Gauri Kashyap Written by

LLM Intellectual Property Law

Before moving to Bournemouth, my idea of Christmas was based on movies and books. Indian Christmas is different- a week of holidays, adorable little stars hanging outside every home, and giant Christmas trees in shopping malls. The world in my books and films and the world around me were so far apart, I could have only assumed that the former had taken some creative license to embellish how wonderful an English Christmas was.

The festivities began long before I expected it to. Around the second week of November the town centre was bustling with wonderful decorations being put up everywhere. Menus in cafes were changing, store décor was getting festive updates, coffee mugs had reindeers on them, and (as the books promise), a delicate scent of Christmas-y cinnamon was in the air.

The truly wondrous ‘Bournemouth Christmas Wonderland’ was set up in Lower Gardens in the city. The whole park was lit up with ornamented trees, and extravagant installations and fireworks. The Bournemouth Christmas market to me was the ultimate dreamland- hot chocolate, mouth-watering pizzas, fudge and wonderful art and crafts. The British winter chill is made bearable with warm beverages and freshly made churros.

The highlight of Christmas and winter for me so far has been the ice-skating rinks. Stumbling, falling and partially zooming across the ice was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Surely, Christmas is incomplete without a few bruises to remember ice skating by. ResLifeBU, a University organisation planned a student only skating event, to make it affordable for everyone on a student budget.

At BU, teams like ResLifeBU and SUBU (Student Union Bournemouth University) plan trips to Christmas Markets in Winchester and Bath. They even bring the festive cheer to the campus by setting up Christmas markets on the campus. These markets are amazing places to find local artists, delicious mulled wine, and unique Christmas décor.

Christmas themed installations against the beautiful Bournemouth Big Wheel

It must be said that it is far too easy to get caught in the commercial, consumerist aspect of this time of the year, with stores screaming discounts and Black Friday being irresistible. But when calmly planned, I found it the perfect time to think of my family and friends, and to walk from store to store looking for things that reminded me of them.

While Christmas is not here yet, the Christmas cheer sure is. I cannot wait to decorate my first Christmas tree, hang the wreath on my door and pick out special gifts for my new found family of friends at the University. Here’s to a winter of love and warmth!