Monday, December 22, 2014

The New Monday Quiz, Brimming O'er with Yuletide Cheer!

This quiz guaranteed 100% free of questions about gift quantities in "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

1. What is one supposed to do on Boxing Day?

2. How do we usually translate "O Tannenbaum" into English? How about "Adeste Fideles"? How about "In Dulce Jubilo"?

3. David Sedaris' "The Santaland Diaries" is a mostly-true account of his brief career as what?

4. What was George Washington up to on Christmas Night, 1776?

5. It was written in 1857 for the American Thanksgiving holiday, and was for some time considered a mildly racy drinking song. Today, it is an extremely well-known Christmas song. It is no longer considered racy. Sing it while you type the answer.

6. Christmas trees were initially a regional Protestant custom in a small area of Germany's Rhineland. Then they went viral. During what century did Christmas trees become popular throughout the Christmas-celebrating world?

7. On Christmas 1989, the notorious couple shown here would be subjected to a sham trial and then summarily executed. Hey, wait, this question isn't cheery! Well, too late. Who were they?

8. And who should be upon that ship, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day, and who should be upon that ship, on Christmas Day in the morning?

9. According to the Biblical account, three wise men follow a star to Judea at some point after the birth of Jesus, hoping to meet a new Messiah. Who is it that tips them off to look in Bethlehem?

10. Truth, or Michael5000-style nonsense? By tradition, St. Francis of Assisi staged the first nativity scene in 1223 in an attempt to refocus the Christmas holiday away from feasting and gift-giving and back on Christian worship. 


Elizabeth said...

1. Hit people! No, sorry - give gifts to our servants.

2. "O Christmas Tree" - "O Come, All Ye Faithful" - and I've never really seen this third one translated to anything else except "O How Joyfully" I think?

3. A Macy's elf.

4. Crossing the Delaware?

5. Hm. That I don't know. Twelve Days of Christmas? There's lots that could be (mis)interpreted there - those maids a-milking, for example.

6. Early 19th century, I think, under Queen Victoria. (was that early 18th century?)

7. The Rosenbaums?

8. Oh, damn, now I have an earworm without an answer to this question.

9. That's where the star stops?

10. Truth! I just learned that on a holiday episode of QI the other evening.

gS49 said...

OO, weak on this one!
Here's a try:

1. Give "Christmas Boxes" to the servants
2. O Christmas Tree (or O Maryland My Maryland); Oh Come, All Ye Faithful; Sweet Julibation??
3. Store Santa?
4. Crossing the Delaware
5. No idea--Jingle Bells?
6. 19th
7. Rosenberg, Ethel and Julius
8. Christ Child
9. Herod
10. Truth?

DrSchnell said...

1. box stuff up to give to the poor
2. "O Christmas Tree," "O come all ye faithful", "In sweet joyfulness"(? never heard of that one)
3. Macy's elf
4. Freezing his butt off crossing the Delaware.
5. Free Bird. No, um, how about "Over the River and Through the Woods" (thank you, Peanuts Thanksgiving special)
6. nineteenth
7. The Ceaucheskus (how the hell do you spell that?)
8. Blackbeard the Pirate
9. The sign that sez "Messiah, this way! 305 furlongs"
10. sounds like M5000 nonsense to me

Morgan said...

1. Throw out all the boxes from your Christmas Presents.
2. O Christmas Tree. O Come All Ye Faithful. Silent Night?
3. A mall elf.
4. Crossing the Delaware? I have a feeling that was later on.
5. Jingle Bells? That song is pretty scandalous.
6. 19th.
7. No idea.
8. Sting.
9. King David?
10. Truth.

Exactly 1 of those answers I know for sure.

mrs.5000 said...

1. box up hand-me-downs and give them to the servants
2. O Christmas Tree, O Come All Ye Faithful...Comfort and Joy?
3. An elf! At Macy's, perhaps?
4. Let's see...he was crossing the Delaware to sneak up on British forces sleeping off their Yuletide revels at Trenton. Hessians, if I'm not mistaken. Do I get extra credit for Macy's and Hessians, if they turn out to be right? I may need it for the end of the quiz.
5. Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells!
6. Hmmmm...20th?
7. Uh...the Manescus, no?
8. Christ the King? I'm thinking it's the baby Jesus in some manifestation, though I can't remember the line. It definitely falls in the category of "things my husband knows, and has probably told me more than once, always to my surprise." I'm quite sure the answer isn't Christopher Columbus, though you think it would be.
9. OK, that's a surprise to me. The popular version definitely has the supernova hanging right over Bethlehem. My money is on John the Baptist, who seemed to be handling the advance PR in general.
10. This sounds remotely familiar from art history reading. I'll say true, and hope I'm not embarrassed later.

