Camden: Christmas quiz in 2017 includes the political, the trivial




Jim Camden is a columnist with the Spokesman-Review in Spokane. Email:

Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year and a belated Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Happy Solstice. And for those who believe brevity is the soul of something, Happy Holidays.

In keeping with our time-honored tradition of not getting political on the week of Christmas because folks would rather chill, Spin Control presents its annual Christmas quiz, which we offer every year as a way to bring peace on Earth and goodwill to Democrats and Republicans. If the lion can lay down with the lamb this time of year, maybe Fox News can declare the War on Christmas over and sit down with MSNBC for a glass of eggnog.

Some questions have a bit of a political or government slant, others are just trivial. Put your hand over the answers, and take the quiz:

1. In the song “Home for the Holidays,” what two states are mentioned?

A. New York and New Jersey

B. Pennsylvania and Tennessee

C. Florida and Maine

D. California and Texas

2. How many types of birds are mentioned in the “The Twelve Days of Christmas”?

A. 4

B. 5

C. 6

D. 7

3. Lots of actors have played Santa Claus. Who played him in the movie “Elf”?

A. Ed Asner

B. Richard Attenborough

C. Tim Allen

D. John Goodman

4. In the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a picture of which president is on the wall of the Baileys’ living room?

A. Abraham Lincoln

B. Woodrow Wilson

C. Franklin Roosevelt

D. Harry Truman

5. In “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” what phobia does Lucy suggest that he decides he has?

A. Arachnophobia

B. Agoraphobia

C. Xenophobia

D. Pantophobia

6. Long before Bill O’Reilly took up his crusade on Fox, what Christian group declared war on Christmas in the 1600s?

A. Catholics

B. Anglicans

C. Puritans

D. Lutherans

7. What Roman emperor ordered a census of the world that required Joseph and Mary to journey to Bethlehem?

A. Julius

B. Augustus

C. Tiberius

D. Claudius

8. If Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth, why did they have to go to Bethlehem?

A. Mary was born there.

B. They were getting married there.

C. Caesar couldn’t afford to send census takers to a backwater town like Nazareth.

D. Joseph’s family was originally from there.

9. When British and German troops in the trenches declared a Christmas truce in 1914 during the first year of World War I, what carol did they sing?

A. “Silent Night”

B. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

C. “Adeste Fidelis”

D. “Joy to the World”

10. On what day does the party in Fezziwig’s counting house start in “A Christmas Carol”?

A. Christmas Eve

B. Christmas Day

C. Dec. 26 or Boxing Day, when servants got the day off in 19th-century London

D. New Year’s Eve


1. B. “I met a man who lived in Tennessee and he was headed for Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie. …”

2. C. Partridge, turtle dove, calling bird, French hen, geese and swans.

3. A. He sometimes falls back into his cranky “Lou Grant” persona.

4. A. There’s a picture of Old Abe on the wall on that fateful Christmas Eve.

5. D. When Lucy explains pantophobia is fear of everything, Charlie Brown shouts “That’s it!”

6. C. Puritans made celebrating Christmas a crime, both in the Massachusetts Colony and in some places in England.

7. B. The Book of Luke says Augustus ordered the census so people could be taxed.

8. D. Joseph was of the House of David and the Messiah was to be “from the root of Jesse,” and that’s where King David and his father, Jesse, were from.

9. A. They sang “Silent Night” or “Stille Nacht,” which was the original version in German. The song was popular in both countries.

10. A. Fezziwig’s party starts on Christmas Eve, because Scrooge and his fellow apprentice were working until the evening, which they wouldn’t have been on Christmas Day.