NCIAC suggests new Christmas traditions, scoring high in Jollity and Merrificence

High Spirits, whilst an important aspect of both Jollity and Merrificence, are difficult to measure scientifically.

Media release

For many across the nation, Christmas is a time of jollity and merrificence. For others, it is a time for putting up with age-old traditions passed down through generations.

Many of these traditions (according to totally real data gathered by NCIAC) continue to be followed despite providing minimal enjoyment.

To this end, the National Centre for Inference Assumption and Conjecture has developed a new set of traditions, designed to scientifically maximise enjoyment, measured on the Jollity and Merrificence (JaM) scale.

NCIAC Dekthehologist Nicolas Sainz said the JaM scale was used to narrow down the sweet spot of Christmas joy.

“The JaM scale measures activities based on a number of metrics, but mostly Jollity and Merrificence,” said Mr Sainz

“Jollity is measured in Guffaws Per Ke* (G/Ke). A person who has a G/Ke reading of 1 is considered to have a standard level of Jollity, and is said to be ‘Quite Jolly’.

“Merrificence is measured in the redness of the cheeks. Merrificence is measured in how many standard deviations of red tint appear in the cheeks, so as to allow for people who are naturally rosy cheeked. A Merrificence of 1 Standard Deviation of Redness Tint (SD/RT) indicates a ‘Fairly Merry’ level of Merrificence.”

Some of the new traditions developed by NCIAC that scored highest on the JaM scale are detailed below (along with their average Jollity and Merrificence readings):

  • Sauerkraut Roundabout (2G/Ke, 1.3SD/RT): The participants present a number (usually five) of bowls of sauerkraut on a Lazy Susan in the middle of the table. Each of the sauerkrauts will have been fermented for a different amount of time, varying for example between one and five weeks. One participant, blindfolded, must spin the sauerkrauts, and sample the sauerkraut they find presented before them. They must then guess (to the great enjoyment of their family members) how long the sauerkraut in question was fermented for. The reward for a correct answer is another bowl of sauerkraut. Note: Five sauerkrauts was found to produce optimum Jollity readings, however a game with four sauerkrauts only marginally decreased Jollity, and offered a substantial Merrificence increase.
  • Ding Dong Data (3.2G/Ke, 6SD/RT): Two participants open a spreadsheet on their laptops. The referee starts a timer, and names a set of data gathered regularly by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The participants have five minutes to find the data on the internet, present it in a spreadsheet, and create a set of compelling graphs. Once the timer is up, the participants must make a presentation to the rest of the party-goers about the data. The party-goers choose the most interesting presentation as the winner. Note: NCIAC staff found that data not gathered regularly by the ABS could be used, however the time would have to be increased to fifteen minutes to allow for the increase in difficulty.
  • Round Yon Manager (0.8G/Ke, 3.9SD/RT): Participants take turns making a pitch using corporate speak and acronyms to describe the mission statement and intended output of a fictional company. Spectators award points based on how motivational the pitch is compared to how little of the company’s actual purpose they understand after listening to the pitch. Note: Despite the very low Jollity score, Round Yon Manager produced the most consistently replicatable Merrificence score of any game tested.
  • Company Company (2G/Ke, 5SD/RT): Party-goers split into pairs, each party-goer taking pen and paper. Each participant secretly writes down a single word on their paper. The words must exist in the dictionary. Each pair must combine their two words. The resulting pair of words is typed into a popular internet search engine inside quotation marks. The pair with the lowest number of results wins. Note: A variant of this game can be played with acronyms. Each partner must contribute between one and three letters. Another variant tasks the participants with finding a combination of words that has not been registered as a business name, by searching the ABN Lookup website.

NCIAC wishes everybody a Christmas with a high level of Merrificence.

*About one hundredth of a day or 14 minutes.