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Spin Control’s Christmas trivia quiz

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?

a. Seattle

b. Spokane

c. Walla Walla

d. Tacoma

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?

a. Babylonians

b. Egyptians

c. Greeks

d. Romans

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

d. Massachusetts

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?

a. Angels

b. Shepherds

c. Wise Men

d. Cows

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

b. Jazz

c. Polka

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?

a. Genesis

b. Exodus

c. Luke

d. Revelation

With most of government taking at least a three-day weekend, there’s no Spin Control on Sunday. Merry Christmas to all.


1. Air raid warden. Potter ran the draft board and Uncle Billy sold bonds.

2. The song starts: “Deck us all with Boston Charlie; Walla Walla, Wash., and Kalamazoo …”.

3. In a children’s book written for Montgomery Ward and given away to customers in the 1930s.

4. The Greeks, or what was left of the empire of Alexander the Great in Asia Minor.

5. In an early “war on Christmas,” the Massachusetts colony declared Dec. 25 a day of work and fined anyone celebrating Christmas for part of the 17th century.

6. Ike was made Supreme Allied Commander of Operation Overlord, the D-Day invasion.

7. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote “Christmas Story 1940.”

8. There shouldn’t be magi at the manger. According to Matthew’s Gospel, they visited Mary and Jesus in a house.

9. “You’re quite a powerful speaker, sir,” Scrooge said after his nephew had extolled the virtues of Christmas. “I wonder you don’t run for parliament.”

10. Gus Polinski, polka king of the Midwest, was the leader of the Kenosha Kickers.

11. 363 A.D. is when the Roman church standardized the day for Christ’s birth, some scholars say to replace a solstice festival.

12. It was Christmas Eve, but they read from Genesis.

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