Queen Elizabeth II Keeps Her Holiday Decorations Up Through February—Here’s Why

John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty Images
John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty Images

If your family and friends have been ribbing you lately because your lawn still looks like Santa’s satellite workshop, here’s a reasonable counterargument: Queen Elizabeth II Ieaves her holiday decorations up at least until February 6.

Travel + Leisure reports that the Queen and Prince Philip spend the holiday season at Sandringham House, a stately Norfolk country residence that Prince Philip is responsible for maintaining. Ownership passed to the Queen after her father, King George VI, died there on February 6, 1952. Since then, she has observed the anniversary of his death at Sandringham, letting the decorations remain until after she has returned to Buckingham Palace.

According to HELLO! magazine, Sandringham House’s seasonal trappings are supposedly a bit more subtle than the extravagant lights and towering evergreens of the Crown's more public estates like Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. At Sandringham, however, the royal family actually helps decorate; as mentioned on the official royal website, the Queen and members of her family “usually put the final touches on their Christmas tree.”

Long-lasting Christmas decorations aren’t the only way the Queen celebrates King George VI’s legacy during the holidays. Following the tradition set by her father (and his father before him), the Queen gifts a total of about 1500 Christmas puddings to her staff, including palace personnel, police, and Court Post Office workers. Each pudding—a spiced fruit cake, rather than the creamy, gelatinous dessert Americans think of when they hear the term pudding—comes with a holiday greeting card from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

18 Weird and Wonderful Holidays to Celebrate in the New Year

Mental Floss via YouTube
Mental Floss via YouTube

If you think some celebratory traditions are strange, you've clearly never experienced National Sleepyhead Day. This Finnish holiday, which is observed each year on July 27, might sound like a great excuse to spend the day napping—but sleeping is the last thing you want to be caught doing. If you're the last person in the house found snoozing on National Sleepyhead Day, prepare to be awoken in the rudest way possible: with a bucket of water to the face.

That's just one of the weird and wonderful holidays that Mental Floss Editor-in-Chief Erin McCarthy is celebrating in this all-new edition of The List Show.

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This Planner Is Perfect for Keeping Track of All Your New Year's Resolutions and Goals

Panda Planner / Amazon
Panda Planner / Amazon

With the fresh start of a new year and a new decade, you probably have some resolutions in mind to make the most out of 2020. To keep all your goals and aspirations organized, there's the Panda Daily Planner ($25), which was named 2019's best overall planner by Business Insider.

The planner is broken up into three sections, allowing you to plan out 90 days, 13 weeks, and six months. To start, the daily sections include a short morning exercise in which you write out three things you are excited and grateful for. Once you complete the exercise, you can utilize the other sections to write in the day's top priorities, schedule, tasks, and general notes. To make sure you end on a positive, there’s an end-of-day exercise to reflect on your “wins,” and what to work on for tomorrow.

The weekly sections ask you to start by reflecting on the previous week’s “big wins” and what you could improve on. After you take the time to reflect, you can fill out the “things I will do to make this week great” section, which is broken up into personal, family/friends, work, and relationships groups. There are also sections to record what you're looking forward to, habits you want to develop, something new you want to learn, and a passion project you want to find time to work on.

The monthly calendars allow you to write in notes for each day, record goals you want to achieve, and distractions you want to avoid. When the month is over, there’s a short section to reflect on what you’ve learned and insights you’ve gained. And because there are no dates, this planner is completely customizable.

When you purchase the planner, you'll also get access to e-books with titles like How to Get Your Sh*t Together in Under 60 Minutes and The Keys to a Happy & Productive Life, as well as a video series on how to utilize the planner to maximize productivity.

While there are definitely apps to help you get organized, there are numerous benefits to writing things down. To start, on paper you can keep everything in one place, which makes your to-do list easy to reference. Whereas you probably have different apps for notes, schedules, etc., meaning you're spending more time scrolling between each one. Not to mention, opening your phone for one thing is often a gateway to finding yourself on social media, which can kill productivity.

Planners are a great way to stay organized, but for some resolutions you’ll need some added inspiration to see them through. From volunteering more to reducing “activation effort,” learn some other scientific ways to achieve your goals this year.

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