Impress your friends and family around the dinner table this Christmas with your knowledge of little-known and obscure festive facts.

1.- From 1659 to 1681 in Boston, Puritans made Christmas illegal, and showcasing festive spirit incurred a five shilling fine. What scrooges!

2.- Washington Irving, the author who created the Headless Horseman, also created the image of St Nicholas flying across the sky in a sleigh.

3.- All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would add up to 364 presents. Imagine what time you’d have to get up to open all those.

4.- Christmas trees are usually grown for 15 years before they make our way to our lounges and dining rooms to be decked out in all their festive glory.

5.- The first Queen’s Speech to be televised was in 1957.

6.- It is estimated that 57 Olympic sized swimming pools could be filled with the amount of beer consumed in the UK over Christmas. That’s a lot of very sore heads.

7.- It’s traditional to put tangerines in stockings, and this comes from French 12th century nuns who gave out socks full of nuts and fruit including tangerines to the houses of the poor.

8.- Chances of a White Christmas are 1 in 10 in England and Wales and 1 in 6 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Better get your toes into those toasty Heat Holders just in case!

9.- The first electric Christmas tree lights were invented in 1882 by US creator Edward Johnson.

10.- There are many contenders for the origin of the term “Boxing Day” but one of the more popular ones comes from the custom of “boxing up” Christmas leftovers, which would be given by wealthy families to their servants to take home. To this day, many of us enjoy eating cold Turkey and pigs-in-blankets from the day before!