(Answers appear when you hover over the Answer button
at the end of each question... but NO FAIR PEEKING!
Answers are also given at the end of the questions, in the
event some mischievous elf stole them!)
1. What do they use for a Christmas tree in India?
A) Banana tree
B) Oak tree
C) Palm tree
2. Besides Santa, Spanish children get their Christmas gifts from whom?
A) Mrs. Santa
B) 3 Wise Men
3. Santa Claus has a brother named... ?
A) Tinkle Bob
B) Bells Nichols
4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer was first named... ?
5. The name Santa Claus comes from... ?
6. How many copies of the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" have been sold so far?
A) 8 billion
B) 8 million
C) 80 million
7. Flies migrate in wintertime...
8. Is the word "XMAS", crossing out the Christ in Christmas, a bad word?
9. The mistletoe...
A) was not for Xmas
B) is a parasite
C) has berries
10. What is Santa believed to ride on in Finland?
A) A horse named Ed
B) A bike
C) A magic carpet
D) A goat named Ukko
11. In how many Santas do the people in Iceland believe in?
A) December 9th on Saint Sebastian's Day
B) December 12th on Saint Nicasious Day
C) December 14th on Saint Valerian Day
D) December 6th on Saint Nicholas Day
13. Where does Saint Nicholas leave the children’s Christmas gifts in Luxembourg?
A) By the bedroom door, inside their slippers
B) On their porch, inside the flower pot
C) On their fireplace, inside their stockings
D) In their kitchen, on the counter
14. Who is believed to be the Christmas gift giver in Spain?
A) Saint Nicholas
B) The Three Wise Men
C) Father Christmas
D) Santa Claus
A) South Pole
16. Where do the children in the U.K. put their letters to Father Christmas?
A) They mail them to the North Pole
B) They put them in a bottle and throw them in a river
C) Costa Rica
D) Toss them in the fireplace
A) On Christmas Eve
B) On Christmas Day
C) On New Years
D) On New Years Day
18. The first instrument on which the carol "Silent Night" was played was:
A) A harp
B) A pipe organ
C) A guitar
D) A kazoo
19. "Hot cockles" was popular at Christmas in medieval times. It was:
A) A dish of oysters and mussels
B) A hot spiced drink
C) A game in which a blindfolded person was struck
E) The title of a popular drinking song
20. During the ancient 12-day Christmas celebration, it was considered unlucky to:
A) Let the log in the fireplace stop burning
C) Spill wine or ale
D) Hunt reindeer
21. At lavish Christmas feasts in the Middle Ages, swans and peacocks were sometimes served "endored". This means:
A) The feet and beaks were coated with gold
B) The guests knelt in adoration as the birds were brought in
C) The birds had been raised on grain soaked in brandy
D) The flesh was painted with saffron and egg yolks
22. In the Ukraine, if you find a spider web in the house on Christmas morning it is believed to mean:
A) Good luck
B) Misfortune will strike in the coming year
C) The winter will be unusually cold
D) Your house needs cleaning!
23. “Little Jack Horner" in the nursery rhyme may refer to the man who was chief steward to the Abbot of Glastonbury in the early sixteenth century. If so, then the "plum" he pulled from his Christmas pie was actually:
A) A gem - a gift from the abbot for faithful service
B) Six golden guineas
C) An order banishing him from England
D) A deed to a manor in Glastonbury
24. As early as 1822, the postmaster in Washington, D.C. was worried by the amount of extra mail at Christmas time. His preferred solution to the problem was to:
A) Recruit volunteer postmen for the Christmas season
B) Raise the price of postage to reduce the number of cards sent
C) Request that people put holiday greetings in the newspaper instead
D) Limit by law the number of cards a person could send
25. A modern Christmas custom borrowed from ancient Rome's New Year's celebrations is:
A) Putting up mistletoe to make a "kissing bough"
B) Decorating a tree
C) Displaying a wreath on the front door of one's house
D) Hanging stockings by the fireplace
26. Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer made his first appearance in 1939, in a story that was written to:
