6 Thrifty Ways to Celebrate Christmas With Your Broke AF Friends

Lavish Christmas dinners might be expensive but Christmas light looking's not.

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Getting into the festive spirit can be tricky when you’re a uni student. Not only are you recovering from a gruelling semester of study, but your bank account is also recovering from the cost of that semester (textbooks, endless cups of coffee, the occasional cheeky acai bowl).

A crippling budget doesn’t have to put a dampener on the festive spirit though. Here are six ways you can celebrate Christmas when your squad is a bunch of broke AF uni students.  

#1 Gingerbread Decorating Party

A gingerbread decorating party is a great way to kick-off the holiday season. And, most importantly, you can do it without breaking the bank. Simply invite the gang over, bake a batch of gingerbread cookies, and let the creativity flow.

You’ll have a lot of fun and can nosh on your creations as you go (after taking some super aesthetic Instagrams, of course).

#2 Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt 

Just because you’re broke AF doesn’t mean you have to become a total Scrooge. You can still get into the festive cheer by participating in the cheapest holiday tradition there is – a Christmas lights scavenger hunt.

Split your squad into two groups and drive around town with a checklist of common Christmas decorations (everything from an inflatable snowman to all eight of Santa’s reindeer). Once you find something on the list, take a selfie with it and post it to your group chat.

As you race through the scavenger hunt, it will be impossible not to regain a sense of childlike wonder for Christmas.

#3 Awkward Photos With Santa

Awkward photos with Santa are a time-honoured Christmas tradition. So, to help keep this tradition alive, drag your friends down to the local shopping centre and challenge them to create the most awkward photos possible.

This activity isn’t just great for shits and giggles. It’s also the perfect way to get into the festive spirit when you’re a poor uni student. All you need to do is put on an ugly seasonal sweater and flash your cheesiest grin. Don’t be embarrassed, the cringe-worthy photos will make for great memories.

#4 Dollar Store Secret Santa

Thinking of the perfect gift is hard enough, but paying for it on a student budget can be even harder. Take the pressure off gift-giving this year by enlisting your friends in a game of Dollar Store Secret Santa.

The rules are simple. Everyone buys a single gift from their local dollar store (with extra kudos given for weird and wonderful items). They then wrap these gifts and bring them to the next gathering. Now it’s time to let the chaos begin!

Going around a circle, each person chooses to either open a new gift or steal one that someone else has already opened. It won’t take long before your squad devolves into a re-enactment of the Hunger Games, as everyone scrambles to steal the best present for themselves. There’s bound to be a whole lot of laughs, jeers, and festive fun – all while on a budget.          

#5 Festive Drinking Games

Still looking to spice up your squad’s Christmas celebrations? Try adding some festive drinking games into the mix.

There are a million of them to choose from. Just pick one and start chugging (responsibly, of course)! The alcohol will help keep your festive spirits alive. Plus, the drunker you get, the less you’ll have the worry about your ever-dwindling bank account.

#6 Christmas Movie Marathon

Finish off the festive celebrations with a classic movie marathon

There’s nothing like curling up on the couch and watching your favourite Christmas movies with the squad. Together, you can laugh at the absurdity of The Santa Clause, cheer for Kevin’s triumph in Home Alone, and cry over the wholesomeness of The Polar Express.   

So, put on a holiday movie, get out some festive adult beverages (marshmallow vodka anyone?), and surrender yourself to the Christmas vibes. You may be a broke AF uni student, but at least you’ll be rich in festive spirit.

(Lead image: New Girl/FOX)