As Oxford begins adorning its buildings with lights, and the Christmas markets start to line Broad Street, the colleges also begin to take advantage of the budding festive atmosphere. ‘Oxmas’, on the 25th November, is a month-early Christmas tradition with festivities until the end of 8th week when most Brasenose students head off on their Winter vacations.
Overnight the JCR (student common room) is transformed into a festive wonderland - Christmas elves in the form of the student committee must have worked their magic - and with the Christmas tree adorned with baubles gifted from other colleges, it seems the Christmas spirit has taken the University by storm! A nearly-Midnight Mass is held in the Brasenose Chapel, with carols and Christmas jumpers to kick off the festive season.
Christmas is a time for family, and the same can be said for Oxmas too, as we celebrate with our college families and the wider Brasenostril family. On Oxmas Eve this year, the Asher and Adam (two fourth year students) dynasty gifted their "great-grandchildren" - and the whole of College - to rounds of rousing carols, bringing us out in our pyjamas to enjoy a well-deserved liquid Christmas dinner at the pub with great-great-grandmother recently graduated Emily. Apparently even after five years of Oxmas, the allure of a Christmas at Brasenose for her, remains as compelling as it is does to us freshers!
Of course, it isn’t Oxmas without presents. Secret Santas were planned weeks in advance and we took ours incredibly seriously, with names being mysteriously pinned onto our doors by Father Christmas’ top elf Harrison. We exchanged all sorts of gifts, from pink stethoscopes to some sought-after college stash. Excitement for the Oxmas formal was building and it didn’t disappoint as we gathered in the tinsel-adorned hall for a full Christmas dinner, with crackers and naturally some spontaneous carols (with some Mariah of course!)
We spent the last Wednesday of our first term with the whole Brasenose family in Oxford’s most beautiful venue, Freud, for our Oxmas party. After we indulged in the seemingly neverending flow of Zombies - Freud’s infamous cocktail - the night didn’t stop until the early hours. A live band and then the highly demanded silent disco kept us dancing, with both Christmas tunes and club classics aplenty - provided by our very own student DJs.
The last of the Oxmas celebrations gathered all the Brasenostrils in the hall for the Brasenose Christmas Panto, written by our 2nd year English students every year. They chose to tell a story of the disappearance of the universally beloved Hephaestus statue, which resides on Old Quad. The pantomime simultaneously celebrated and mocked highlights from the first term, including the ‘JZR cult’, and what future generations will know as the ‘squat versus sit’ debate of 2019.
This marked the end of term, with some preparing to be interview-helpers, and the rest heading home for some much-needed relaxation.
The Oxmas period was the best part of my first term at Brasenose, the festive decorations around college lifting our spirits and lovely college events bringing us all together- the perfect way to end a very hectic term!
Merry Ox… I mean Christmas – to all of you!
Jasmine de Braganca (1st Year French and German)