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Quiz about Tales of Christmas
Quiz about Tales of Christmas

Tales of Christmas Trivia Quiz


Christmas is drawing nigh, one of the joys of the season is the thought of curling up with a good Christmas story. Here are some options to consider for this evening's delectation.

A multiple-choice quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
looney_tunes
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
371,757
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
2182
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 97 (2/10), ptc123 (6/10), Guest 67 (6/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. William Henry Porter wrote the short story 'The Gift of the Magi', describing the efforts of a young and impecunious couple to buy Christmas gifts for each other, and ending with an ironic twist characteristic of this author's writing. What pen name did he use for this story, along with many others? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Although L Frank Baum is better known for his works about the Land of Oz, he created a mythological world in which Santa lives in a place called Laughing Valley, near the Forest of Burzee. What magical creatures, inhabiting caves in nearby mountains, are his antagonists in the short story 'A Kidnapped Santa Claus'? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. In Anton Chekhov's short story 'At Christmas Time', what do Vasilisa and Peter ask Yegor to do for them? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Christmas time is the traditional season for the performance of Tchaikovsky's ballet 'The Nutcracker'. Written in 1892, the ballet was based on Dumas pere's adaptation of the novella 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse King'. What German author wrote the novella, first published in 1816? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Sherlock Holmes was not one for Christmas sentimentality, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used a Christmas setting for 'The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle'. What was unusual about the gemstone in the story's title? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Henry van Dyke's 1895 novella 'The Other Wise Man' tells the story of a hypothetical fourth magus who missed the rendezvous, arrived in Bethlehem too late to see the infant Jesus, and spent the next 33 years searching for him and performing charitable acts, only to arrive in Jerusalem in time for the crucifixion. What caused him to miss the departure of the caravan formed by the Three Magi described in the Gospel of Matthew? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. What is the trade of Spare and Scrub, the brothers at the centre of Frances Browne's story 'The Christmas Cuckoo'? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. You know the song 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer', written by Johnny Marks and turned into a number one hit by Gene Autry in 1949. What was the name of Marks's brother-in-law who wrote the original story in 1939? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Agatha Christie wrote a book which has been published with multiple titles, including 'Murder for Christmas' and 'A Holiday for Murder'. Her original title, however, included the name of the detective who solved the mystery of the death of Simeon Lee on Christmas Eve. Which of these titles was it? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. We cannot finish this quiz without looking at that perennial favorite, 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens. Which of the ghosts who visit Ebenezer Scrooge makes this statement?

"It is required of every man," the ghost returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and, if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death."
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Most Recent Scores
Jun 14 2024 : Guest 97: 2/10
Jun 10 2024 : ptc123: 6/10
May 31 2024 : Guest 67: 6/10
May 31 2024 : PurpleComet: 10/10
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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. William Henry Porter wrote the short story 'The Gift of the Magi', describing the efforts of a young and impecunious couple to buy Christmas gifts for each other, and ending with an ironic twist characteristic of this author's writing. What pen name did he use for this story, along with many others?

Answer: O. Henry

A number of explanations for Porter's chosen pseudonym have been offered, none of them convincingly eliminating the other possibilities. As O. Henry, he wrote hundreds of short stories during the first decade of the twentieth century, many of them first published in the 'New York World Sunday Magazine', where 'The Gift of the Magi' first appeared on 10 December 1905. It tells of Jim and Della, each of whom sells their most precious possession in order to buy a Christmas gift for the other. Della sells her hair to buy a platinum chain for Jim's fob watch; Jim sells his watch to buy expensive hair ornaments for Della. Although their actual gifts are now useless, they see them as representations of the extent of their love for each other, priceless in their symbolism.

Boz was used by Charles Dickens for some of his work, George Eliot by Mary Ann Evans, and Mark Twain by Samuel Clemens.
2. Although L Frank Baum is better known for his works about the Land of Oz, he created a mythological world in which Santa lives in a place called Laughing Valley, near the Forest of Burzee. What magical creatures, inhabiting caves in nearby mountains, are his antagonists in the short story 'A Kidnapped Santa Claus'?

Answer: Daemons

The Five Daemons (of Selfishness, Malice, Envy, Hatred and Repentance) resent the fact that children prefer to visit Santa with his gifts than them. Having failed in their attempts to lure him into sharing the vices of selfishness, envy and hatred, they kidnap Santa to keep him from delivering his gifts.

