Holiday Facts

Nov. 27 2020

Rudolph’s Red Nose

Medical researchers in the US and the Netherlands were suspicious about the famous reindeer’s scarlet nose, so they travelled to Norway to investigate. Using video-imaging technology, they took an extremely close look at how blood circulates in reindeers’ nasal passages and found that their blood vessels and circulation networks are 25% more densely packed than those in the noses of humans. That would somewhat explain their bright red glow. (

Do You Like Brussels Sprouts?

If you object to Brussels sprouts on your Christmas dinner plate, you’re not alone. Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolate, which when cooked, breaks down into a chemical called isothiocyanates. Research indicates that about 70% of the population experience a bitter taste from this chemical, while it goes unnoticed by the rest. (

Reindeer Names

Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names, such as Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid. However, male reindeers shed their antlers around Christmas, so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are likely not male, but female. (

An International Christmas Tree Tradition

In December 1917, an explosion severely destroyed much of the city of Halifax, NS. It remains one of the largest man-made explosions on record. Boston authorities learned of the disaster by telegraph and quickly dispatched a relief train to assist survivors. The following year, the City of Halifax sent a Christmas tree to Boston in appreciation of their support. In 1971, to continue the goodwill gesture and promote trade and tourism, another tree was sent. Every year since then, a 40-50 foot tree is donated by private landowners in Nova Scotia and delivered to Boston by the province. The tree is Boston's official Christmas tree and is lit on Boston Common throughout the holiday season. (