Christmas Ball 2013 Review

The 10th annual Christmas Ball was the biggest and certainly sweetest one yet. Thanks to the hard work and creativity of the Mermaids, all the exciting plans (preview here!) became realities in yet another dazzling, Christmas-y crescendo last night.

After a brief, dress-related fiasco which was solved with the speedy and judicious placement of safety pins, we were ready to rock and roll. It seems everybody else in town was ready too – We took one look at the queue for the buses (evidence of the popularity of Christmas Ball!) and proceeded to the nearest taxi.

Kinkell was already packed when we arrived. We were promptly ushered through what can only be described as a chamber of splendor and magic. And by that I mean the free gingerbread cookies, complimentary Janetta’s ice cream and champagne, chocolate fountains, mulled wine, and also waffles with Nutella provided by the Fine Food Society. (Screams internally). I genuinely felt as if I was walking through Willy Wonka’s factory. As one ballgoer described it, “I feel a bit like Veruca Salt right now.” Seriously well done to the Ball Committee for starting off the night on such a fun and delicious note. Mermaids’ President David Patterson was bustling around the entrance like a real-life Willy Wonka, chatting to everyone and being generally charming. Ball Convenor Natalie English was somehow everywhere at all at once, microphone’d up (“Yes, we’ve run out of gingerbread over here”) and ensuring everything was running smoothly.

The decorations inside the venue were brilliant with fairy lights galore and lit-up Christmas trees everywhere. Santa’s Grotto was really impressive this year as well. The massive purple bridge provided a stellar spot for pictures (and people-watching). Everyone embraced the festive theme and dressed in smart suits and particularly sparkly dresses. Mercifully there were space heaters everywhere, which I’m sure everyone appreciated. (A major shoutout to the Kinkell security who speedily removed a jacket that some impossibly silly individual had placed on top of one!) The tables also had loads of sweets on them; I especially enjoyed the Wonka hats full of gummy bears. I think the issue for many this morning was not a hangover, but a sugar coma. Which I’ll happily take any day.

Getting a drink at the bar turned out to be fairly time-consuming which put a slight damper on things. To the girl in the green dress who interrupted me as I was ordering and elbowed me to the side, you’re getting coal in your stocking.

The musical lineup had the dance floor packed all night long. The Alleycats were fantastic as always, and Blueswater Collective, who have become a bona fide St Andrews favorite, got everyone dancing right away. Later, Danny Howard from Radio One absolutely rocked it; it was impossible to stay off the dance floor! I didn’t hear much Christmas music though, and I’d really been looking forward to belting out more cheesy festive tunes at the top of my lungs. Where was the classic Fairytale of New York? A suggestion for next year might be to remember to keep everyone’s favorite Christmas jingles on the playlist.

Overall though, Christmas Ball was the icing on the cake of a fantastic semester and a party-packed weekend. Bravo, Mermaids! Your hard work most definitely paid off, and once again you treated St Andrews to an incredible evening. Students at this university are so very lucky to be able to attend events like this, and it was the perfect last hurrah before we all buckled down this morning for revision week.

Well. I mean it is December now… so maybe I’ll procrastinate just a tiny little bit and watch Love Actually seven times instead…

Happy revision to all and to all a good night!