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A Quiz for Christmas

Putting the true meaning of Christmas at the centre of the celebration

by Rebecca Parkinson

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


To consider that the true meaning of Christmas is often hidden in the commercialism.

Preparation and materials

  • Chocolate advent calendar.
  • Optional: the questions below printed, cut into strips and placed in a box for the pupils to select.
  • Optional: pictures to illustrate some/all of the questions below. For example, question 1, pictures of reindeer; question 2, picture of Rudolph.


1. Show the chocolate advent calendar and explain that you are going to ask 24 Christmas-related questions. When pupils answer correctly they can come forward and open a door on the calendar. Alternatively, have the questions cut into strips and placed in a box. Ask a pupil to come forward and read the question. Whoever answers the question correctly can open the door indicated on the slip. For example, if he/she answers question number 16, door number 16 is opened.

2. Questions:

1. Can you name four of the original eight reindeer that pulled Santa’s sleigh in the song ‘The night before Christmas?’ (Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Donner, Blitzen)
2. What was the name of the reindeer with a shiny nose? (Rudolph)
3. In the song ‘The twelve Days of Christmas’, what was bought on the fifth day? (five gold rings)
4. Santa Claus/Father Christmas is also known as Saint who? (Nicholas)
5. What present did Harry Potter receive on his first Christmas at Hogwarts? (invisibility cloak)
6. In Charles Dickens’ book A Christmas Carol, what is the name of Scrooge’s dead business partner? (Jacob Marley)
7. How many days are there in November and December added together? (61)
8. What did Tom Smith invent in 1847? (Christmas crackers)
9. Complete the following Christmas song title: 'I'm dreaming of a . . . (White Christmas)
10. What were the names of Jesus’ mother and father? (Mary and Joseph)
11. What was the name of the town that Mary and Joseph travelled to? (Bethlehem)
12. Why did Mary and Joseph have to travel to Bethlehem? (Caesar had ordered that people return to their home town for a census)
13. Where did Mary and Joseph end up staying? (in a stable)
14. When the baby was born, what did his mum do with him? (Wrapped him in strips of cloth and placed him in a manger)
15. Who went to visit Jesus after he had been born? (shepherds and wise men)
16. How did the shepherds know that Jesus had been born? (some angels appeared)
17. What did the wise men see that made them go to look for the new baby? (a bright new star in the sky)
18. What presents did the wise men give to Jesus? (gold, frankincense, myrrh) [You could make this three separate questions]
19. In which book do we read the story of Jesus’ birth? (the Bible)
20. Who printed the first Christmas card? (Henry Cole)
21. Who were known as ‘Robins’ in Victorian Britain because of their red uniforms? (postmen)
22. In which pantomime does the character Wishee Washee appear? (Aladdin)
23. Where did tinsel originate? (Germany)
24. Which Christmas carol contains the line ‘Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la?!’ ('Deck the halls')

3. Point out that some of the questions related to the secular aspects of Christmas whereas some of them related to the religious aspect.
Sometimes it can seem that the origins and real meaning of Christmas are lost in all the commercialism.

4. We all have different views as to the real meaning of Christmas, but their origin is the same. It began with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

Time for reflection

What is the most important aspect of Christmas to you?
How can we make Christmas better for other people?
Have you ever really thought about how it all began and what the Christmas story means or can teach us?

Dear God,
Help us to spend time this Christmas considering the things that really matter.
Help us to take a moment to remember that it all began with the birth of a baby who would go on to change the world.

Publication date: December 2015   (Vol.17 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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