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How to have a very merry Flatmas…

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Forgive us for writing about this already… but let’s face it, Christmas is around the corner. The Autumn leaves have fallen, Christmas adverts are in full swing and office chat across the UK has turned to this year’s plans for the Xmas party. So with all that in mind, it might just be time to start thinking about your Christmas preparations at home...

December can be a great time in a flatshare – think of all the opportunities for drinking and stuffing yourselves with mince pies/cheese... Unfortunately, the fun usually stops right when it’s getting good as everyone heads home to their family for the Christmas week. Not to worry though – we’ve created a detailed guide on how to squeeze in as much festive flatshare fun as you can before you all go your separate ways!

1. Decorate your flat...

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Decorating the flat is an essential part of a very merry Flatmas. The December separation means that operation “decoration” can totally start in November, if you like... Now is the time to be going on group hauls and picking up everything – we’re talking tinsel, mistletoe, wreaths, baubles, fairy lights. If it screams Christmas, you’re buying it.

Then the second the clock strikes midnight on December 1st you’re free to transform your flat into a winter wonderland that would rival the Grotto of the big man himself. Hang decorations from the lights, doorways, staircases... leave nowhere untouched!

The decorating sesh must of course be accompanied by Chrimbo music – it needs to be a multi-sensory festive experience! So dust off Mariah and Bublé, and get those merry tunes blaring. Note: it’s also a requirement that you continue to play these songs on repeat for the rest of the month... otherwise did you even Flatmas?!

At this point, the place will be beginning to look and sound a lot like Christmas, but you can’t stop there – it needs to smell like Christmas. It doesn’t matter whether you’re fanatical about fir or a cinnamon junky, there are hundreds of festive room sprays and candles that you can pick up to get your flat smelling like the North Pole.

And the final touch? A christmas tree, obvs. Make a day of it with a house outing to the local garden centre where you can personally pick out the perfect pine that gets to sit in your flat, hopelessly shedding its needles for the duration of December. If the thought of all that hoovering is a big turn off, check out our guide to alternative faux trees instead.

2. Buy matching christmas clothing…

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During such an extravagant time, decorating the flat just isn’t enough – you need to decorate yourselves too. Sure, the Christmas jumper is a classic, but why not take it up a notch this year by investing in matching reindeer slippers, or elf onesies for you and your flatmates? Such garments are not only the epitome of “cool”, but extremely comfy and will defo keep you warm during the long winter nights (when you CBA paying for the heating bill…). For optimum use of your Flatmas garms, snuggle up in them on the sofa in front of a Christmas movie: Home Alone, Love Actually or The Grinch all work well...

3. Do flat secret santa

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Because what better way to get in the Christmas spirit and show your flatmates that you love them than with a ridiculously cheap novelty gift? Call a flat meeting ASAP to pick names out of a hat and decide who’s buying for who. There shouldn’t be too much awkwardness in deciding what to get them – unlike the office secret santa, you actually know these people well. For cheap, novelty gifts head to the wonderful world of Poundland. Or if you want be a tad more upmarket, take a peek at our blog on non crap Secret Santa gifts for a fiver or under. If you can handle the suspense, save opening your anonymous gifts until the big flatmas dinner…

4. Go on festive trips out

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The Christmas tree hunt is only a taster of the exciting trips you and your flatmates can go on during December. Numerous light “switch ons” are already happening throughout the country, so find your nearest and drag your flatmates along now for some festive fun. Who knows – you may even be lucky enough to see a Z-lister push the button!

Of course, come December there will be a whole host of Christmas markets and winter wonderlands across the UK. You can’t spend all your free time watching movies, so wrap up warm and brave the ice rink with your flatmates by your side. Don’t worry if you need some dutch courage - we won’t tell anyone about that sneaky flask of brandy! There’ll be plenty of festive food stalls, so once you’ve got your adrenaline fix, you can all enjoy a much needed glass (or two!) of mulled wine and a hearty German bratwurst . Such places tend to close early, but you can still take flatmas trips late into the night thanks to the array of wintery pop-up bars and alpine themed nightclubs that are open in the UK’s cities at this time of year.

5. Cook an Xmas meal

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This is what it’s all been leading up to: the Christmas dinner. This is key to the Flatmas experience, and it must be left as close to the 25th as possible for authenticity. It requires another flat trip out, to the supermarket this time, where you’ll quickly discover that no one can agree on what vegetables to get (to sprout or not to sprout?), causing the food shop to descend into chaos. As long as you manage to get the basics (turkey is a good place to start) you should be okay…

To ensure the flat domestic doesn’t continue back at home, divide up the work. There’s always one flatmate that’s better at cooking (and knows it)... so leave them to do what they do best, whilst you conjure up some Christmas cocktails. A festive sangria of prosecco, cider, cranberries, chopped apples and rosemary sprigs is sure to go down well. For the one flatmate that’s even incompetent at making drinks…. delegate them the table decorating, using your finest IKEA crockery and tacky crackers.

Nothing really says Christmas dinner like festive games. ‘Pits and Peaks’’ is a classic for this time of year as it gives you all a chance to share your highs and lows of 2018. Oh and don’t forget, this is also the time to reveal your secret santa pressies. Whatever you do, just make sure the flatmas meal is a merry occasion – it’s your last chance to have fun all together before 24hrs (or more) with the family………

Image credits: Spencer Imbrock

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