His assistants (a knook, a ryl, a pixie and a fairy) complete his mission, with varying degrees of accuracy in delivery, then seek the assistance of the Queen of the Fairies to free Santa. A full-scale battle is averted when the Daemon of Repentance releases Santa, due to his remorse over the kidnapping.

This short story was first published in 1904, two years after the novel 'The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus' first created this cosmos.

The novel and the story are often published together as a single volume.
3. In Anton Chekhov's short story 'At Christmas Time', what do Vasilisa and Peter ask Yegor to do for them?

Answer: Write a letter to their daughter

The Christmas season overwhelmed Vasilisa with longing to communicate with her daughter, from whom they had heard nothing since shortly after she moved far away with her ex-soldier husband. Illiterate, they turned to a man reputed to write a good letter if you had the money to pay for it. Vasilisa could only manage the first sentence - after that, there was so much to tell of their lives over the years that she didn't know where to start. Yegor wrote a long letter, but most of the contents were a discussion of the duties of a soldier. Nevertheless, when Efimia received it, that first sentence brought back memories of the village in which she grew up, and she burst into tears as she shared those memories with her small children. We learn that her husband had neglected to post any of the letters she had written over the years, leading to the lengthy silence and her sense of isolation from family and dependence on him, despite the fact that she lived in fear of him. Chekhov achieves a detailed picture of the lives of the main character in the space of a few hundred words, as is his wont.
4. Christmas time is the traditional season for the performance of Tchaikovsky's ballet 'The Nutcracker'. Written in 1892, the ballet was based on Dumas pere's adaptation of the novella 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse King'. What German author wrote the novella, first published in 1816?

Answer: E. T. A. Hoffmann

Marie (called Clara in the ballet) is given the care of a nutcracker, whose jaw is broken by her brother. That night, she wakes to see the nutcracker leading the children's toys in battle against the mice, led by their seven-headed king. Marie helps the toys win the battle, but is told in the morning that it was just a dream. Her godfather then relates the story of Princess Pirlipat and the Queen of the Mice, which explains how nutcrackers came to be. (It must be said that they seem to be human in shape, with a movable jaw so that they seem to break the nut with their mouth. I have never seen such a nutcracker outside this story, but assume they must have been common at the time.) When Marie's nutcracker finally defeats the Mouse King, he takes her to a magical kingdom where she sees many wonderful things before falling asleep and being returned to her own bed. Again, her story is not believed. Eventually, her love breaks the spell on the nutcracker, who turns out to be the nephew of her godfather - that fantasy about the origin of the nutcracker was fact, not fiction. Marie ends up being queen of the doll kingdom, married to her beloved 'nutcracker'.

None of the incorrect options was born until at least fifty years after Hoffmann wrote 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse King'.
5. Sherlock Holmes was not one for Christmas sentimentality, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used a Christmas setting for 'The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle'. What was unusual about the gemstone in the story's title?

Answer: It was found inside a goose

The story starts with Holmes being given a hat that had been dropped by a man under assault from ruffians, and his attempt to find the owner. The goose is taken home by Peterson, the person who had observed the assault, and duly roasted and eaten when the owner cannot be found in time to prevent the goose spoiling. That is when it is found to contain a large blue gem, which Peterson then brings to Holmes.

The mystery is solved, the original thief found, and the reward for gem's return promised to Peterson.

In a spirit of seasonal generosity, Holmes allows the culprit to flee the country, instead of turning him in to the police.
6. Henry van Dyke's 1895 novella 'The Other Wise Man' tells the story of a hypothetical fourth magus who missed the rendezvous, arrived in Bethlehem too late to see the infant Jesus, and spent the next 33 years searching for him and performing charitable acts, only to arrive in Jerusalem in time for the crucifixion. What caused him to miss the departure of the caravan formed by the Three Magi described in the Gospel of Matthew?

Answer: He stopped to help a dying man

Artaban, like the other magi, sees signs that lead him to collect gifts (a ruby, a sapphire, and an extremely valuable pearl) and head from Persia to Bethlehem. Having stopped to help a dying man, he arrives too late to join the caravan with the other three, and has to sell one of his gems to buy the camels and provisions needed for the long journey. Arriving after Jesus and his family had fled to Egypt, he uses another gem to save a child, then begins his lengthy quest to find Jesus, performing acts of charity along the way. He finally locates the Messiah he sought, but only in time to witness his death. The pearl, his last planned gift, is used to ransom a girl who has been sold into slavery. Artaban then dies from being struck in the head by a falling roof tile, and realises that his life of charity has been the most appropriate gift he could have given. Although Christmas and the birth of Christ is only the starting point of this story, it is often seen as a part of the Christmas canon.

