Door 21: Your heart-warming festive messages

This year, Secret Santa was inundated with anonymous messages to and from OU Students. We've picked some of our favourites to share with everyone.

Today, over 100 anonymous messages are being delivered to OU Students by our Secret Santa.

 We've been touched by the thoughtfulness and wisdom shown by many of your responses, and at times the humor and creativity too.

We received Christmas wishes in Spanish, Italian, Welsh, Irish, Gaelic, Dutch, German and Afrikaans and thoroughly enjoyed hearing your favourite quotes.

If you entered the scheme, your message will be winging it's way to you as we speak!

However, if you can't get enough of the festive spirit, or didn't manage to enter this year, here are some of our favourites for all to see:

You Matter

"Remember that you are never alone. There is someone out there who cares about you. Although it's hard, reach out for help no matter how many times you are turned away. Someone will care and help. I hope this little reminder will help you know that you matter.
Merry Christmas!"

"In case no one told you today; you are loved. Adored. Admired and above all, wanted. 2021 has been rough for most, but the days will get better. I'm so proud of you. You are enough."

"I hope the holidays are in your favour. Blessed be, precious soul. – F."

"In a world of rapidly changing circumstances, be proud of your achievements. Enjoy some time for yourself over the festive season, even an hour of relaxation
will help your personal wellbeing. I wish you good luck with your studies and hope you achieve all your goals."

Far-Away Festivities

"Felices Fiestas y que se cumplan tus sueños en 2022!
(Merry Christmas and that your dreams come true in 2022 – Spanish)."

"Nadolig Llawen – Merry Christmas (Welsh)! To all the wonderful people I have met through the Open University so far! Looking forward to meeting a lot more of you in 2022. Loves to you all xxx"

"Nollaig Shona duit! (Merry Christmas in Irish!)
I hope you enjoy a restful,loving and joyous festive season. Know that you are doing great in your studies, and you will get there! You should be so proud of yourself. For now, take time to rest and spend time with loved ones."

"Frohe Weihnachten!
Merry Christmas! (German)"

"Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ùr!  
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (Scottish Gaelic)"

Study Support

"Hi, I hope your studies are going really well, you are enjoying your study and you are achieving all your goals. Have a very happy christmas and new year. Stay safe and well, blessings to you, Claire"

"Keep going with your studies, you are going to smash it! And take yourself on a date once a week, every week. Just you, alone for two hours – go for a walk in nature, listen to a podcast, visit a gallery, go to the theatre – do something out of your comfort zone. It could be somewhere free, it doesn’t need to cost money, but it does have to be your own time with no distractions. I have found this brilliant for my mental health. Have an amazing year. Xx"

"Seasons Greetings!
My study tips for you are:
Use highlighters
Create Mindmaps
Use sticky notes"

"Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life.  Tip-toe if you must, but take the step," and achieve your goals whilst celebrating this festive season.  Have a Happy Christmas and a brilliant New Year!!!!!"

"Happy Christmas!!! …and look at you, ticking off those assignments, one by one! Enjoy a well-deserved break and find some time to slow down, breathe, and find something that feeds your beautiful soul. And finally, a scholarly joke (apologies in advance)
Q: What do you call Santa’s helpers? A: Subordinate Clauses."

Wholesome and Heartfelt

"Merry Christmas! Feliz Natal! Happy Holidays!
Wishing you a peaceful and joyful time filled with smiles, love and peace.
Something to make you smile going into 2022:
It's easy to have the courage of a lion, they're gigantic and have claws and no natural predators.
Have the courage of a Guinea Pig – a two-pound meat potato with zero offensive or defensive abilities, that will scream at an ape 100 times its size if their lettuce is too wilted. ;-P May 2022 be a great year for you!!"

"If you are currently studying, I hope your module/s is/are going well – I am struggling a little at the moment so if you are too, don't worry. A quote I always think about when I'm struggling is “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” which is from Harry Potter. When I'm feeling down, I always remind myself that it is okay to feel like that but I also have to be the one to change things!

Be kind to yourself; let yourself sleep in a little one day when you have nothing to do. Spend a little longer in the shower one day and really pamper yourself with a hair mask/deep condition/whatever you like to do. Do something you enjoy and take a little time off of study!

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Christy xx"

Reindeer-Ready Recommendations

"Here's my essential Christmas films list:

It’s a Wonderful Life
Die Hard
Home Alone
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Miracle on 34th Street
Polar Express
The Santa Clause
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Love Actually
The Grinch
White Christmas
The Snowman
A Boy Called Christmas
All the Harry Potter films."

"I am someone who loves it when someone recommends their favourite things for me to try. So here are mine, give them a go if you want to!

A book I recommend: The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J. Harris
A band I recommend: Oh Wonder
A film I recommend: The Blind Side
A game I recommend (computer): Twelve Minutes"

"In case you need some festive music to get you in the mood here are my top 10 alternative Christmas/New Year songs:

01. "Graveyard of the Outcast Dead" – Frank Turner
02. "River" – Joni Mitchell
03. "New Year's Eve" – Tom Waits
04. "A Willie Nice Christmas" – Kacey Musgraves featuring. Willie Nelson and Trigger
05. "In The Bleak Midwinter" – Ed Harcourt
06. "Empty Hearts" – Josh Ritter
07. "Blue Christmas" – Bright Eyes
08. "Silent Night" – Damien Rice
09. "Skynyrd Family" – Lynyrd Skynyrd
10. "Occom's Carol (O Sight of Anguish)" – Tim Eriksen

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 Tom :-)"

"This year I read many books, however there's only two I would 100% recommend.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The House by the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Maybe you'll enjoy them as well!"

And finally, from all of us on the Editorial Team at The Hoot –

Merry Christmas OU students! You've been an inspiration to us all throughout 2021 and we can't wait to see what news you bring us in 2022. 

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Gabby Willis

Gabby is a former member of the Students Association staff team.

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