A) Advertise a new brand of light-bulb
B) Be read on a Christmas radio broadcast
C) Entertain the author's sick daughter
D) Promote a department store
27. A colorful, musical Santa Claus parade marks the approach of Christmas in many North American cities. The first one:
A) Was Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City
B) Was held in Peoria IL in 1887
C) Included cowboy singer Gene Autry and his horse Champion
D) Had to be postponed until Boxing Day
28. WHAT IS THE NET WORTH OF THE GIFTS LISTED IN THE SONG, "THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS?"
29. Before settling on the name of Tiny Tim for his character in "A Christmas Carol," what other alliterative names were considered by Charles Dickens?
A) Little Larry
B) Puny Pete
C) Small Sam
30. Have Americans always celebrated Christmas?
C) Only during peace time
31. Charles Dickens' initial choice for Scrooge's statement "Bah Humbug" was:
A) "Bah Christmas."
B) “Christmas – Hmph!”
C) “Ho Ho Ho"
D) “I hate Christmas!”
32. When is the busiest time for Christmas shopping?
A) Friday after Thanksgiving
B) Day before Christmas
C) Weekend after Thanksgiving
D) Friday and Saturday before Christmas
33. The most popular flower at Christmas time is the
A) Pink rose
C) White rose
And now some questions about the REAL Christmas story...
34. For the journey to Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph
35. Christmas has always been observed
A) On December 25
36. How many angels spoke to the shepherds?
A) A multitude
37. What song did the angels sing?
A) “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
38. The baby Jesus was born in a _______
39. What is a manger anyway?
A) A barn
40. When did baby Jesus cry?
A) When He opened the wise men’s gifts
41. Who saw the star over Bethlehem?
A) Mary and Joseph
42. What did the innkeeper say to Mary and Joseph?
“I have a stable out back.”
43. How many wise men came to see Jesus?
44. When the wise men brought their gifts to Jesus, they found Him in
A) A manger
45. In what books of the Bible will you find these fascinating facts about Jesus' birth (questions 34-44)?
A) Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
1. A) Banana tree - And mango trees, too. Part of the Indian Christmas tradition is to decorate the house with mango leaves, and the banana leaves are also used.
2. B) 3 Wise Men who brought gifts to baby Jesus. The Spanish favorite is Balthazar, who rides a donkey as is the one believed to leave the presents. (The story doesn’t tell how he gets the donkey down the chimney… Just kidding!)
3. B) Bells Nichols - According to Pennsylvania Dutch and French tradition, Santa Claus has a brother named Bells Nichols. He visits every home on New Year's Eve after the children are asleep, and if the plates are set out for him, he fills them with cakes and cookies.
4. A) Rollo - In 1939 a man named Robert May wrote a neat little poem called Rollo the Red-nosed Reindeer. The Montgomery Ward in Chicago liked everything but the name Rollo, so they changed it to Rudolph.
5. B) Holland - Sinter Klaas The story of Sinter Klaas was brought to North America by Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (the original name of New York) and it was popularized there by cartoonist Thomas Nast. The name eventually changed from Sinter Klaas to Santa Claus and this 19th century image from North America was adopted through the years around the globe, each country changing it slightly to suit their own cultures and traditions.
6. C) 80 Million - Robert May wrote the poem and Johnny Marks set it to music. The song was recorded in 1949 by Gene Autry. Marks' musical version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," recorded by Gene Autry in 1949, sold two million copies that year and went on to become one of the best-selling songs of all time, second only to "White Christmas." Dear Santa, for Christmas I would like those royalties. I will even split it with Rudolph and the reindeer.
7. B) False – they do not migrate. Most of them die off in the winter. Except for the flies inside buildings. But they do not live longer than 20 days in either case. No chance they will go extinct, though… Before summer is over, the mum fly and dad fly have to start saving up for thousands of Christmas gifts. Good news is that they only celebrate it once.
8. C) No - Christ is not His name, but a description. It means the Messiah, and in Greek, the work Christ begins with the letter chi, which is written as X. The word Xmas was used as early as 100 AD. And Christianity was written as Xianity. So, Merry Xmas to all of you, Xians and non-Xians!
