It’s Sunday 10th December and I’ve just sat down on the sofa having put up the family Christmas tree. At the age of 21 the festive season seems to have lost some of the magic it once held for me, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get excited when I start to hear the Christmas classics on the radio. Today’s unusual blanketing of snow also helped to somewhat reignite the spark.While the tree here in Essex only went up today, I put up the one in the Brasenose JCR (that’s our common room) more than 3 weeks ago with the help of the wonderful Jasmine and Bethany (pictured). You may be wondering why we put up the tree so early. That’s because we were celebrating Oxmas, which is the University’s premature Christmas celebration held on 25th November as most of us are away from the city in our respective homes over the actual Christmas period.
Oxmas brings with it a strong set of traditions that I’ve enjoyed over my three years at Oxford. Brasenose Chapel hosted ‘nearly Midnight Mass’ on the 24th November, and a delightful carol service on the Sunday following Oxmas (which I like to call Oxing Day). During the final week of term, the buttery staff put on an amazing Christmas dinner (+ great veggie food!) complete with Christmas crackers and spontaneous carols.
On the Wednesday of that week all of the undergraduates got together for the annual Christmas Party held in swanky bar Freud. This year it was organised by the effortlessly professional Entz Rep Maria Ryan, and we spent the night enjoying drinks, a photobooth, two (!) live acts including a jazz band and some home-grown Brasenose DJ talent to take us into the early hours.
Term ended with the College pantomime, which each year is written by 2nd Year English students and stars students from across the year groups. This year the story followed Cinderella as she attended a Christmas Jumper-themed bop (College party). The panto was a great way to remember the events that had happened over the past year in College in front of an extremely packed Hall.
After all that activity and an incredibly busy first term, many of us headed home to rest before enjoying Christmas with family and friends. Others stayed at College to help as interview hosts, and about 50 of us went off on the annual Varsity ski trip. Safe to say that when we’re all (eventually) home, a good rest will be needed to prepare for the second term. In the meantime, I’ll be sitting in front of my tree watching Love Actually on repeat.
By Miles Overton (3rd Year Geographer)