Have A Heart this Christmas!

I hope this isn't how it looks after a day of gift shopping. Image credit: Universal Pictures

I hope this isn’t how it looks with your kids after a day of gift shopping. Image credit: Universal Pictures

December is here, and Christmas is coming! It’s the most wonderful time of the year…or not. If you get tired of fancy decorations, carols playing on repeat in the malls, or how your schedule fills up with shopping and family dos, you may come across as Ebenezer Scrooge or even the Grinch to your family and friends.

Never underestimate the climb up the summit that is holiday preparation. Image credit: Between Friends

Never underestimate the climb up the summit that is holiday preparation. Image credit: Between Friends

Don’t Be A Grinch! [SPOILER ALERT]

At the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the self-centered Grinch’s heart grows three times larger when he experiences the spirit of Christmas. While that news brought much Christmas cheer to the residents of Whoville, what could that spell for us mere mortals? (Your heart growing larger, not the Christmas spirit.)

We look at the numbers.

This is not what it means to get pumped, Heart. Image credit: The Awkward Yeti

This is not what it means to get pumped, Heart. Image credit: The Awkward Yeti

That figures

While the heart is irregularly shaped and resembles a fist, it has roughly the following measurements. For simplicity, we will apply the formula for a rectangular prism to obtain an approximate volume. For the width, we will assume an average of 8.5 cm.

 

Width Length Breadth Approximate volume
3.5 inches (8-9 cm; average of 8.5 cm) 5 inches (12 cm) 2.5 inches (6 cm) 43.75 cubic inches3 (612 cm3)

 

Now, what happens if all that is increased threefold?

 

Width Length Breadth Approximate volume
10.5 inches (24-27 cm; average of 25.5 cm) 15 inches (36 cm) 7.5 inches (18 cm) 1181.25 cubic inches

(16 524 cm3)

 

Wow! For comparison, the volume of the average baseball is between 201.7 to 219 cubic centimeters, and the largest bowling ball by official standards has a volume of 5447 cubic centimeters. That’s one big mass of pumping muscle!

Actually true for the rest of us.

Actually true for the rest of us.

Being big-hearted

A larger heart did mean a change of perspective for the Grinch, but for humans, it’s no joke. Swelling of the heart, or cardiomegaly can be a symptom of a variety of serious underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or heart failure.

Holidays and matters of the heart

So as we anticipate the holiday season and the exhaustion of the various preparations, remember to take a moment to catch your breath and be mindful of the things that matter – time spent with the people we care about. After all, that’s a sign that your heart’s in the right place.

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