Posts tagged: 12 Trivias of Christmas
Spin Control is taking most of this week off, but in honor of the season is reprinting previous versions of the 12 Trivias of Christmas quiz, leading up to Friday when this year’s quiz will appear on the blog (and in the paper on Christmas Day.) This 12 Trivias of Christmas is from last year.
In honor of the holidays, Spin Control usually lays off politics to brighten our
readers’ spirits with the annual Christmas Quiz.
It’s a tradition that dates at least to the last time Christmas was on a Sunday and there were no good topics for a political column. It’s also a chance to mix a bit of cheer with political trivia. For those who think Christmas and politics don’t mix, they obviously aren’t getting all the e-mails I get from elected officials. They all wish you the very best these holidays, by the way.
And why not? Next year’s an election year. But enough of such cynicism.
Here are this year’s 12 Trivias of Christmas:
1. In the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” what public service job did George Bailey have during World War II?
a. Draft board member
b. Air raid warden
c. Police auxiliary
d. War bond salesman
2. When Walt Kelly rewrote “Deck the Halls With Boughs of Holly” to “Deck Us All with Boston Charley” for Pogo, what Washington city did he include?
c. Walla Walla
3. Where did Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer first appear?
a. In a children’s book
b. In a song written for Gene Autry
c. In an article in the Saturday Evening Post magazine
d. In an animated television special
4. The Jewish festival of Hanukkah stems from a war between the Israelites and whom?
5. Christmas was once against the law in an area that is now which U.S. state?
a. New York
b. North Carolina
c. Rhode Island
6. What general was made commander of the Allied invasion forces on Christmas Eve, 1943?
a. George Patton
b. Douglas McArthur
c. George Marshall
d. Dwight Eisenhower
7. What first lady wrote a Christmas story that features a girl named Marta?
a. Eleanor Roosevelt
b. Jackie Kennedy
c. Barbara Bush
d. Laura Bush
8. If one follows the Bible religiously, what figures should not be in a Nativity scene?
c. Wise Men
9. What elective office did Scrooge facetiously suggest his nephew seek?
a. Mayor of London
b. Member of parliament
c. Prime minister
d. Chancellor of the exchequer
10. What kind of music does John Candy’s band play in “Home Alone”?
a. Heavy metal rock
d. Country swing
11. When and where did the first celebration of Christmas Day on Dec. 25 occur?
a. 2 A.D. in Nazareth
b. 363 A.D. in Rome
c. 1066 A.D. in England
d. 1703 A.D. in Paris
12. In 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts read from which book of the Bible in a Christmas Eve telecast from space?
Answers inside the blog.
Spin Control is taking most of this week off, but is reprinting some previous versions of its 12 Trivias of Christmas, leading up to this year’s quiz which will appear on Dec. 24 on the blog and Dec. 25 in the paper. This quiz is from Dec. 24, 2008.
We’ve survived the 2008 election, the War on Christmas and the War on the War on
Christmas, which can only mean one thing: It must be time for the Spin Control
This annual feature stems from several things. Newspapers are always hurting for something to fill their pages around Christmas; the author soaked up way too much Christmas trivia in a former job that involved reading lots of newspaper filler over the holidays; and over the years, readers offered other bits of Christmas trivia, so the stuff piles up.
Some of this year’s questions have a government or political theme, others are just, well, trivial.
1. Poinsettias became a holiday staple in the United States thanks to what type of government official?
a.) A president.
b.) A U.S. senator.
c.) A governor.
d.) An ambassador.
2. In the song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” what day involves government officials?
a.) Day 6.
b.) Day 8.
c.) Day 10.
d.) Day 12.
3. According to the Bible, who was emperor
when Jesus was born in Bethlehem?
4. Which of the following do not have a display in
the Washington state Capitol this year?
5. The original Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, lived about 1,400 years ago and had a day job. He was:
a.) A duke in what’s now Holland.
b.) A count in what’s now Romania.
c.) A prince in what’s now Italy.
d.) A bishop in what’s now Turkey.
6. What’s the name of the angel who told the shepherds “peace on earth to men of good will.”
d.) None of the above.
