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Spin Control

Sat., Dec. 24, 2011, 3:42 p.m.

Sunday Spin: The 12 Trivias of Christmas

Once again, in the spirit of peace on earth to men of goodwill, Spin Control avoids political commentary on Christmas. This year we can only hope that if the lions can lie down with the lambs, Republicans can peacefully break bread with Democrats and Tea Partiers can share a drink with Occupiers.
Instead, we offer the annual 12 Trivias of Christmas Quiz. For answers, go inside the blog.
1. The story of the birth of Jesus is only told in two of the four Gospels. Which two?
a. Matthew and Mark
b. Luke and John
c. Matthew and Luke
d. Mark and John.
2. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem because Caesar had ordered a census. What was the purpose of the census?
a. To draw new boundaries for the Empire
b. To raise taxes
c. To determine how many legions were needed to control the Israelites
d. To show King Herod who was boss
3. The custom of setting up a Nativity Scene, or Creche, originated in what country?
a. Italy
b. Germany
c. Greece
d. Turkey
4. Which president signed a controversial pardon on Christmas Day?
a. George Washington, who pardoned all colonists who fought for the British
b. Thomas Jefferson, who pardoned Aaron Burr.
c. Andrew Johnson, who pardoned all Southerners who fought for the Confederacy.
d. Jimmy Carter, who pardoned all Americans who fled to Canada to avoid the draft
5. Why did Theodore Roosevelt ban Christmas trees from the White House?
a. His daughter Alice was allergic to the pollen
b. He was trying to break up the timber trusts
c. He thought the lights were a fire hazard.
d. He considered it a waste of good timber
6. The holidays are a pretty festive time at the White House, but one year a fire broke out on Christmas Eve, causing extensive damage to the West Wing. Who was president?
a. Woodrow Wilson
b. Herbert Hoover
c. Franklin Roosevelt
d. Harry Truman
 7. An actor in which Christmas-themed movie received an Oscar?
a. Miracle on 34th Street
b. Holiday Inn
c. White Christmas
d. It’s a Wonderful Life
8. Which of the following movies does NOT have a Christmas scene in it?
a. The Thin Man
b. Die Hard
c. Frozen River
d. Terminator
9. What holiday treat shows up in the songs “Home for the Holidays”, “Sleigh Ride” and “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree?”
a. Candy canes
b. Marshmallows
c. Pumpkin pie
d. Plum pudding
10. In the original Irving Berlin lyrics, where is the singer when dreaming of a white Christmas?
a. Miami
b. Los Angeles
c. Atlanta
d. New Orleans
11. Where was the “underwear bomber” headed when he tried to blow up a plane on Christmas Day 2009?
a. New York
b. Chicago
c. Boston
d. Detroit
12. The first drawing of Santa Claus by Thomas Nast in 1863 shows Santa where?
a. In a Civil War camp
b. At the North Pole
c. In front of a fire place
d. In his sleigh, minus the reindeer

How'd you do? Click here to see the answers.

1. c. Matthew and Luke have nativity accounts (they’re significantly different) but Mark and John have none.
2. b. “so the world could be taxed.”
3. a. Legend says it was St. Francis Assisi
4. c. Johnson pardoned all Confederate soldiers on Christmas 1868
5. d Teddy was the ultimate conservationist.
6. b. It was 1929, just months after the Stock Market crash.
7. a. Edmund Gwenn won Best Supporting Actor and “Miracle” also won two writing Oscars. It’s a Wonderful Life was nominated for six, but didn’t win any. White Christmas nominated for best song, best score, didn’t win. Holiday Inn won for best song, White Christmas.
8. d. No Christmas scenes in Terminator
9 c. It may be more associated with Thanksgiving, but it’s mentioned in these three Christmas songs.
10. b. The first verse, which Irving Berlin later dropped from the song when it became a big holiday hit, talks about being in Hollywood, L.A. with green grass and palm trees.
11. d. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was flying from Amsterdam to Detroit.
12. a. Nast’s first drawing of Santa, on the cover of Harper’s Weekly had him giving out presents to soldiers and children in camp.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.