From December 2007
Merry Christmas, political junkies.
With the War on Christmas held down to a few skirmishes this year, such as the assault of a firefighter Santa in Spokane, it’s likely that only the truly politically obsessed would be reading this column near or on Christmas. For the rest of us, the eggnog beckons and presents need to be wrapped or unwrapped.
The bad news is there isn’t much politics that happens outside of Iowa and New Hampshire during Christmas week. The good news is Spin Control routinely accounts for this with its annual 12 Trivias of Christmas Quiz, a mixture of yule-themed government and political factoids that you might be ashamed of yourself for knowing.
1. The Gospel of Luke says Joseph and Mary were going to Bethlehem for a census, but what was the cause of the census?
2. The Magi, who weren’t really kings regardless of what the song says, did meet with a real king before they found Jesus. Who was it?
3. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus might have been classified as an illegal immigrant for the first few years of his life. To what country did Joseph and Mary take him after he was born?
4. Who was crowned king of England on Christmas Day?
5. What war involving American troops technically ended with a treaty on Christmas Eve?
6. What government leader was deposed on Christmas Day?
7. When good King Wenceslas looked out, on the feast of Stephen, what country was he in?
8. What government employee is mentioned in the song Frosty the Snowman?
9. The song “Silver Bells” was inspired by what yuletide tradition?
10. What civil servant helps prove Santa’s existence to a judge in “Miracle on 34th Street”?
11. With whom did Ma Bailey have Christmas Eve lunch in “It’s a Wonderful Life”?
12. What did Gen. Waverly use to buy the Columbia Inn in “White Christmas”?
Need answers? Go inside the blog.
1. To be taxed. Tradition has it that outside the inn was a signature-gatherer for Initiative DCXCV written by Timon Eymanus.
2. Herod the Great. No points for just Herod, because there are two Herods in the Bible.
3. Egypt. Probably no truth to the legend that they sent back postcards saying “A Smile from the Nile.”
4. William the Conqueror. Bonuses for the whole Norman army in 1066.
5. The War of 1812, with the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, although the final battle at New Orleans happened months later because news traveled by boat rather than by Internet.
6. Nicolae Ceaucescu of Romania. Half a point if you said Mikhail Gorbachev, who announced he was resigning in 1991.
7. The snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even in Bohemia.
8. The traffic cop, who apparently wasn’t fast enough to stop a snowman. How many donuts had he had that morning?
9. The Salvation Army kettle tenders. No points if you said the cash registers at the department stores.
10. A letter carrier, who obviously had a good idea on how to get rid of all those letters to Santa that were piling up.
11. She’s not named but George Bailey says “Mother had lunch with the president’s wife.” It’s 1945, so it must be Bess Truman.
12. His Army pension. Apparently there were no SBA or VA loans for turning broken down gristmills into ski lodges.
1-4 right: Your role model could be Mr. Potter calling the sheriff on poor George.
5-8: Your role model could be Charlie Brown directing the Christmas play.
9-12: Your role model could be the Scrooge after all the ghosts are done.