Christmas Trivia For People Who Really Like a Challenge and a Laugh!

Close up of Santa scratching his head

Close up photo of Santa scratching his head

People who know me know that beneath my smiling exterior there’s a streak of competitiveness. I guess that’s why I like the challenge of trivia questions.

Why Trivia Is Good For Us

Luckily, psychologists think that playing trivia games is good for us. A little friendly competition boosts your spirits and stimulates your brain to produce dopamine, a chemical your body produces that allows you to feel pleasure. What’s great is that it’s the competition itself that encourages dopamine, not getting the right answer. (Although getting the right answer increases your dopamine level even more!)

Playing trivia reduces stress and gives you a “rush.” One scientist even compared answering a trivia question correctly with the addictive powers of video games or gambling, only without any negative effects at all.

So with a nod to the season, I’m passing along some great Christmas trivia for people who really like a challenge and a laugh. I guarantee your company will get that dopamine rush once people start trying to answer these!

No searching for answers on your cell phone, please! Enjoy the challenge.

We’ll start with the easy ones.

ONE: Weather-Related Christmas Song Titles & Phrases

Since we’re a heating, air conditioning, and plumbing company, we’ll ask this first:

How many Christmas song titles – or phrases from Christmas songs – can you list that deal with weather and/or temperature?

I’ll include the answers at the end, so I won’t spoil your guessing!

TWO: Christmas Songs and Movies

  • The popular, traditional favorite Christmas Song, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” was originally introduced in a 1944 film. What was the film?
  • What 1990 movie is credited with popularizing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”?
  • The movie “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” gave this song more airtime than it originally enjoyed when it was written in 1951. Over the years, it’s been recorded by Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, and Michael Bublé. What is the song?

THREE: Christmas Food

  • What food is being cooked in The Christmas Song”?
  • In old-time England, what food did women eat at Christmas if they wanted to find a good husband?
  • What liquor do you use to preserve “figgy pudding”?
  • Give any of the four nasty food references used in “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch!”

FOUR: Christmas Timeline

  • In what year was a song called “The Angel’s Hymn,” requested to be sung at an early Christmas service in Rome?
  • During winter solstices, people used to bring evergreen boughs into their homes to give life and vitality to the year's darkest day. Christians began to mimic this as a Christmas tradition by bringing trees indoors in 16th-century Europe. When did Christmas trees become popular in the United States?
  • The band, Three Dog Night, took the phrase, “Joy to the World,” and turned it into a Number One Hit. What year was it?
  • Jingle Bells was the first Christmas song to be broadcast from space during the Gemini VI mission. What year was it?
  • Poinsettias became an accepted symbol of Christmas in American homes by what year?

FIVE: Christmas Truth

Give it your best guess. Is each statement TRUE or FALSE?

  • There are more than 15,000 songs with “Christmas” in the title.
  • The song, “Let It Snow,” was written during a blizzard in Vermont.
  • “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” was recorded during World War II.
  • The Beatle, Ringo Starr, wrote the song, “Wonderful Christmastime.”
  • There was a time in America when Christmas was outlawed and there was a fine for celebrating it.
  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was written by an unemployed father to cheer up his daughter who was suffering from measles over the holidays.
  • An accidental wrong number published on Sears’ Santa Hotline in 1955 went to a military defense agency and was the beginning of the Santa Tracker.
  • More than 1500 military personnel and volunteers answer the phone lines of the Santa Tracker every year.

We here at ServiceOne hope you have a joyous holiday season, filled with friendship, family, love, and laughter – and the challenge of a good trivia game!

ANSWERS:

One: Weather-Related Christmas Song Titles and Phrases:

Here are a half-dozen that I came up with, but I’m sure there are more. How many did your party-guests list?

  • White Christmas (Many Floridians dream of them…)
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Let It Snow (another nostalgic theme for lots of southerners!)
  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside
  • It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  • Frosty, the Snowman (“Knew the sun was hot that day!”)

TWO: Christmas Songs and Movies

  • Meet Me in St. Louis with Judy Garland
  • Home Alone
  • It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

THREE: Christmas Food

  • “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”
  • Gingerbread men. (Gives new meaning to the term, “Man Eater,” doesn’t it?)
  • Brandy
  • “You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel.”
  • “…garlic in your soul.”
  • “Your heart’s a dead tomato splotched with moldy purple spots.”
  • “You’re a 3 decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce.”

FOUR: Christmas Timeline

  • 129 A.D.
  • The 1890s (Puritans had objected to the pagan nature of the custom so it took a long time for the tradition to take hold.)
  • 1971
  • 1965
  • In 1828, the first United States minister to Mexico was Joel Poinsett. He found the Christmas flowers blooming in the winter and brought them home to his greenhouses in South Carolina, believing that they would be a seasonal hit in homes across our country. It took nearly 70 years for his prediction to come true when the Ecke family began to market poinsettias and sell them as whole plants. By 1900, poinsettias were a universal symbol of the holidays.

FIVE: Christmas Truth

  • False. There are almost 10,000 songs with “Christmas” in the title.
  • False. “Let It Snow” was written during a heat wave in California.
  • True.
  • False. The Beatle who wrote “Wonderful Christmastime,” is Paul McCartney.
  • True. The Puritans hated the Christmas festivities, feeling that they had no basis in Biblical truth, and Christmas was banned in 1649. A decade later, the Massachusetts Bay Colony imposed a five-shilling fine on anyone found to observe the holiday.
  • False. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was a project assigned to a copywriter named Robert May who worked for Montgomery Ward. In 1939, he was assigned to write a book that the company could hand out to kids over the holiday season. The year that he wrote it, Montgomery Ward handed out more than 2 million copies, and it became an iconic Christmas classic from that time on. (I bet Robert May was wishing he could claim that work!)
  • True. In 1955, the Cold War was raging and military personnel were on call at the Continental Air Defense Command. A little boy called the number published by Sears and was connected to a general who was in charge of our national missile response. The general must have had children - or a sense of humor at least! Instead of hanging up and forgetting the call, started the official Santa Tracker.
  • True story. Kind of cool what people will do for kids, isn’t it?
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