BallroomFlockedIf you’ve ever celebrated Christmas in Britain, or with a British family, then you probably have had some experience with Christmas crackers. These are traditionally part of the Christmas dinner. These days, Christmas crackers comes in various designs but in the simplest form, a cracker is made of a cardboard tube with festive wrapping twisted in such a way that there are two ends. Two people have to pull at each end, and then it pops (cracks) to reveal the surprise inside. The pop is due to some chemically treated strip of paper inside the tube; the surprise usually a party hat or some other treat. The aim is to get the longer end of the cracker in order to “win” the treat.

Obviously, people would be wanting to get the longer end of the Christmas cracker all the time. This has led British researchers to come up with a formula that will ensure success at the table. AFP reports:

Diners are guaranteed success if they follow the formula O=11xC/L+5xQ which is based on the angle, grip and quality of the cracker. You must first multiply the circumference of the cracker in inches (C) by 11 before dividing that number by the length (L) of the barrel.

Take that total and add it to the figure you get when you multiply the quality (Q) — either 1, 2 or 3 depending on whether the cracker is cheap, standard or premium — by five, the Daily Mail said. The formula ought to produce a figure between 20 and 55 degrees, which is the optimum pulling angle (O). The cracker should also be pulled one inch from the end of the tail, newspapers said.

Too much trouble, don’t you think? Then again, if you want bragging rights, it wouldn’t hurt to practice and get it perfect for next year!

british_royal_familyEvery year, the British Royal Family spends Christmas Day walking – no, strolling – to church and back. This year, it was no different. The whole family went to St. Mary Magdalene, which is located in their estate in Norfolk. Naturally, a crowd gathered to see the nobles with their own eyes.

Tradition dictates that the entire family gather at this time of the year in Sandringham, Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate. As they walked to church, around a thousand onlookers extended their Christmas greetings to the Royal Family – either expressly or silently. Some, like Debbie Barlett, got an extra treat. Barlett is a 51-year-old carer who lives near the estate. She got a hug and a kiss from Prince William, who is third in line to the throne.

After church, the family had lunch, which is traditionally served at 1:00 pm. The traditional meal usually features a turkey (the huge kind, of course), which is raised in the estate. After lunch, everyone sits back and relaxes to watch Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Day broadcast, which is aired at 3:00pm.

Opening of gifts do not happen on Christmas Day but Christmas Eve. This is another thing that the Royal Family does differently from the rest of the nation, which opens gifts on 25 December. Instead, the Royal Family follows in the footsteps of the Germans and open their gifts on Christmas Eve.

Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? I wonder if they have any secret parties that common folk like us do not hear about?