In the preface to his book, van Dyke wrote, "I do not know where this little story came from--out of the air, perhaps. One thing is certain, it is not written in any other book, nor is it to be found among the ancient lore of the East. And yet I have never felt as if it were my own. It was a gift, and it seemed to me as if I knew the Giver."
7. What is the trade of Spare and Scrub, the brothers at the centre of Frances Browne's story 'The Christmas Cuckoo'?

Answer: Cobblers

The brothers are barely keeping things together, because a new cobbler has arrived in town and attracted all the local trade, when they are surprised to see a cuckoo fly out of the large dead tree they had put in their fireplace as a Yule log. In return for a warm place to sleep through the winter, the cuckoo offers to bring them gifts from the far reaches of the world; they can choose between receiving, at the start of each spring, a leaf from a tree of gold, or one from the Merry Tree. Scrub chooses the gold, and Spare the merry, much to the scorn of his brother. His choice, however, proves to be the wise one - no matter how poor he may be, he is always content while the merry leaves are near, and the contentment spreads to those with whom he has contact. Scrub, on the other hand, initially sets himself up with the proceeds of the gold leaf, marries, and becomes a solid citizen. When it is all stolen while they are visiting the court where Spare keeps the king happy with his presence, Scrub and Fairfeather are forced to return to the brothers' shack, unintentionally carrying his brothers stock of merry leaves with them, and are surprised to discover how happy they are despite their losses. Eventually the three settle down to a life of contentment in the small village, where all and sundry are delighted in their presence. As is the case with some of the other stories in this quiz, the action is triggered by a Christmas event, not centred on it, but it conveys a message which makes parents choose to read it to their children around Christmas time.

'The Christmas Cuckoo' first appeared as part of the collection of stories for children 'Granny's Wonderful chair' in 1856.
8. You know the song 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer', written by Johnny Marks and turned into a number one hit by Gene Autry in 1949. What was the name of Marks's brother-in-law who wrote the original story in 1939?

Answer: Robert L. May

There are several versions of the origin of the story, but all agree that Robert L. May wrote it while working for Montgomery Ward, who were the original publishers of the pamphlet containing the story. Rudolph's glowing red nose was originally considered inappropriate for a children's story, with its connotations (at the time) of drunkenness; May organised cute illustrations to counteract that impression, and it was finally published. Do you really need a plot summary? Young deer with glowing nose is ostracised for being different; Santa asks his help to light the way through a foggy night; acceptance follows his heroic deed. So popular has Rudolph become that many people consider him to be one of the canonical reindeer (in addition to the eight from the poem commonly attributed to Clement Moore).
9. Agatha Christie wrote a book which has been published with multiple titles, including 'Murder for Christmas' and 'A Holiday for Murder'. Her original title, however, included the name of the detective who solved the mystery of the death of Simeon Lee on Christmas Eve. Which of these titles was it?

Answer: Hercule Poirot's Christmas

Hercule Poirot is summoned, ostensibly to investigate the theft of some diamonds, to spend Christmas at the country estate of Simeon Lee, along with Simeon's four sons and their wives, the granddaughter who had been raised in her Spanish father's country, and the son of an old business partner.

A local policeman is also on the scene of this uneasy family reunion, at which nobody is particularly likeable, least of all the victim. Everyone becomes a suspect, until Poirot eventually reveals which of them was responsible for Simeon's death.
10. We cannot finish this quiz without looking at that perennial favorite, 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens. Which of the ghosts who visit Ebenezer Scrooge makes this statement? "It is required of every man," the ghost returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and, if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death."

Answer: Marley's ghost

This is part of the explanation the ghost of Marley, his deceased business partner, offers Scrooge about the transformational events that are going to happen to him during the night before Christmas. Dickens's story of redemption through discovering the importance of caring for your fellow humans has been retold many times - scarcely a year goes past without some new adaptation for stage, film or television appearing. Dickens's description of joyous Christmas feasting is often credited with contributing to the revival of Christmas as an important time for family celebration which occurred in Victorian England.
Source: Author looney_tunes

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Pagiedamon before going online.
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