How to have a Merry Christmas

Well, according to one math professor, this is how it’s done:

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Funny. But all joking aside, Oxfam has come up with a practical formula for knowing whether or not you’re really enjoying the holidays, and it looks like this (and there’s no reason this wouldn’t work for Chanukkah as well):


That’s a bit more complex; here’s what it boils down to as a “word problem”:

“It’s great to see that ultimately, happiness at Christmas comes down to quite simple things, such as enjoying time off work to spend with friends and family.”

Key ‘happiness factors’ include:
• Number of calories consumed on Christmas Day (any more than 7,000 calories and you’ll be too stuffed to enjoy yourself)
• Amount of time off work (just one day off boosts happiness by 70%, with three weeks being the optimum amount)
• Centimetres of snow (15cm is ideal)
• Family arguments (more than five and happiness levels plummet)
• Number of hours spent trawling the shops for gifts (any more than 10 hours and shopping-induced stress sees happiness decline rapidly)
• Miles driven to see friends and family (0 miles is ideal, with 500 miles generating a 40% reduction in happiness levels)
• The number of gifts you receive has an impact on happiness (6 gifts gets you to optimum happiness levels), but….
• ….most crucially, how many gifts you give (even giving just one present makes a huge difference to happiness levels, increasing Christmas enjoyment by 50%).

To estimate your score, visit the original article. (But we need a bigger picture of the formula there.)

The Old Wolf has spoken.

3 responses to “How to have a Merry Christmas

  1. I blew up the image, hoping to do the equation for myself (because I’m not just a word geek, oh, no, I’m a numbers geek, too), but it was too fuzzy for me to see properly. 😦

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