuse to get out the drinks? Everyone has their favourite holiday tipple. Whether it be Buck’s Fizz, flavoured spirits (such as this gold flake blackberry gin liqueur from Aldi, £13.99), a good old pint, or a delicious hot chocolate for those who don’t drink. Not only are these enjoyable to drink, but they can be fun to make together – especially cocktails.
You could try buying some key ingredients (like your favourite spirit and eggs, milk, or coffee) and splitting the cost with your flatmates - just to have a change from cheap vodka and cordial.
If you grab a bottle of spirit to share, as well as a few drinks, this comes to around £5 per person when splitting the cost between 5 people.
You already know the rules – but what should you actually buy for your flatmates? Before you do anything, make sure you set a budget amongst yourselves.
The more personal the better – try to buy a gift that relates to an inside joke (if you have one) and will make them laugh. But, if you don’t know them very well, this can be an opportunity to get to know them better.
Here are some ideas for Secret Santa gifts that they won’t throw away:
• Kitchen utensils (you definitely have a flatmate that doesn’t own a sieve)
• LED lights/fairy lights: a staple in every student bedroom
• A photo book. For final years, this is the perfect way to put all your uni memories together. Freeprints allows you to create a photo-book and pay only for delivery!
• Homemade hangover kit. Include paracetamols, vitamins, a water bottle, and a note to remind them that what they did the previous night wasn’t that embarrassing
• Ticket to an event. Experiences are often better than objects. You could go to the cinema or Christmas markets together, depending on how close to the big day you exchange gifts
Fancy a game?
With dinner and gifts out of the way, you might want to play some classic Christmas games like charades, a Christmas quiz, or cards. Pssst, in typical student fashion, you can also turn these into drinking games!
Alternatively, play beer pong using the Christmas cocktails you previously made, or try Christmas-themed Pictionary. Our favourite is to drink along with a Hallmark Christmas film – for example, take a shot every time Buddy says the word ‘candy’ in Elf.
Christmas karaoke is always a banger. All you need is a speaker, lyric videos on YouTube and a microphone such as this one (£10) from B&M. Your neighbours will be complaining in no time.
Achieving the Christmas aesthetic
You might not be able to afford a tree, but you can still bring the Christmas vibe into your uni home. If you want to do a fun activity together, try making handmade snowflakes, paper chains, and paintings. For the less creative of us, it is easy to buy cheap lights and bunting from shops such as Home Bargains or Amazon.
To take it a step further – especially if you loved Halloween – why not host another fancy-dress party? Not only is this fun, but you can get some incredible photos for the memories (and to post on Instagram).
Here are our ideas for costumes that aren’t the classic Santa and Rudolph:
- The Grinch
- Cindy Lou Who from How The Grinch Stole Christmas
- Jack Skellington and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Harry and Marv from Home Alone
- Gizmo from Gremlins
- Elsa from Frozen
- John McClane from Die Hard
Last Minute Parties
Did you really just read all of that even though your party’s tonight? Don’t worry, all hope is not lost.
You won’t have time to cook a traditional Christmas dinner, but you can still throw some party food in the oven and lay out a good buffet.
Iceland’s famous range has some bangers this year including lasagne bites (£3.50), pigs in blankets (£2.29), Greggs festive bakes (£2.25), and Baileys macarons (£4). Stick on some fairy lights and a Christmas playlist, and you’re good to go!
Students do it like no one else, and things should be no different when it comes to Christmas. If you host an ultimate Christmas dinner party, make sure to post plenty of photos/make a TikTok and tag us @unihomes! If you don’t have the time to plan, or simply can’t be bothered, there’s always the Toby Carvery round the corner.
Here's how the supermarkets measure up for your Christmas dinner plans 👇
UniHomes promotes responsible drinking. Promoted alcohol products are for those 18+ only.