The Ultimate Christmas Traditions Quiz


By: Staff

5 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Countless traditions accompany the holiday season. It's impossible to wrap up every Christmas tradition into a tidy little box with a big red bow, but if we tried, we'd have to include fruitcake, carols, mistletoe and "A Christmas Story."

It's a time-honored Christmas tradition to kiss under the mistletoe, but no one's quite sure when and where the practice originated. Which of the following is NOT accepted as a possible origin of the tradition?

Both the Vikings and the Romans kissed under the mistletoe, a leafy green plant that some cultures consider an aphrodisiac. The Victorians were incredibly prim, so it's doubtful they endorsed any type of PDA -- even a quick peck under the mistletoe.


We can thank the Crusaders for the advent of gingerbread. When they returned from the Middle East, they brought ginger, which was used in molded gingerbread cakes and cookies. When gingerbread is prepared, which of the following spices is NOT typically used in the recipe?

Who doesn't love gingerbread? It's a delicious holiday treat that's made with such spices as anise, cinnamon and, of course, ginger. Cumin, a savory spice, doesn't have a place in the traditional gingerbread recipe.


One of the most popular performances to take in during the holiday season is "The Nutcracker," a ballet based on E.T.A. Hoffman's "The Nutcracker and the King of Mice." Alexander Dumas (who wrote "The Three Musketeers") adapted Hoffman's tale into the story on which the ballet is based. But who choreographed the ballet?

In the 1890s, French-born Marius Petipa choreographed "The Nutcracker" based on Dumas' retelling of the story. His ballet also interprets the famous score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.


Which of the following phrases completes this rhyming couplet from Clement C. Moore's 1822 poem "The Night Before Christmas": "He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf..."

The phrase that completes this rhyming couplet in "The Night Before Christmas," also referred to as "A Visit from St. Nicholas," is "...and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself."


In what year did 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon famously inquire about Santa's existence, prompting Francis Pharcellus Church's response, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus"?

In 1897, Virginia O'Hanlon resolved to get to the bottom of the Santa question: Was he real or not? Her youthful hopefulness inspired a reporter from The Sun to assure her that the man in red was, in fact, very real.


The much-loved 1983 film "A Christmas Story" is actually based on a book of short stories and essays by what author?

A must-see film during the holiday season, "A Christmas Story" is actually based on short stories and essays by American writer Jean Shepherd. Dylan Thomas actually did write a book about Christmas ("A Child's Christmas in Wales") but it's a little more high-brow.


In Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," which ghost is a good-humored, burly spirit who wears an evergreen robe?

In the quintessential Victorian Christmas classic, the Ghost of Christmas Present is the jolly green giant. He's a lot more fun than the strange spritelike Ghost of Christmas Past and the frightening faceless Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.


Orphans and beggars in 19th-century Britain frequently sang this song at holiday time as a polite way of asking for alms, food or fire:

Nineteenth-century orphans and beggars found that singing "Here We Come A-Wassailing" at Christmastime offered far greater returns on their pleas than simply asking for food and money. It has such a lilting melody that demanding verses like, "Now, bring us some figgy pudding!" were perhaps forgiven.


Of the following facts about fruitcake, which is NOT true?

It's actually true that fruitcake is nearly as dense as mahogany and that it's got a shelf life of three years (it can last longer if it's been baked with a lot of rum). However, the average fruitcake weighs 2 pounds, not 8.


In what century and for what reason was the candy cane invented?

The candy cane used to look like a straight, plain white stick when it was first invented in the 17th century. It was used as a Christmas tree decoration, and not until the 20th century did it acquire its red stripes.


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