9. All are correct! Two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Druids used mistletoe to celebrate the coming of winter. They would gather this evergreen plant that is parasitic upon other trees and used it to decorate their homes. They believed the plant had special healing powers for everything from female infertility to poison ingestion. The early church banned the use of mistletoe in Christmas celebrations because of its pagan origins. Instead, church fathers suggested the use of holly as an appropriate substitute for Christmas greenery. Later, mistletoe was hung outside churches to welcome travelers. Enemies meeting under mistletoes had to lay down their arms… and wooden legs. Scandinavians also thought of mistletoe as a plant of peace and harmony. They associated mistletoe with their goddess of love, Frigga. The custom of kissing under the mistletoe probably derived from this belief. For every kiss under the mistletoe, a berry has to be plucked. When all the berries are gone, no more kisses. (Unless you glue them back on again at night.)
10. D) A goat named Ukko When visiting Finland, Santa leaves his sleigh behind and rides on a goat named Ukko. Finnish folklore has it that Ukko is made of straw, but is strong enough to carry Santa Claus anyway.
11. A) There are 13 Jolasveinar, otherwise known as 'Christmas Boys'. They arrive one at a time, starting 13 days before Christmas, leaving little presents for the children who have behaved all year. The children leave their shoes on their window sills and the Jolasveinarv fill their shoes with little gifts. Any children who have been naughty get a potato or some other reminder that good behavior is essential around Christmas.
12. D) December 6th on Saint Nicholas Day - Pere Noel brings small gifts on St. Nicholas Eve (December 6) and visits again on Christmas.
13. A) By the bedroom door, inside their slippers - Children put their slippers in front of their bed-room doors expecting them to be filled with a small gift by St. Nicolas during the night. (An alternate tradition is for children to put their shoes on the windowsill for filling by Saint Nicholas.)
14. B) The Three Wise Men - The Spanish Christmas continues for a few weeks after Dec. 25th. On the Eve of Epiphany, January 5th, children place their shoes on the doorstep, and in the secret of the night, the Three Wise Men pass leaving gifts.
15. C) Spain - Dutch television broadcasts the official arrival of St. Nicholas and his helper Zwarte Piet live to the nation. Coming by steamer from Spain, each year they dock in the harbor of a different city or village.
16. D) Toss them in the fireplace - The draught then carries the letters up the chimney to Father Christmas.
17. A) On Christmas Eve - The Christmas tree was usually reserved for a special unveiling only on Christmas Eve. Until then, the Advent wreath provided the evergreen look and aroma in the house.
18. C) A guitar - The carol was first sung as part of a church service in Oberndorf, Austria. The unusual choice of guitar for the accompaniment rather than the traditional church organ has given rise to a number of picturesque stories (the organ bellows had been damaged by mice; the organ had been sabotaged; etc.), but in fact it was simply a matter of preference on the part of the author, Joseph Mohr.
19. C) A game in which a blindfolded person was struck - "Hot cockles" was still a Christmas pastime until the Victorian era (if anyone out there still plays it, please email us and tell us all about it!). The other players took turns striking the blindfolded one, who had to guess the name of the person delivering each blow. OUCH!
20. A) Let the log in the fireplace stop burning - The log burned at Christmas time was called the "Yule Log". Sometimes a piece of the Yule Log would be kept to kindle the fire next winter, to ensure that the good luck carried on from year to year. The Yule Log custom was handed down from the Druids.
21. D) The flesh was painted with saffron and egg yolks - In addition to their painted flesh, endored birds were served wrapped in their own skin and feathers, which had been removed and set aside prior to roasting.
22. A) Good luck - One Christmas morning, a poor woman, who could not afford decorations, found that spiders had trimmed her children's tree with their webs. When the morning sun shone on them, the webs turned to silver. An artificial spider and web are often included in the decorations on Ukrainian Christmas trees.
