1. What relation was the Christ Child to John the Baptist?
-- No closer than second cousin. Luke tells us John's mother
Elizabeth was Mary's cousin.
2. Who was the Roman emperor when Christ was born?
-- Caesar Augustus.
3. Which emperor is credited with standardizing Dec. 25 as
-- Constantine in 325 A.D.
4. Mary and Joseph journeyed from Nazareth to Bethlehem to
be enrolled in the imperial census. How many miles is that?
-- They journeyed 92.5 miles.
5. Where did the Grinch steal Christmas?
-- In Whoville.
6. What family tradition did President Franklin Roosevelt insist
on performing every Christmas Eve?
-- Sitting beside the fire, he read aloud the Dickens classic
"A Christmas Carol," exuberantly acting out all the parts.
7. In Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" what identical gift
was bestowed on the bootlegger, the bus driver, the knife grinder,
two Baptist missionaries in Borneo and the president of the
-- A Christmas fruit cake.
8. What was True Love's gift on the second day of Christmas?
-- "Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree."
9. What did Harry Potter get for Christmas in his first semester
at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?
-- An "invisibility cloak."
10. Did Norman Rockwell ever paint Grandma Moses?
-- Yes. He depicted Grandma Moses among the friends and family
greeting a boy returning from college in "Christmas Homecoming,"
a 1948 Saturday Evening Post cover.
11. What historic event heightened holiday spirits in Berlin
a decade ago?
-- The fall of the Berlin wall.
12. Which newspaper assured a reader: "Yes, Virginia, there
is a Santa Claus?"
-- The New York Sun. A famous editorial on Sept. 21, 1897, by
Francis P. Church answered a letter by 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon.
The paper ceased publication in 1950.
13. Why do we kiss under the mistletoe?
-- The ancient Norse associated mistletoe with their goddess
14. What is holly's symbolic meaning to Christians?
-- To Christians, the berries are symbolic of Christ's blood,
and the thorny leaves suggest the thorns in His crown.
15. Who started the American tradition of poinsettia at Christmas?
-- Dr Joel Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico, brought
the plant back in 1828. Mexicans had long revered poinsettia
because it resembled the Star of Bethlehem.
16. True or false: The New England Puritans forbade Christmas
-- True. The Puritans considered Christmas trees and decorations
to be pagan, and outlawed them in Massachusetts until 1859.
17. Thanksgiving has traditionally been the start of the Christmas
season in the U.S. Which U.S. President moved Thanksgiving back
a week to extend the holiday shopping season?
-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in a move to help out Depression-strained
retailers. Since 1859 Thanksgiving had been celebrated on Nov.
30, but in 1939 FDR declared the holiday to be the fourth Thursday
in November (Nov. 23 of that yea\). Two years later, FDR signed
a bill making the move permanent and official.
18. True or false: The date of Christ's birth is noted in the
Book of Matthew in the New Testament.
-- False. The Bible never mentions a specific date for the Nativity.
19. What contribution to the Santa legend did New York ad writer
Robert May make in 1939?
-- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. May wrote the lyrics as copy
for a Montgomery Ward department store giveaway. In 1947 it
was set to music, and recorded by Gene Autrey.
20. In what Broadway musical was the song "Have Yourself a
Merry Little Christmas" introduced?
-- "Meet Me in St. Louis". Judy Garland sang the song in the
21. What auspicious television event occurred in December 1965?
-- "Charlie Brown Christmas" debuted on CBS. One of the very
first animated Christmas TV specials, the show has aired every
22. What auspicious television event occurred on December 24,
-- After achieving the first manned lunar orbit, the crew of
Apollo 8 celebrated Christmas Eve by reading from the first
chapter of the Book of Genesis. The event was broadcast around
23. What legendary actor narrated the TV special "How the Grinch
-- Boris Karloff, star of "Frankenstein" and other horror classics.
24. What do the songs "Jingle Bells", "Winter Wonderland",
and "Sleighride" have in common?
-- None of these songs mentions Christmas.
25. Why is "O, Come All Ye Faithful" a Christmas carol but
"Deck the Halls" not?
-- A true Christmas carol has to have a religious theme.
25. The state songs of Maryland and Michigan use the melody
of what popular Christmas song?
-- "O Tannenbaum"
26. What Christmas song was introduced in the 1942 movie "Holiday
Inn" ... and was almost cut out of the final version?
-- Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" -- one of the most popular
songs of all time. The movie "White Christmas", starring Crosby
and Danny Kaye, didn't debut until 1954. It was the first movie
to be made in Vista Vision, a deep-focus process.
27. Who sang "I saw Momy Kissing Santa Claus?"
-- Child singer Jimmy Boyd was 12 years and 11 months old when
he sang the Christmas favorite, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus."
The song hit the top of the pop charts.
28. In which year was Queen Elizabeth's Christmas message to
the nation fist televised?
-- Queen Elizabeth's Christmas message to the nation was televised
for the first time on December 25, 1957.
29. Where is Christmas Island?
-- Formally called Kiritimati, Christmas Island is in the Indian
30. True or false: America has an "official" Christmas tree.
-- True. America's official national Christmas tree is located
in King's Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant
sequoia called the "General Grant Tree," is over 300 feet high.
It was made the official Christmas tree in 1925.
33. True or false: More diamonds are sold at Christmas time
than at Valentine's Day.
-- True. More diamonds are purchased at Christmas -time (31
percent) than during any other holiday or occasion during the
34. What was so unusual about the Christmas season of 1989
in Eastern Europe?
-- On Christmas Day, 1989, Eastern Europe was permitted to celebrate
Christmas freely and openly for the first time in decades. Church
masses were broadcast live for the first time in history.
35. In what year did Toys for Tots start making the holidays
a little happier for children?
-- In 1947, Toys for Tots started making the holidays a little
happier for children by organizing its first Christmas toy drive
for needy youngsters.
36. When and where did the Salvation Army Christmas collection
-- In an effort to solicit cash to pay for a charity Christmas
dinner in 1891, a large crabpot was set down on a San Francisco
street, becoming the first Salvation Army collection kettle.