There’s something about Christmas that makes us learn and tell all kinds of strange facts and trivia. From the little factoids in Christmas crackers to that QI book you got your uncle, there’s no shortage in sources of semi-useless knowledge that we regale one another with around our turkey dinners.
The team at Boxtopia loves spreading a bit of joy at Christmas, so we thought we’d put our heads together to work out some utterly useless but quite interesting Christmas facts. Your family can thank us later.
How many Christmas trees?!
According to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, 7 million real trees are bought in the UK every year (that’s not counting any artificial trees we may buy or own already).
We thought that 7 million sounded like quite a lot so, naturally, we wondered how high a tower of all of those trees standing on top of one another would be, based on the average tree height of 2.1 metres (7 feet).
The answer? 14,700 km high! For those of us that have trouble imaging that distance (most of us, probably), here are a few “helpful” illustrations:
- - 14,700 km is roughly the distance between London and Perth, Australia.
- - With that many trees, you could build 36 towers as high as the International Space Station’s orbit.
- - If we built one of these towers every year and stacked them on top of each other, we could reach the Moon by 2044.
Is it possible to make a reindeer fly?
We now turn our attention from Christmas trees to another Christmas mainstay: the humble reindeer. Being packaging and logistics specialists, we like to think that we know a thing or two about deliveries but, let’s face it, Santa and his reindeer know more than any of us!
Every year, Santa and his team of eight magical reindeer fly around the world delivering presents to all the well-behaved boys and girls. This phenomenon naturally leads us to the question, what would it take to make a non-magical reindeer fly?
Powered flight is a marvel of human engineering, enabling us to accomplish feats that our ancestors would have described as nothing short of magical. And it turns out that 4 miniature J8 jet engines would provide enough thrust to make a human fly.
Given that the average reindeer weighs around 3 times as much as the average human, it would take 12 miniature jet engines to make a reindeer fly, or 96 jet engines for Santa’s team (108 if you count Rudolph).
Now, we’d need a few more jet engines to lift Santa himself and a LOT more to move the sleigh, not to say anything about providing steering and forward thrust...but it’s a start...
If Christmas dinner was made out of Big Macs...
Have you ever thought about how much you’re eating when you’re sharing these delightful facts around the Christmas dinner table? Maybe it’s the kind of thing you don’t want to think about at all! If so, you might want to skip this section.
However, we took one for the team and ground out the numbers. According to the Mirror, the average person consumes about 7,000 calories on Christmas day, which is two or three times the recommended daily allowance.
The more staggering fact, however, is that it’s about the same amount of calories as you would consume if you ate 12 Big Macs! Let’s be honest, this is the kind of fact that seems shocking in principle, but we think that a Christmas dinner is significantly more appetising than 12 Big Macs and no amount of Christmas trivia is going to get between us and our Christmas cake.
Enough turkeys to populate the Iberian peninsula
We also did a bit of digging to find out how many turkeys we eat over Christmas (bird lovers, look away now). It turns out that the UK eats about 10 million turkeys over the Christmas period, which is the same number of turkeys as there are people in Portugal.
However, we’re someway behind the United States’ Thanksgiving stats. The USA eats around 45 million turkeys on Thanksgiving, which is the same number of turkeys as there are people in Spain.
Yes, the UK and USA between them eat enough turkeys in the holiday season to completely replace the population of the Iberian peninsula.
2,100 diamonds, anyone?
Finally, we come to money. The UK spent about £50 billion in retail stores between Black Friday and Christmas last year, according to the Express. That translates to about £758 per person.
There isn’t really a way to comprehend numbers like that, but to put it in some perspective, £50 billion could buy you:
- - Over 1,000 launches of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
- - The world’s most expensive diamond ever 2,100 times over.
- - A house on Britain’s most expensive street, Kensington Palace Gardens, 1,400 times over.
We also spent about £25 billion online in 2016, according to Statista and the proportion of spending that we do online over Christmas is rising. If any time of year shows the importance of online stores having good processes in place, it’s Christmas. Get it right, and you could transform your performance for the whole year!
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this collection of facts. From all of us at Boxtopia, have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! We’ll see you in 2019.