The most researched Christmas traditions

Have you ever wondered how much research goes into eggnog? Or what the most researched roast is? We crunched the numbers.

The holidays are here. Time to get out of the lab, spend some time with family and friends, and enjoy the season’s festive traditions.

For instance, light the lights on the Christmas tree. Christmas trees are a pagan tradition, but Christians adopted it, and the Strasbourg cathedral in France set up a tree as early as 1539. Today, a “Christmas tree” could be one of a variety of species. Some seem to be of more interest to researchers than others. Here’s how much research has gone into the five most common Christmas tree types:


Christmas is also the best time to indulge, in both foods and alcohol. In fact, a topic of great controversy within the scientific community is how much alcohol is actually contained in Christmas puddings. While we haven’t discovered the answer to this complex question, we have looked into the amount of research that’s gone into some of the most popular Christmas treats, with ginger bread taking the… cake:


Finally, for many people, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without sharing a roast dinner with family. You’ll probably be choosing the type of roast you cook based on flavor profile, not a body of scientific literature. But just in case, we offer you this overview of the world’s most-researched roasts:


Image courtesy of JEL.