Christmas 

There’s nothing better than the soft smell of cinnamon, and a subtle sweet scent of oranges to embrace you; or hot chocolate steam in a red and white mug to warm you up. How about dazzling coloured lights to brighten up dark skies and cold nights? Christmas is by far the holiday to evoke the most pleasure to your senses, from the smells to the tastes, it has it all.

Not only is the day itself magical, but the build-up too. Bublé, Wham, Mariah; Christmas music is sure to put a spring in your step like no other music can. Such music is reserved only for this limited and temporary occasion, which makes it all the more exciting when you hear Bublé’s smooth voice letting you know Christmas has started.

Though one of the holiest days for religious people, Christmas can be celebrated by the non-religious community too, making it one of the most widely loved festivals. From huddling around the tree and putting up those special decorations, or a collaborative effort on this year’s special Christmas chutney; when 25 December rolls around, you know it’s all about family time. The unique thing about Christmas is that every family does it slightly differently, however one of the best elements is the main family meal that you get with no other holiday. A golden turkey on the table, surrounded by crispy potatoes and all the sides you could ever dream of. The Christmas meal is the dinner of kings, made better by having your nearest and dearest tucking into the same tasty treats. The paper hats, the terrible jokes, and the poor Christmas cracker prizes are all essential components to a successful Christmas dinner.

Christmas provides the opportunity to show appreciation for friends and family no matter what gift, big or small. To summarise, there is simply no other festival which causes as much excitement, anticipation, and happiness as Christmas does.

Leia Butler

Halloween 

Halloween can feel like an underappreciated holiday; a gimmick, a costume to be bought and thrown away in the looming wake of Christmas. But this is underselling it: disguise is the heart of Halloween, and disguise is freedom! Show off your month-in-the-works masterpiece of a costume, or slap on some fake blood and hit the town. For one night a year, you can be a ghost, a superhero, a princess, an airline pilot, or an axe murderer: if you forgot to prepare (let’s be honest, we all did), then bust out the eyeliner and give yourself some cat whiskers. Everyone looks the same in the dark, anyway.

This fun is all without the slow sense of dread that has started to surround the family Christmas. It creeps along like a shambling corpse all through December: the shopping, the cooking, the enormous fight over the washing-up. ‘Don’t talk to me about Christmas’ you say, ‘not yet!’, but you know it’s coming. You can already hear Mariah Carey in the distance, circling like a festive shark.

This sort of stress can put you off a holiday. You certainly don’t have to invite your weird uncle to your Halloween party, or make up lies about your love life and your studies. In fact, All Hallows’ Eve is only as stressful as you make it; whether you’re a party animal or ghost at the feast, there’s a way to get into the spirit of the season. If parties aren’t your thing, you’re free to loaf out with some classic horror and a pizza. If other human beings aren’t your thing, then there’s nothing more seasonal than turning all the lights off and pretending to children that the house is long abandoned. Halloween is all about you, with or without the ridiculous costume.

Toby Marquis


Follow Concrete on Twitter to stay up to date