Monday, August 15

Tag: Christmas

5 Christmas destinations for a get-out-of-Egham-free-card
Lifestyle, News

5 Christmas destinations for a get-out-of-Egham-free-card

With the holidays knocking on our door, students are looking forward to having a month of well-deserved time off – sort of. Yes, there are the notorious essays and extra reading pilling up, but who wouldn’t jump faster than you can say “Merry Christmas” at these five destinations, fitting for a student budget? After two years of hibernating at home, the COVID restrictions finally eased, so let’s enjoy the freedom.  Budapest, Hungary  First stop, the Vorosmarty Square Christmas Market, sprinkled with Christmas lights from window to window, streetlamp to streetlamp. To get there, embark on one of Budapest’s famous trams, decked in gleaming fairy lights, and you will live out your childhood Polar Express dream. Whilst walking under a star-like blanket of ornaments and indulgi...
The 12 Days of Christmas Films
Features, Film & TV, News

The 12 Days of Christmas Films

With Christmas well and truly underway here are twelve festive favourites to get you in the spirit! Day 1  The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2005) While not technically a Christmas film, Narnia’s eternal winter and an appearance from Santa himself gives enough reason to consider this film a great way to ease you into the festive season. With a mixture of action, adventure, fantasy, and a sprinkle of Christmas, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy in this children’s classic. Day 2 How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) / The Grinch (2018) For the Scrooges among us, this one is ideal for you. If you’re not quite ready for the chaos of Christmas but equally don’t want to miss out on the fun, sit yourself down and give this a watch. You might just find the Gr...
Naughty or nice? Festive traditions and how to stay on the environmental ‘nice list’ this Christmas
Lifestyle, News

Naughty or nice? Festive traditions and how to stay on the environmental ‘nice list’ this Christmas

It’s festive season, folks! While this time of year can be a foggy mess of mince pies and mulled wine, turkey and family issues, the joyous cries of Cousin Bertha receiving her third Fenty lip-gloss are drowned out by the planet screaming at us to get our act together. The UK alone produces an additional 3 million tonnes of waste at Christmas and fills 100 million bin bags every time the season comes around. The problem here is the high levels of methane gas and CO2 emitted from landfills, which cause global warming. If that doesn’t make you stop and think, just one single tonne of landfill costs us £56 in taxes, which could definitely help pay for Auntie Jackie’s presents this year. These are some astonishing figures that may put a dampener on our yuletide cheer, but not to fear, w...
A Christmas Carol review: Does Christmas Actually Come from Books?
Culture & Literature, Literature

A Christmas Carol review: Does Christmas Actually Come from Books?

Every year, we belt it out to Mariah Carey and count down the days until we can justifiably put the tree up (November 1st, of course). But do we ever stop to consider when or how Christmas became Christmas? Of course, the holiday was originally a celebration of the birth of Christ, but Christmas as we know and love it has far more recent origins. You’ve most likely heard of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – maybe you studied the book at school, maybe you’ve watched The Muppet Christmas Carol so many times that you know the script by heart – but did you know that its publication in 1843 established a whole new literary genre: the Christmas book? Dickens’ fame and the advance in mass printing during the Industrial Revolution made the book a fast hit. Its cultural impact is still being...
6 Cosy Books to Curl Up with this Winter
Culture & Literature, Literature

6 Cosy Books to Curl Up with this Winter

Sure, the Christmas break normally brings with it a whole host of terrifying deadlines, but as the weather gets colder and the nights draw in, might we all be tempted escape the uni work and curl up with a steaming mug of tea (or, more realistically, a quadruple-espresso) and a damn good book? Here are six to get you started:  Burial Rites by Hannah Kent  Set against the stark backdrop of 19th century Iceland, Burial Rites is definitely a novel fit for winter. The book tells the story of Agnes Magnusdottir, the last person to be sentenced to death in Iceland. Tried and condemned for murder, Agnes is held in the house of a local family to await her execution, but as the months drag on and Agnes grows closer to the family, the truth about what really happened starts to be re...
The Commercialisation of Religion
News, Opinion

The Commercialisation of Religion

Many holidays, festivities and some of our daily activities that we celebrate more secularly are rooted in religious practices, but what does this mean for its traditional and cultural origins? “Nothing without intention, do nothing without intention”, says the lady in the bottom left corner at the start of Solange Knowles’ music video for ‘Almeda’. She rubs her hands with ‘Florida water’, used in spiritual traditions to purify and cleanse, next to several amethyst crystals symbolising trust and grace. The inclusion of such practices in a music video from a well-respected pop artist could be considered a bold move. For centuries, these traditions were demonised, and practitioners persecuted as organised religion took hold. But many young people seem to view their new ‘spiritual’ practices...
Taking Up Space (and Keeping it)
News, Opinion

Taking Up Space (and Keeping it)

When Roxane Gay said that “weight loss, thinness really, was a social currency”, she hit the unfortunate nail on the even more unfortunate head. It’s a currency I lack, along with roughly two billion overweight others. Weight loss is a powerful industry and has the world within its grip; if it’s not fat-free yoghurt, it’s the brand new meal-replacement smoothie. If it’s not that, it’s fatphobia. Fatphobia is described as a “fear of fatness”, which is shocking enough itself. It gets more disturbing when you realise that the vast majority of fat people have had experiences with it. Although there isn’t one specific cause of fatphobia, the media has played an important role in its rapid expansion. Quite frankly, the media is obsessed with weight. Rebel Wilson is on a diet? You can hear th...
Big Giving for RHUL’s Future Students
News

Big Giving for RHUL’s Future Students

On Tuesday 28 November, Royal Holloway launched the Big Give Christmas Challenge here. It is an annual event in the UK that was founded by RHUL Honorary Fellow Sir Alec Reed in 2007. The premise of the Big Give Challenge is simple: any online donations made within the allotted time will be matched in funding, essentially doubling the donation at no extra cost to the donator. It is the UK’s biggest online match funding campaign. The campaign opened nationally on Tuesday at 12pm and will go on until 12pm on Tuesday 5 December. RHUL is attempting to raise funds for scholarships and work placements to be given to students that require financial support to attend university or undergo important work experience. The official statement on RHUL’s website regarding scholarships tells us th...
Thoughts on Home
Features

Thoughts on Home

Rhiannon Ireland discusses what home means to her. As Christmas has just ended, a time where students traditionally return home to spend time with their family, an article about the concept of ‘home’ seemed an appropriate thing to write about. The traditional definition of home is usually where you and your parents or guardians live, in a house that you have lived in for many years, but to me, home does not have to be a physical place. Home can be the smell of a candle that used to burn in your bedroom and remembering how its shadow flickered against the wall. It can be buying the same advent calendar your mum bought you for years, and remembering how you used to decorate the house with your family whilst listening to the sound of old black-and-white movies in the background. To g...
Ho Ho Christmas Adverts
Culture & Literature, Film & TV

Ho Ho Christmas Adverts

Everyone has their favourite thing that they love about Christmas time. There is so much to choose from: the food, the films and the presents! However the thing that finally makes it feel like Christmas for me is the much anticipated Christmas commercials. So here are just a few of my favourites this year: ‘Santa Forgot’ from Alzheimer’s Research UK- Stephen Fry narrates the heartbreaking story of a Santa who has been struck by the currently incurable disease of Alhzehier’s and the little girl who wants to save him from its all too common fate. This could perhaps be the most important advert on our televisions this Christmas. It raises the message of how crucial funding and research is to the disease- and that maybe with it we can make it curable. I urge everyone to watch this advert. J...