Full of anticipation, photographer Thanh Nguyen and I made our way to discover what kind of Christmas decoration we would find in the various offices. However, since many people are still partly working from home, most offices don’t put up many christmas decorations – or anything at all. Taking a stroll through the central offices in the Erasmus Building, we were exposed to an entire ‘christmas decoration free zone’.

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The AIESEC office in the P-Building Image credit: Thanh Nguyen

Initially a bit disappointed, we then found what we were looking for: The probably most christmasy office on campus, the AIESEC office. Already when we entered the P-building we were greeted by the sound of Chris Rea’s Christmas classic Driving Home for Christmas. The people working in the office of AIESEC revealed that, after taking down their Halloween decoration, they decided to immediately decorate for Christmas: “At the beginning of November we were already playing Christmas songs and we decided to just hang up the decoration already. It’s here now for over a month”.

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The Marketing & Communications tree occupying some space in the Sanders building. Image credit: Thanh Nguyen

In the Sanders building we found some versions of Christmas trees standing around printers and office appliances. There we also encountered Master student Nejc Jančar (Media & Creative Industries, 26) who enjoys the decorations on campus. “I am a student so I can’t afford to decorate my home the way I would like to. But in general, I like to keep my decorations simple. I don’t like the American way of overdoing it.”.

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The Theil building tree, a bit smaller than in previous years. Image credit: Thanh Nguyen

In the main hall of the Theil building, next to the tall Christmas tree with classic red decorations, we met the student Celestine Deleuze (IBEB, 19) who explained, “I think it is really nice that the campus is decorated a bit. Otherwise, it is a bit sad in December”. If it was up to her, it would be even more decorated.

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The Polak building tree has been cut short. Image credit: Thanh Nguyen

Our tour continued to the Polak building where we found another tall tree next to the entrance. Student Maxime Decuypere (IBEB, 19) who’s favourite colour for Christmas decoration is red, told us, “The tree looks really nice, but the top is cut a bit weird”. Well, we’ll let the picture do the talking.

For Youssef Mouâmil (Law, 23) the decorations on campus are of little importance. “I am Muslim so I don’t celebrate Christmas and don’t decorate either. I actually don’t really notice the campus decorations. It can be nice to look at, but I personally can’t relate to it”, he explained.

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The 7th floor Bayle building controversy. Image credit: Thanh Nguyen

Our campus tour concluded on the seventh floor of the Bayle building. According to reliable sources, it was worth checking out the Christmas tree of the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management. Certainly different to most other Christmas trees on campus, the tree is decorated with artificial snow and purple roses and divides opinions. “Suddenly it was here… We didn’t have a choice”, one of the office workers explained. “Either you love it, or you hate it”, another woman from the office added. A facility manager was quick to put the blame for the controversy externally. “Normally every faculty orders their Christmas tree in May already. However, we made a last-minute order in November and this is what they brought us.”