23. D) A deed to a manor in Glastonbury - The Abbot of Glastonbury, seeking favor with the king, sent Jack Horner to the palace with the gift of a pie in which had been placed twelve deeds to manor houses. When the King received the pie, there were only eleven deeds - the deed to the Manor of Mells was missing. The Horner family lives in the Manor of Mells to this day, but they have always denied that the rhyme refers to them.
24. D) Limit by law the number of cards a person could send - Even though commercial cards were not available at that time, people were already sending so many home-made cards that sixteen extra postmen had to be hired in the city. The proposed law was never passed, however, which in turn made possible Werner Erhard's entry into the Guinness Book of Records in 1975 for sending the most Christmas cards: 62,824 in a single year. More than three billion Christmas cards are sent annually in the United States. An average household in America will mail out 28 Christmas cards each year and see 28 eight cards return in their place.
25. C) Displaying a wreath on the front door of one's house - Romans wished each other "good health" by exchanging branches of evergreens. They called these gifts strenae after Strenia, the goddess of health. It became the custom to bend these into a ring and display them on doorways.
26. D) Promote a department store - The story was written by Robert L. May, the advertising editor of the Montgomery Ward department store chain. His four-year-old daughter picked the name Rudolph. May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, later turned it into the now-familiar song, which was popularized by singer Gene Autry in 1949.
27. B) Was held in Peoria IL in 1887 – It is the oldest continually running parade in the nation. 1887 marked the first year of the parade, which consisted of boats and derricks coming down the river as part of construction of the new bridge. In 1888, Peoria held a parade through town, celebrating the completion of the new Upper Free Bridge. The following December, Schipper and Block Department Store sponsored a parade that followed the same route and featured Santa Claus.
28. C) $15,210.00 - According to the annual Christmas Price Index calculated by PNC Bank Corp., the 2000 cost of buying each gift would be $15,210.00, up 1.8 percent from 1999. (SOURCE: PNC Bank, 2000 Christmas Price Index)
29. Little Larry, Puny Pete, and Small Sam were all tried out when Charles Dickens was deciding on names for the characters in "A Christmas Carol.
30. Yes and no. The religious founders of the American nation, the Puritans, did not celebrate Christmas. Of course, the Puritans didn't "celebrate" much of anything, but they were particularly firm about Christmas. The Puritans once fined anyone caught observing Christmas in Massachusetts. The Puritans forbade the singing of Christmas carols. In Connecticut, even baking a mincemeat pie was forbidden! (By the way ... Did you know that the United States Congress did not declare Christmas a federal holiday until June 26, 1870?)
31. A) “Bah Christmas” - After "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens wrote several other Christmas stories, one each year, but none was as successful as the original.
32. D) The Friday and Saturday before Christmas are the two busiest shopping days of the year. During the Christmas buying season. Friday after Thanksgiving is the fifth to tenth busiest day. Speaking of shopping, Visa cards alone are used an average of 5,340 times every minute in the United States.
33. D) Poinsettia - Native to Mexico, poinsettias were named after America's first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. He brought the plants to America in 1828. The Mexicans in the eighteenth century thought the plants were symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem. Thus the Poinsettia became associated with the Christmas season. The actual flower of the poinsettia is small and yellow. But surrounding the flower are large, bright red leaves, often mistaken for petals. Click here to read The Legend of the Poinsettia.
34. D) Who knows? - The Bible gives no record of their means of travel.
35. D) None of the above - December 25 was selected late in the 4th century as the day to celebrate
36. C) One - Luke 2:10 - "... the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of
great joy that will be for all the people.' "
the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying..." (OK, OK if you picked C
we’ll give you a point.)
38. E) Who knows? - We aren’t told where Jesus was born, only that after His birth He
laid in a manger.
Luke 2:7 -
"and she gave birth to her
firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger..."
39. C) A
40. B) Whenever babies usually cried - He was fully human as well as fully God.
41. E) None of the above -
kings are not mentioned in the Bible - only in songs.
43. ??? - The Bible doesn’t say how many – only that Magi came bringing gold, frankincense and
myrrh. Matt. 2 :1, 11 - "After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem... they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh..."
and they bowed down and worshiped him."