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Spin Control: No time for reindeer games? Test your Christmas knowledge

Sun., Dec. 22, 2013, midnight

It’s time once again for Spin Control’s 12 Trivias of Christmas, our annual quiz that keeps politics from intruding on the holiday season.

In the spirit of peace on Earth to men and women of good will, Spin Control avoids political commentary so close to Christmas. Our holiday wish is that if the lions can lie down with the lambs and the Senate Democratic budget chairwoman can negotiate a deal with the House Republican budget chairman, the rest of us can avoid fights over Obamacare and share a bit of holiday fun.

Besides, there’s hardly ever any local or state political news worth writing about this time of year. So here we go with the quiz. Put your hand over the answers at the bottom. If you peek, you probably have been peeking under the wrappings of your presents, too. Shame.

1. Which of these movies does not have a Christmas-themed scene in it?

A. “Die Hard”

B. “Meet Me in St. Louis”

C. “The Family Man”

D. “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”

2. In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” in what branch of the service did Harry Bailey serve?

A. Army

B. Navy

C. Air Force

D. Marines

3. Who among the following is not named in the biblical accounts of the Nativity?

A. The innkeeper

B. The angel who announces the birth to the shepherds

C. The Magi

D. None of them is named

4. What newspaper first published the editorial “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”?

A. New York Sun

B. New York Times

C. New York Post

D. New York Herald Tribune

5. What day did that editorial appear?

A. Sept. 21

B. Nov. 25

C. Dec. 1

D. Dec. 24

6. What is the last reindeer named in “ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas”?

A. Prancer

B. Rudolph

C. Blitzen

D. Comet

7. What do the Parkers eat for Christmas dinner in “A Christmas Story”?

A. Turkey

B. Goose

C. Duck

D. Roast beef

8. Who plays the man threatening to commit suicide on Christmas Eve in “Meet John Doe”?

A. Gary Cooper

B. James Stewart

C. Randolph Scott

D. Bing Crosby

9. In “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Hermie the Elf wants to be a

A. Bookkeeper

B. Dentist

C. Guitar player

D. Novelist

10. When Joseph and Mary left Bethlehem with the Baby Jesus – essentially becoming illegal immigrants – to what country did they flee?

A. Canaan

B. Sheba

C. Egypt

D. Babylon

11. When King Wenceslaus looked out on the Feast of Stephen, what day was that?

A. Dec. 24

B. Dec. 26

C. Dec. 30

D. Jan. 1

12. How many ghosts visit Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”?

A. 1

B. 2

C. 3

D. 4


1. D. “Mr. Smith” is a Frank Capra movie but has no Christmas reference.

2. B. Harry Bailey is a Navy pilot who shot down planes about to slam into a troop transport.

3. D. None of them is named and an innkeeper isn’t mentioned. Names for the Magi were invented much later.

4. A. The editorial appeared in the New York Sun.

5. A. Although many newspapers reprint “Yes, Virginia” close to the holiday, it first appeared on Sept. 21, 1897, in response to a letter from an 8-year-old.

6. C. Blitzen. No fair if you had to go through all eight to get to his name.

7. C. They cook a turkey, but the Bumpuses’ dogs destroy it, so they eat Peking duck at a Chinese restaurant.

8. A. Gary Cooper is a down-and-out baseball player who agrees to be the fictitious Doe.

9. B. Hermie finds dentistry, with its cuspids and incisors, fascinating.

10. C. According to the book of Matthew, they went to Egypt until Herod the Great died.

11. B. The Feast of Stephen, named for an early Christian martyr mentioned in the Bible, is the day after Christmas, Dec. 26.

12. D. The ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come are preceded by Jacob Marley’s ghost.


1-4: You’re the small-hearted Grinch.

5-8: You could be Linus at the Christmas play.

9-12: You’re the Grinch after his heart grew.

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