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Opinion >  Column

Prove your holiday knowledge with 12 Trivias of Xmas quiz

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 24, 2021

The lobby and the second floor at the Historic Davenport are transformed into holiday cheer for the 2021 Christmas Tree Elegance earlier this month.  (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review)
The lobby and the second floor at the Historic Davenport are transformed into holiday cheer for the 2021 Christmas Tree Elegance earlier this month. (Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review)

Each year, Spin Control leaves politics behind to give readers something a bit lighter to argue about – specifically, who knows more Christmas trivia as they gather ’round the tree, sing carols and sip eggnog. After they’ve been properly vaccinated and boosted, or at least have a recent negative COVID-19 test, of course. Here’s the omicron version of the annual 12 Trivias of Xmas, with answers and scoring at the end:

1. In the movie “Elf,” where did Buddy get his name?

A. It was on his crib at the orphanage.

B. Papa Elf gave it to him.

C. Santa gave it to him.

D. It was on the label on his diaper.

2. Who played Susan, the daughter of the Macy’s executive, in the original “Miracle on 34th Street”?

A. Judy Garland

B. Natalie Wood

C. Shirley Temple

D. Margaret O’Brien

3. In “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” where will the singer be waiting?

A. Underneath the mistletoe

B. By the tree

C. Near the stockings

D. By the fireplace

4. Holly is a staple of holiday decorations that dates back to the Norse. What did they think the green leafy plant with red berries would do?

A. Bring good crops next year

B. Increase fertility

C. Chase away evil spirits

D. Nothing special; they just liked that it had red and green Christmas colors.

5. Bing Crosby first performed “White Christmas” publicly on Christmas of what year?

A. 1938

B. 1939

C. 1940

D. 1941

6. St. Nicholas, the original Santa Claus, is naturally the patron saint of children, but was so popular that he became the patron saint of other groups, including:

A. Soldiers

B. Sailors

C. Tinkers

D. Tailors

7. During World War I, British and German soldiers on the Western Front called an unofficial truce, stopped fighting and even sang carols and shared their rations, in:

A. 1914

B. 1915

C. 1916

D. 1917

8. In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” how much money does George Bailey need to find or borrow to save the Building and Loan?

A. $800

B. $8,000

C. $80,000

D. $800,000

9. Katie Hnida made history on Christmas 2002 as the first woman to:

A. Play in a Division I college football game

B. Star as Scrooge on a Broadway production of “Christmas Carol”

C. Referee an NHL game

D. Do the color commentary for a Zags game

10. Puritans in Massachusetts in the 1600s didn’t celebrate Christmas because:

A. The Bible doesn’t say Jesus was born on Dec. 25.

B. They celebrated St. Nicholas Day on Dec. 6 like the Dutch.

C. They were opposed to the revelry that was common in Europe because it distracted from the religious meaning.

D. The winters were so cold they wanted everyone to stay inside to stay healthy.

11. Some conservative religious groups objected to the inclusion of which holiday character in Leavenworth’s “Village of Lights” parade this year?

A. Santa, because the letters can be rearranged to spell Satan.

B. The Grinch, because they believe Dr. Seuss hid anti-American messages in his books.

C. Ebenezer Scrooge, because his character reflects badly on capitalism.

D. Krampus, an Eastern European character who punishes bad children, because of demonic influences.

12. Chestnuts are a treat mentioned in “The Christmas Song” and what other popular holiday song?

A. “Jingle Bell Rock”

B. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

C. “Sleigh Ride”

D. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”


1. D. The label on his diapers said “Little Buddy’s.”

2. B. All the other child stars would have been too old for the role in 1947.

3. A. The tree, fireplace and stockings are mentioned during the song, but mistletoe is the place the singer will wait.

4. C. Holly, which stayed green in the winter, was thought to repel evil spirits.

5. D. The song was written for the “Holiday Inn,” which premiered in 1942, but Crosby performed it on his radio show in 1941, and it became a big hit when the movie was released the next year.

6. B. He is the patron saint of sailors, which is a bit strange because Italian sailors supposedly stole his bones from their original resting place in what’s now Turkey in 1087 and brought them to Italy.

7. A. It happened in the first year of the war, and generals made sure it never happened again.

8. C. Uncle Billy was supposed to deposit $8,000 – which was a lot of money in 1947 – in the bank but mistakenly gave it to Mr. Potter wrapped in a newspaper.

9. A. A place-kicker for the University of New Mexico in the Las Vegas Bowl, Hnida came on to kick a PAT, but missed.

She made two the next year.

10. C. Christmas celebrations were raucous affairs in the 1600s and the Puritans were so opposed that they punished people who celebrated on the day.

11. D. The Leavenworth Chamber invited Krampus Seattle, a group that had attended previous celebrations on their own, and that got caught up in controversy over some other changes.

12. C. Although not in the Ronettes’ popular cover version, they are in the second verse of the original and most other versions, at the party of Farmer Gray.


0-3 You could be Scrooge before Marley’s ghost appeared.

4-6 You could be Charlie Brown sitting in Lucy’s chair.

7-9 You could be the Grinch after his heart grew three sizes.

11-12 You could be Linus explaining the meaning of Christmas on stage.

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