7. Who set Christmas Day as Dec. 25?
a.) Constantine, the first Christian emperor of Rome.
b.) Pope Gregory, who established the basic calendar we use.
c.) St. Luke the Evangelist, who wrote the most complete Nativity account.
d.) William the Conqueror, who was crowned king of England on that day in 1066.
8. American newspapers used to make a big deal out of what foreign leader’s Christmas tree, describing it for readers in great detail every year?
a.) The king of England.
b.) The kaiser of Germany.
c.) The czar of Russia.
d.) The emperor of Spain.
9. In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Mr. Potter is mostly a mean, rich banker, but he does hold a government position at one point. What was it?
a.) He was on the Planning Commission, so he could stop houses being built at Bailey Park.
b.) He was on the Public Safety Committee, which is why he could swear out an arrest warrant against George.
c.) He was a member of the state Financial Institutions Department, which is why the bank examiner kept showing up at the Building & Loan.
d.) He was the head of the Draft Board, which is how he knew George was 4F.
10. Abbreviating Christmas as “Xmas” drives some people crazy, but others say it’s no big deal. What does the X stand for?
a.) It’s an atheist’s way of saying Jesus didn’t exist.
b.) It’s an agnostic’s way of saying Jesus is an unknown factor.
c.) It’s a use of a letter from a foreign language.
d.) It’s an 19th century abbreviation for “I’m not writing this out because everyone knows what it means.”
11. What’s the name of Rudolph’s girlfriend (or more accurately, doe-friend) in the animated classic “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”?
12. The U.S. Postal Service issued its first Christmas stamp in 1961. When did it issue its first Hanukkah stamp?
a.) 1961. They were released at the same time.
b.) 1962, because sales were so good the previous year.
c.) 1971, when Richard Nixon was courting the Jewish vote for his re-election.
d.) 1996, in a joint effort with the Israeli government.
Answers inside the blog.
Spin Control is taking most of this week off, but is reprinting previous Christmas quizzes in advance of this year’s quiz, which will appear on Friday evening. This 12 Trivias of Christmas first appeared on Dec. 23, 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.
Online, at www.spokesman review.com/blogs/spincontrol, we offer this as a multiple choice quiz. Print readers know that’s for wusses: Either you know it or you don’t. Cover the answers at the bottom and take the test:
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”?
Answers inside the blog
Spin Control is taking most of this week off, but is reprinting Christmas Trivia quizzes from past years. This 12 Trivias of Christmas first appeared Dec. 24, 2006.
The worst thing about a political column on Christmas Eve is that most people
are filled with the spirit of the season and will not sit still for smacking
someone upside the head, even if that person is a politician whom they would say
on the other 364 days of the year much deserves it.
Last year, in that spirit – which allows lions to lie down with the lambs and Democrats to drink mulled wine with Republicans – Spin Control offered Christmas trivia from its store of yuletide lore. It proved so popular that some suggested forgetting real politics year-round.
That’s not going to happen. But we did come up with a new version of the 12 Trivias of Christmas, and because some readers have already been primed by the holiday trivia contest last Friday in 7, this is definitely the Politics Version. Put your hand over the answers at the bottom until you finish.
1. When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Bible says Augustus was emperor of Rome and Herod was King of Judea. Who does it say was governor of Syria?
2. What American president signed the law making Christmas a federal holiday?
A. Abraham Lincoln;
B. Ulysses S. Grant;
C. Theodore Roosevelt;
D. Woodrow Wilson.
3. Who is the leader of the Island of Misfit Toys in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?”
A. King Moonracer;
B. Queen Glenda;
C. Princess Rainbow-Brite;
D. Prince Jolly-Times.
4. Soldiers in what war stopped fighting each other on one Christmas Day?
A. The American Revolution;
B. The Civil War;
C. World War I;
D. World War II.
5. What American general took advantage of Christmas revelry by the enemy to mount a successful attack?
A. George Washington;
B. Andrew Jackson;
C. William Sherman;
D. Dwight Eisenhower.
6. What government leader is mentioned in Dickens “A Christmas Carol?”
A. Mayor of London;
B. Queen of England;
C. Archbishop of Canterbury;
D. Prime Minister of Parliament.
7. Who was the first president to mail out official Holiday Greetings from the White House?
A. Abraham Lincoln, who sent cards by Pony Express to California;
B. Woodrow Wilson, who wanted to cheer up the country during World War I;
C. Calvin Coolidge, who didn’t want to make a Christmas speech so he mailed out a message;
D. Herbert Hoover, who was trying to blunt criticism after the stock market crash.
8. What state government official plays a pivotal role in the Frank Capra Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life”?
