Christmas Trivia Questions:
Test Your Family's Knowledge of Christmas
It's always fun to have a few Christmas trivia questions to ask your kids and family while eating dinner together, or doing
some other Christmas activity. And of course, you will have all the answers right here :)
Christmas Trivia Questions about Santa
Who was the First Santa Claus?
St. Nicholas of Bari. Born in the 4th century in Patara, Lycia (part of Turkey). Was born into wealth, but became an
orphan as a teen. Gave away all his parents wealth to the needy. He became a monk at age 17, then a priest and finally an
archbishop. He was famed
for his generosity and sensitivity to the poor and needy.
Who was "Good King Wenceslas"?
He was another inspiration for Santa Claus. He was the Duke of Borivoy born in Bohemia in 907. He was a very religious boy who became
a leader at age 15 after his father's death. He was kind, generous and put Christian principles to work - seeking out the poor and distributing
food and clothes. He was murdered by his twin brother at the age of 22 because his brother wanted to inherit the throne.
Rendering of Duke of Borivoy and his page - see Christmas Trivia Questions - Who was Good King Wenceslas?
How did Santa Claus get his name?
Early Dutch settlers in New York recognized St. Nicholas as their patron saint. Because English speaking children could not
pronounce the Dutch name for St. Nicholas - Sinterklaas- they spoke it so quickly it came out sounding like Santy Claus. It
soon became Americanized into Santa Claus.
More Christmas Trivia Questions about Santa
Did Santa always wear a red suit, have a white beard and was jolly?
No. He got his "modern" look when in 1863 Thomas Nast, an illustrator for Harper's Weekly was asked to illustrate Moore's
"Twas The Night Before Christmas".
He created a kind, gentle, and jolly looking elf all dressed in red. For the next
22 years, in each December issue, Nast added more and more details to the look of Santa.
How did Santa's reindeer get their names?
Clement Clarke Moore wrote about and named the reindeer in his poem "The Night Before Christmas". Their names are: Dasher,
Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen.
Why does Santa give gifts to children?
The generous and loving spirit of Santa was inspired by St. Nicholas and Wenceslas, even though his modern day appearance
was created by men. Santa gives gifts just like the original santas did when they obeyed God's call and reached out to
the needy around them.
What newspaper published an editorial stating that "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."?
The New York Sun in 1897 published an editorial in response to a letter written by 8 yr old Virginia O'Hanlon. Virginia
asks for the truth - is there a Santa Claus? The editor, Francis P. Church responded in a now famous editorial that "Yes, Virginia,
there is a Santa Claus."
Christmas Trivia Questions about Christmas Trees
When did the tradition of the
Christmas tree begin?
The first decorated Christmas tree was it Riga, Latvia in 1510.
What where the first Christmas tree decorations?
Red apples attached to tree limbs, candles, strings of popcorn, cookies, dolls and small toys.
Why do we put lights on Christmas trees?
This tradition began with the legend of Martin Luther's first Christmas tree.
(See Christmas Tree History for more info.)
Martin Luther attached candleholders to the tree limbs and the custom quickly grew in Germany, then throughout
Europe. The lights represented baby Jesus bringing hope and light to a dark and hopeless world.
When did this tradition of Christmas Trees in homes come to America?
In the 1820's Pennsylvania Germans introduced Christmas trees in homes.
What do Christmas trees (evergreens) represent at Christmas time?
The evergreen tree that survives the coldest of winters, represents life - and at Christmas it represents the eternal
life that Jesus came to offer all of us who believe in him.
When did we begin putting electric lights on Christmas trees?
In 1882 - 3 years after Edison invented the light bulb. Edison's employee, Edward Johnson, had the idea of putting a
string of electrical light bulbs on his Christmas tree in New York City. It caught on after that but mostly for
the upper classes who could afford electric lights.
Christmas Trivia Questions about December 25th
Was Jesus born on December 25th?
No. There is no mention of the exact date Jesus was born in the Bible. However, it could not have been in the winter because
the shepherds would NOT have been out tending their sheep in the winter. Scholars think it was in Spring or Fall.
Why do we celebrate Jesus' birth on December 25th?
Early Church leaders picked a day, Dec 25th,
to honor Jesus and to
counteract the wild, weeklong festivals of the Winter Solstice-Saturnia- which took place Dec. 17 - 24th.
What is the festival "Saturnalia"?
Its a pagan Roman festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of peace and plenty. It was an annual weeklong party gone wild from Dec. 17 to 24th.
Was Christmas Day always celebrated by Christians as we do now?
No. Only in the last 200 years has it been celebrated and honored as the day of Christ's birth.
How was Christmas celebrated in the past?
For most of the world, and especially England and early America, Christmas was not a day of worship and reflection on Jesus' birth. It was a day set aside to sing unruly songs,
drink rum and riot in the streets. The poor would storm the homes of the wealthy and demand food and drink. If they didn't respond they would break in and take what they wanted. There was nothing
holy about these celebrations.
Christmas Trivia Questions about Jesus
What were the three gifts the Magi brought to baby Jesus?
What is Frankincense?
It is an ingredient in oil made from the sap of the Frankincense tree. It was used for religious anointing. The Frankincense
tree was sacred - only the pure of heart and mind were allowed near it.
What is myrrh?
A very rare and expensive resin used in burial ceremonies.
How long was the journey Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem?
Was Jesus born in a stable?
The Bible states he was born in a manger which is a feeding trough for animals. Tradition says Jesus was born in one of the many
caves in the hills around Bethlehem which was often used to stable the animals.
What is the town of Bethlehem known as?
The city of David.
Why did Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem?
They had to travel to the town of their descendants to register for a census in order that the Roman's can organize their tax rolls.
How old was Mary, the mother of Jesus when she gave birth?
She was likely 14 or 15 years old as that was the customary age for girls to marry.
What does Xmas really mean?
Back in the earliest days of Christianity, the term Xmas was dervied from the Greek Letter CHI, which resembles the letter X. Around the 16th century, they began using the letter X as a symbol for
Christ. Soon after the word Christmas was abbreviated to XMAS. Unfortunately, these days most people do not know the original meaning of XMAS and think it is used by merchants to shorten the word
Christmas and commercialize the holiday.
Do you have any Christmas Trivia Questions you want answers to? Read Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas by Ace Collins Lots of information in that book!
Example of German glass ornament - See Christmas Trivia Questions - Who produced the first ornaments?
Christmas Trivia Questions about Decorations
What was the first Christmas decoration?
Holly. It was a carry over from the pagan Roman winter solstice festivals.
Where did Christmas wreaths come from?
The Germans who first brought tradition of Christmas trees in the home, used to cut off some tree branches to better fit the tree into a room. Not wanting to waste the cut limbs, they weaved
them into wreaths. They were decorated with small wood carvings of the nativity scene or held a holiday greeting then hung on doors. Much like we do today.
What were the first mass produced ornaments?
They were garlands made from glass beads, tin figures and soon after, glass ornaments.
Who produced the first ornaments?
A German company named Lauscha in the 1860's.
What American company initially had the greatest impact on the commercialization of Christmas?
Woolworth's. By 1900 it's retail sales for Christmas decorations topped $25 million.
What made Christmas decorations so popular?
1) During WWI the importing of glass ornaments from Germany stopped. American companies filled the gap and mass produced glass ornaments.
2) During WWII new materials like plastic were developed and mass production was easier and faster. So the cost of decorations came down making it more
affordable for more and more people.
3) With the cost going down so much, people could now afford to even decorate the outside of their homes.
Enjoying quizzing your friends with these Christmas Trivia Questions!
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