Let's face it – the holiday season brings its fair share of awkward encounters. Whether it's dodging that lingering coworker at the Christmas party or fielding the same repetitive questions from distant relatives, 'tis the season for social acrobatics. Fear not, brave reveler, for we present to you 10 Christmas facts that are as entertaining as they are astonishing. The next time you find yourself trapped in awkward small talk, let these festive tidbits be your secret weapon.
1. There's a real reason why everyone wants to nap after christmas dinner - Turkey meat contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the body needs to make Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and serotonin, a hormone that helps you relax and—yes, makes you sleepy.
2. The song “Jingle Bells” holds a Guinness World Record for being the first-ever song played in outer space. The crew of NASA’s Gemini 6A space flight got into the Christmas spirit and made this happen in 1965.
3. You can actually mail a letter to Santa’s postal code in Canada. The address is — Santa Claus, North Pole, H0H 0H0, Canada. Yep. And that’s not it. His helpers also write one back.
4. In 2010, a goat farmer found that his goats produced more milk when they listened to "All I Want for Christmas is You." Studies have been shown that goats make more milk when music is playing, so this just makes sense.
5. Elephants eat Christmas trees. Yep they're great for helping to clean their teeth.
6. Spiders are a traditional Eastern European Christmas decoration. In many Eastern European countries, particularly in Ukraine, finding a spider or a spider's web in your Christmas tree is a symbol of good luck!
7. Mince pies did originally contain meat. Medieval people during the 16th century believed that if you ate a mince pie every day from Christmas to Twelfth Night (5th January), you'd have happiness for the next 12 months. These pies were known as Christmas Pyes, and contained anything from rabbit to mutton, pigeon to pheasant! They were larger than their modern creations and made into an oval shape, which was said to represent Jesus' crib.
8. The UK spends on average £49 Million pounds on christmas puddings every year. That's a whole lot of Christmas puddings, so make sure to keep a fire extinguisher handy during the flaming brandy ritual, just in case!
9. On Christmas Day in Japan, people eat KFC! Fancy an alternative thing to do this Christmas? Then, why not tuck into some mouth-watering fried chicken? This unusual tradition dates back to 1974 when a KFC in Japan received a strange request for someone to dress up as Santa Claus and deliver buckets of fried chicken to a nearby Christmas party. This became a hit and prompted KFC to launch its first Christmas campaign in 1974. Orders have to be booked two months in advance and queues stretch out to the street around Christmas time!
10. One of the largest gingerbread houses was the same size as a real house. In 2013, a Guinness World Record was made for the largest gingerbread house ever made in Texas. The house was 60ft long, 42 ft wide and 10.1ft tall, amounting to a whopping 1,110.1 cubic metres, as well as 35.8 million calories!
So there you have it – 10 Christmas facts to sprinkle a dash of festive fun into any awkward conversation. The next time you find yourself stuck with Uncle Repeater or awkwardly close to a coworker, unleash these tidbits and let the holiday magic unfold! May your Christmas be filled with laughter, joy, and a sprinkle of random trivia.