Originally created 12/23/99

In the know


Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, and our annual Christmas quiz deals with matters such as that.

In fact, that jolly English jingle (or a version thereof) is the basis of one of the 20 questions designed to test your knowledge of our most joyous holiday.

Adjust your thinking caps and we're off on our holiday quest with a flourish of coaching horns and a jingling of harness bells.


(1) What relation was the Christ Child to John the Baptist?

(2) Who was the Roman emperor when Christ was born?

(3) Which emperor is credited with standardizing Dec. 25 as Christmas Day?

(4) Luke tells us that Mary and Joseph journeyed from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be enrolled in the imperial census. How many miles is that?

(5) What explanations have astronomers offered concerning the Christmas star that the Wise Men saw in the east and followed to Bethlehem?

(6) Where did the Grinch steal Christmas?

(7) What did the goblins steal in a Christmas short story by Charles Dickens?

(8) Why did President Theodore Roosevelt's young sons Archie and Quentin hide a Christmas tree in a White House closet?

(9) What family tradition did President Franklin Roosevelt insist on performing every Christmas Eve?

(10) 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 United States?

(11) What was True Love's gift on the second day of Christmas?

(12) What did Harry Potter get for Christmas in his first semester at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

(13) In the days before central heating, what did Santa put in the Christmas stockings of children who misbehaved?

(14) Name the eight tiny reindeer in the order in which Santa summoned them in Clement C. Moore's classic poem.

(15) Complete the jolly jingle "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat ..."

(16) Did Norman Rockwell ever paint Grandma Moses?

(17) When did good King Wenceslas go out?

(18) Which government agency provided proof of Santa's existence in the film classic Miracle on 34th Street.

(19) What historic event heightened holiday spirits in Berlin a decade ago?

(20) Which newspaper assured a reader: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus"?

Go to the answers page


Score one point for each correct answer.

A perfect score of 20 lifts you or your team to the top of the Christmas tree, right up there with the twinkling star.

Scores of 15 and above designate you as master toy makers in Santa's workshop at the top of the world.

Marks of 10 through 14 rank you in the top half of the class in our Christmas SATs -- Santa's Annual Testing.

Five to nine correct answers could indicate an early wavering of the holiday spirit or perhaps overindulgence in the same.

From four to zero puts you deep in the bargain basement, but be of good cheer. That's where most department stores have their post-Christmas sales, so you may come up a winner yet.


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