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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. This has been my motto for the past week. Let’s be real, past month.

 In case my manic fall posts didn’t make it abundantly clear, I am fanatical about festive spirit. I can’t wait to snuggle by the fire with my snowman mug filled to the brim with coffee. Here’s to hoping it’s actually cool enough in Kansas to warrant such behavior.

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Look at the snow! Look at the lights! Look how the all meld together to form this perfect Christmas snapshot!

I’m also a bit of a traditionalist. I refuse to allow any diversions from traditions. Here’s an example: I’m the baby of the family (at almost 20 years old “baby” is still applicable). However, I still force my brother and sister to sleep in my room on Christmas Eve night. We wake up at 7 (pushed back from the usual 6 a.m. start time, see I can be flexible), go into my mom’s room, and then let the Christmas morning festivities begin!

In a poll taken from the ever-easy SurveyMonkey, I asked what everyone’s favorite holiday pastime is.

Favorite Part of the Holiday Season

Interesting how the results are so closely divided. I suppose that’s because how on earth can I expect people to pick one definitive answer?! It’s like Sophie’s Choice, here. Me? I definitely would say getting together with family and friends. However, that baking one is very tempting. As stated, I love holiday baking. It’s one of the few times in life I can go on a baking binge and pass it off as “It’s the holidays!” I crave it. I asked how many approximately how many hours people spent baking during this time of year.

Hours Spent Baking

Wowser. Seems like I am one of the few people that has this sentiment. Oh, well. More for me to bake! But this got me thinking: People don’t seem to enjoy baking quite like me. However, I know they love to eat. So, what’s their favorite treat (Okay…so maybe I selfishly used this survey to see what I should whip up for my holiday parties. Sssssh. It’s fine.)

Favorite Holiday Treats

 

Well, well, well. It seems cookies are a popular choice for most. Poor fruitcake, though. Nobody ever picks fruitcake. I just want to hug it and tell it someone out there loves it. It just may take some patience to find its true mate. Alright then, so cookies are what I should doll out to my friends and family. But what kinds of cookies?

Favorite Holiday Cookies

The decorated sugar cookie won by a landslide. There are so many variations of it. There are those dense, soft, moist Lofthouse style sugar cookies and there are those chewy and hard sugar cookies. Either one is delicious. That’s the ultimate win-win if you ask me. Ahhh…yes. The sugar cookie. It truly is an American Christmas classic.

This got me thinking: If the sugar cookie is an American Christmas classic, are there any classic international dishes people love?

View International Dishes in a full screen map

This map shows the origins of their favorite international dishes. If you click on the point, it shows what their favorite dish is. The color-coordinated dot shows if they travel during the holidays or not.

This map shows where each dish originates. If you click on the dot, it tells you the specific dish the person said was his favorite. As you can see, I also color coordinated it by those who travel during the holidays and those that don’t. Maybe, just maybe, some of these people were exposed to international dishes while traveling for the holidays. Though I highly doubt a travel suddenly exposes someone to “Italian” cuisine. But hey! You never know, eh?

Travel During the Holidays

As you can see, not many even travel during the holidays. I don’t either, actually. We always have Christmas at my mom’s house. As a wee little chap, I loved it. It meant I could unleash all my new toys without worrying about packing it back up for the drive home. My cousins always moaned about that part. Cue my maniacal laughter

View Miles Traveled in a full screen map. 

This map shows the 7 that traveled. The dot shown is where they traveled. The color coordination correlates with how many miles traveled. If you click on the dot, it tells you where they are located now.

I thought it would be interesting to see approximately how many miles those seven that embark on the trip elsewhere for the holidays travel. Kudos to the Raleigh-Newfoundland traveller because that is quite a hike!

So there you have it folks. You see the benefits of a what a little research and graphical analysis can bring: A post all about holidays, food, and travelling. What more can a person ask for!

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