A. The governor, who owed Mr. Potter a favor because of all those campaign contributions;
B. The land use commissioner, who had zoning questions about homes built in Bailey Park;
C. The bank examiner, who wanted to look at the Building and Loan’s books;
D. The attorney general, who was indicting George Bailey for embezzlement.
9. Which White House family had a pet that was originally given as a Christmas gift?
A. The Lincolns, whose pet turkey named Jack was spared from being Christmas dinner;
B. The Roosevelts, whose dog Fala was a gift from Eleanor to FDR;
C. The Nixons, whose dog Checkers was a Christmas gift from a supporter in Texas;
D. The Clintons, whose cat Socks was a present from Hillary to Chelsea.
10. Which of the following did Bill Clinton NOT give Monica Lewinsky as a Christmas present?
A. A copy of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”;
B. A Rockettes blanket;
C. A marble bear’s head;
D. A pillow from Air Force One with the presidential seal.
11. Who was the first president to have a Christmas tree in the White House?
A. Thomas Jefferson, in the first year the White House was occupied;
B. Andrew Jackson, who was known for large, often boisterous, celebrations;
C. Franklin Pierce, who had a tree sent from his native New Hampshire;
D. Millard Fillmore, who did little else memorable in his term.
12. What president banned Christmas trees from the White House?
A. Ulysses S. Grant, because they reminded him of the terrain outside Vicksburg;
B. Teddy Roosevelt, who thought cutting trees was bad for the environment;
C. FDR, who didn’t want to seem to be wasting money during the Depression;
D. Ronald Reagan, who believed trees were responsible for most pollution.
Answers inside the blog.
Spin Control has most of this week off, but in the spirit of the season is reprinting Christmas Trivia quizzes each day from previous years, leading up to this year’s quiz on Friday evening. This quiz first appeared on Dec. 25, 2005:
The worst thing about a political column on Christmas is that many people don’t
read the newspaper on Dec. 25 for anything but the post-yule sales, and most of
those who do read will not, in the spirit of the season, countenance smacking
someone upside the head – even if that person is a politician whom they would
say on the other 364 days of the year much deserves it.
If the lions can lie down with the lambs, then Democrats can drink mulled wine with Republicans, and Constitutionalists can eat fudge with the Green Party. And political columnists can slip something else past their editors on the theory that they’re in a sugar coma from guzzling eggnog.
Years ago when I was an editor – on a temporary, fill-in basis for another newspaper that was desperately short-handed because of vacations over the holiday season – I spent several Decembers scanning small-town newspapers looking for news in the hinterlands. Unfortunately, there seldom was any news in the hinterlands in December, so the small papers filled much of their space with short blurbs or factoids about the holiday season.
Over time, I collected enough Christmas trivia to play “Stump the Santa” at any watering hole. Or to fill in a column on an apolitical day like this.
Answer the questions from your own knowledge base. No checking Google, and no cheating.
1. Name the wise men mentioned in the Book of Matthew.
2. In the song “Santa Baby,” the singer wants a deed to what?
3. The song “White Christmas” first appeared in what movie?
4. How long had Jacob Marley been dead when he appeared to Scrooge?
5. How many presents does St. Nicholas leave under the tree for each child in the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”?
6. What night does King Wenceslaus see a poor man “gathering winter’s fuel”?
7. What’s the name of the ski lodge in the movie “White Christmas”?
8. What is the date for 12th Day of Christmas?
9. Who was the young reindeer’s coach in the 1964 TV special “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”?
10. What song is Janie Bailey practicing on the piano on Christmas Eve in “It’s a Wonderful Life”?
11. The song “Silent Night” was written for what musical instrument?
12. If you gave your true love the gifts of the 12 Days of Christmas, how many gifts would she have on the 12th day? No fair using a pencil and paper to figure this out.
Answers inside the blog