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Head home for the holidays with edX

Holiday gatherings can be relaxing, stressful, or dull – depending on the crowd, of course. If conversation hits a lull with your coworkers or closest of kin, these facts might spark up a little lively debate.

#1: Traveling for the holidays? If you’re flying in the United States, you’re one in 5.7 million.

What engineering is required to move millions of people around the country in one week? Study the fundamentals of aeronautics and history of aviation with Delft’s self-paced Introduction to Aeronautical Engineering course.

molasses5455news#2: The Great Molasses flood of 1919 sent 2.3 million gallons of molasses rushing through the streets of Boston at 35 mph.

If baking gingerbread is part of your annual tradition, this historical event may give your main ingredient a bit more gravitas. While molasses en masse isn’t a naturally occurring phenomenon, floods certainly are – learn more about them in McGill’s Natural Disasters course.

Carolers#3: Silent Night, White Christmas and Jingle Bells are the most-covered holiday songs on Spotify.*

How did these famous songs go from lyrics to classics? How do artists navigate the current industry landscape to get their music heard? Enroll in Introduction to the Music Business from Berklee College of Music to find out.

Bonus fact: Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast from space on December 16, 1965, thanks to Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra.

(*Source: FiveThirtyEight)

Glögg #4: In Denmark, Glögg – mulled wine – is often drunk at Christmas events in the country known as “Jule-arrangementer.”

Cultures around the world celebrate holidays with traditional spirits that embody their heritage. Learn more about the history and production of wine in World of Wine: From Grape to Glass from the University of Adelaide.

rudolf-the-red-nosed-reindeer#5: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was invented as a marketing promotion for a department store’s Christmas campaign.

Retailer Montgomery Ward had been buying and giving away coloring books for Christmas every year, but in 1938 decided that creating their own book would save money – and the rest is history. Learn how marketing can influence culture and customers with UBC’s Introduction to Marketing course.

Is an edX course keeping you company as you travel, spend time with family, or enjoy some quiet time as we near the end of the year? Let us know on Twitter!

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