Plugged, Borrel XL and gift shop at TU/e Christmas market

This year’s Christmas gift package for TU/e employees will not contain the traditional bottle of wine, but a gift card instead, to be used in the special TU/e Christmas gift shop. It is one of the newly introduced ideas at the third TU/e Christmas market, during which the first winter edition of Plugged Festival and Borrel XL will also take place.

As usual, Erik de Jong shows no lack of enthusiasm when he talks about the upcoming edition of the TU/e Christmas market - a brainchild of his ever since he became community manager at TU/e a few years back. Not that he considers the event exclusively his own, he emphasizes. On the contrary: De Jong primarily wants to provide an atmospheric and properly resourced setting that allows everyone at TU/e to develop their activities in a Christmas atmosphere.

De Jong managed to get two parties on board this year: the Federation of Study Associations Eindhoven, with its famed Borrel XL for students, and the organization of the annual Plugged Festival. Both events will make their debut appearance in the winter season during the Christmas market. “The infrastructure is ready, there is a podium, the technical setup is in place,” De Jong says about Plugged. “And they have enough bands that can perform during the festival. They were keen on the idea straight away.”

Sunday for families

De Jong also sat down with staff association Colleagues United and childcare organization Korein Kinderplein lately. Together, they are going to organize an event at the Christmas market on 15 December, specifically aimed at staff members and their families, during which several performances, workshops and other activities will take place. “And naturally, we will also provide borrow skates in children’s sizes for the ice rink.” De Jong thought it was a shame that the Christmas market closed down for the entire weekend during the two previous editions, “even though all the necessary facilities for a nice event are in place.”

With a size of two hundred square meters, the aforementioned ice rink - with real ice - traditionally covers a large part of the Christmas market terrain in the Markthal. It will be surrounded on both sides by terraces, foodtrucks and stands, and there is a large podium with live music every day. Visitors can enjoy a lunch, dinner or a drink in a winter café with heating; the group arrangements on offer, such as the ones for drinks, are fully booked by now, says a satisfied De Jong.

Gift shop

And this year’s market will have a ‘TU/e Christmas gift store’ for the first time, says the community manager, beaming with delight. Staff members won’t find a bottle of wine - which isn’t to everyone’s liking, according to De Jong - in their annual Christmas gift package, but a gift card instead. This card can be used in the aforementioned shop, which will be open on workdays between 16:00 and 19:00hrs. from 9 to 19 December. The Bijenkorf gift card that came with the Christmas gift package for employees in recent years will be replaced by a Tintelingen voucher worth fifty euros (which people can exchange online for a gift or a gift card for a store of their choice).

About the the gift card for the TU/e Christmas shop: a few of the gifts people can choose from include an illustrated 1000-piece TU/e puzzle, a TU/e hoodie, a donation to the Eindhoven University Fund, or - for those who ultimately prefer that traditional gift - a bottle of wine or bubbles. There is also a pin machine, in case visitors haven’t receive a gift card or wish to buy more than the card allows them to.

As simple as it may sound, the store (a collaboration with the TU/e Shop in MetaForum), “is quite a complicated operation, with thousands of employees who hopefully are about to buy something with their gift card,” De Jong says.

Apart from that, he hopes that everyone on campus will “stop by for a drink” during the Christmas market (employees get two complimentary refreshments with their Christmas gift package). According to the community manager, this is one of the rare events that attract the entire TU/e community: students, staff members, people from all nationalities, scientists, and non-scientists. “The Christmas market appeals to everyone.”

The TU/e Christmas Market will take place from 9 until 19 December in the MetaForum markethall and is open daily between 12:00 and 21:00 hrs. (except on Saturday 14 December). There will be live music every day, performed by student association for classical music Quadrivium and jazz club Studentproof, among others; visitors can attend workshops by ice skating association Isis. See for the complete program.

Musical reunion at Plugged Winter Edition

The organization of the annual Plugged Festival was probably a little taken aback at first, when an email from Erik de Jong came in at the height of summer 2019. “Whether we would be interested in setting up a winter edition of Plugged together,” says Tom Bormans, chairman of the event’s winter edition.

The organization of Plugged, which originated within the study association of the Built Environment CHEOPS, rounded up a few experienced hands and got to work. The winter edition, Bormans says, will have the same setup as the larger summer edition: mostly young bands from the region on the program, free entry, and festival coins at acceptable prices for students.

Main difference: normally, the Plugged Festival has a different line up of bands each year (which means that bands only perform at the festival once), whereas the organization of the winter edition intends to ask bands back. Bormans: “A kind of reunion of bands that performed at Plugged before.” He hopes that the festival will attract around a thousand visitors.

Plugged Winter Edition will take place on Thursday 19 December, the final day of the TU/e Christmas market, from 16:00 to 23:00 hrs.

Borrel XL in winter coat

Beer, bands and DJs, but also glühwein and hot chocolate milk: the Federation of Study Associations Eindhoven (FSE) also embraces the Christmas spirit with its Borrel XL Christmas Edition (i.e. the X(L)Mas Drink), the winter edition of the traditional spring Borrel XL.

FSE secretary Leonie Copraij is enthusiastic about the first edition of winter Borrel XL, which was instigated by the previous board and community manager Erik de Jong. “As FSE, we find it important to let study associations collaborate with each other, and to contribute to a community feeling at TU/e. Many students are part of a community already via their membership of an association, but a joint event allows these different communities to connect.” But, she stresses: “This is also an accessible way to come into contact with others for those students who do not belong to an association yet. Everyone is welcome.”

The X(L)Mas Drink will take place on Tuesday 17 December from 16:00 to 21:00 hrs. during the Christmas market in the Markthal. Entry is free.

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