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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Spin Control’s annual quiz: the 12 Trivias of Xmas


Or go inside the blog to take the quiz the old fashioned way:

Each year Spin Control sets aside campaign blather and political posturing at Christmas, because, let’s face it, who cares about such stuff on Dec. 25? If lions can lie down with lambs, the Democrats and Republicans can at least have a glass of eggnog and offer a seasonal greeting – religious or secular – of their choice.
Instead, we offer the annual Holiday Quiz, also known as the 12 Trivias of Christmas, some of which have a government or political overtone and some of which are just trivial.

1. Christmas was once outlawed in England by
    a. King John, to get back at the nobles who forced him to sign the Magna Carta.
    b. King Henry VIII, to get back at the pope who excommunicated him for divorcing his first wife.
    c. Oliver Cromwell, to stop drunken revelry and papist overtones.
    d. Winston Churchill, to keep everyone working through “the Blitz.
    2. George Washington was well-known in his day for what holiday tradition?
    a. He always had the biggest Christmas tree in Virginia.
    b. He made a mean eggnog.
    c. He had a great singing voice for carols.
    d. He planted mistletoe all over Mount Vernon.
    3. Fruitcake is a traditional fare at Christmas because
    a. British law once limited eating it to certain holidays.
    b. Puritans in Boston were only allowed to eat foods soaked in alcohol in December.
    c. President Lincoln liked it so much he made ordered it added to rations for Union troops each Christmas during the Civil War.
    d. American doughboys were served fruit cake in London after World War I ended.
    4. The song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"; debuted in what movie?
    a. Mame
    b. Meet Me in St. Louis
    c. Camelot
    d. Oklahoma!
    5. Which of the following Christmas movies does NOT feature a law enforcement officer in a speaking role?
    a. White Christmas
    b. Home Alone
    c. It';s A Wonderful Life
    d. Holiday Inn
    6. Since 1962, when the U.S. Postal Service issued its first Christmas stamp, it has had a new Christmas stamp every year except
    a. 1963, when it issued a Hanukah stamp instead.
    b. 1975, when it issued a stamp for the upcoming bicentennial instead.
    c. 2000, when it was changing the postal rate and had too many stamps leftover from 1999.
    d. 2001, when was still honoring victims of 9/11.
    7. Many modern Christmas songs date way back, but the words are changed. The song Adeste Fidelis is better known now as
    a. Silent Night
    b. Joy to the World
    c. What Child is This?
    d. O Come All Ye Faithful
    8. Franklin Pierce is credited with having the first Christmas tree in the White House. Who had the first Christmas tree with electric lights?
    a. Grover Cleveland, who tried out a new invention by Thomas Edison.
    b. William McKinley, who got them as a gift from Vice President Roosevelt.
    c. Warren Harding, who thought lights would help Return to Normalcy.
    d. Herbert Hoover who as an engineer was the first one who could figure out how to untangle the strings and change bulbs.
    9. Unlike today's creches Medieval Nativity scenes usually had two women in the stable, the Virgin Mary and
    a. The inn keeper's wife, to show contrition for not having room in the inn.
    b. A shepherd's wife, as a sign that the shepherds had spread the good news.
    c. One of the magis was presented as a woman, the Queen of Sheba.
    d. A midwife, because someone had to deliver the baby.
    10. In the Doctor Seuss classic, what is the name of the Grinch's dog?
    a. Fido
    b. Roscoe
    c. Max
    d. Tinker
    11. If you were to give your true love the gifts in the 12 Days of Christmas for the entire period, what would you need the most?
    a. Calling birds
    b. Gold rings
    c. Geese a-laying
    d. Pipers piping
    12. Why does Santa wear red and white?
    a. Because those were the colors available to cartoonist Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly
    b. Because that's what Clement Moore said in 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
    c. Because Coca-Cola used its logo color in using him in ads in the 1930s.
    d. Because that’s the color he wore for his day job, way back when.


DON'T PEEK at the answers. Santa Claus may be watching.

Answers. 1c, Cromwell was a hard core Puritan;
2b, according to some accounts it was very potent;
3a, Talk about intrusive government;
4b, was a big Judy Garland hit;
5d, most are bit parts, except for Bert in It’s A Wonderful Life;
6c, one or more holiday stamps every other year;
7d, although the tune for c comes from Greensleeves;
8a. the White House had only recently been wired;
9d., from legends, her name was Salome but she disappeared over the centuries;
10c, Max has to pull the sleigh;
11c, by day 12 your true love has 22 pipers piping, 36 calling birds, 40 gold rings and 42 geese, and about 100 complaints from neighbors;
12d, as a bishop in Turkey in the 4th Century, he would have worn red and white.


How’d you do:
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.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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