Eavan Moore said...

1. Hunt the wren.
2. I'm gonna guess it's "Joy to the World."
3. A mall elf
4. Gosh, I don't know. Apparently not opening presents from home.
5. I have no idea!
6. 19th
7. The Rosenbergs. Buzz-harsher.
8. Augh I was just trying to remember who earlier today. It ends with "baby," I think.
9. An angel of the LORD. Specifically Gabriel, although I don't remember whether that's in the book or not.
10. Iiiiiiiit is truth.

Eavan Moore said...

Wait, hang on, that was the shepherds that Gabriel alerted. The wise men, the wise men. Um. King Herod? He was involved somehow.

pfly said...

1. Play with legos.
2. Oh Christmas Tree, All Ye Faithful, Sweet Rejoicing.
3. A sleigh.
4. Standing up in a boat.
5. Racy drinking song? must be "Deck Us All With Boston Charlie[...]Don't we know archaic barrel..."
6. 18th? 19th?
7. Oh, that funny name...starts with a C...has a weird diacritic...looks kinda like Caesar...Ceasesçu or something. Different diacritic...
8. George Washington!
9. David Sedaris!
10. You're totally making that up. Well, okay, sounds totally reasonable, actually.

100%, right? Right??

pfly said...

Also, people don't know In Dulcio Jubilo? For shame! Here is Bach's version, done nicely by the Swingle Singers; first a less famous but very nice chorale, then the more famous chorale version, each less than two minutes. Listen! If only all Christmas music was so lovely (the rest of this Swingle Singers album is quite nice too):

pfly said...

Oops, I linked the wrong spot in the Swingle Singers. The tracks are all one file and in trying to find my place I got confused by that first chorale ending with the words "in dulci jubilo". But that was "Chorale from Wachet auf" (though that one *is* particularly nice!). The real In Dulci Jubilo begins at 13:30:

Michael5000 said...

Answers to a quiz of long ago!

1. Boxing Day? -- Yes, give gifts to one’s servants.

2. Yes, “Oh Christmas Tree” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” “In Dulce Jubilo” is trickier – the direct translation is “In sweet rejoicing” but the carol is usually sung in English in a very loose translation as “Good Christian Men, Rejoice.” I had no idea Bach was involved.

3. David Sedaris was an Elf – not a Santa – at Macy’s.

4. What was George Washington up to on Christmas Night, 1776? Crossing the Delaware. He knew that the German mercinaries hired by the British – the Hessians – took Christmas more seriously than most folks of the time, and that it might be possible, by appearing suddenly on the other side of the river, to surprise them while they were sleeping off their feast. It worked.

5. The Thanksgiving song: Jingle Bells. To see anything remotely racy, you have to get into the later verses and be up on your Civil-War era slang. A fair quiz question only in that it is an extremely well known Christmas song that makes no reference whatsoever to Christmas.

6. Christmas trees went big in the nineteenth century. A few famous rich people tried them out, pictures the celebrity trees were featured in magazines, and whoosh! The common claim that they represent a vestige of pagan practice sitting incongruently on a Christian holiday are, at best, extremely tenuous.

7. The notorious couple executed on Christmas 1989 was the Ceaușescus, the Stalinist dictators of Romania. The majority guess of “The Rosenbergs” puzzled me -- it just gets wronger the more you think about it -- but then the field of "famous couples who got executed" is rather small.

8. "And who should be upon that ship, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day, and who should be upon that ship, on Christmas Day in the morning?"

This was a very bad quiz question.

First of all, I had no idea how obscure the Christmas song in question is. Secondly, I fumbled the words.

Here is the actual second verse of “Sunny Bank (I Saw Three Ships),” at least in the Julie Andrews version that I grew up with:

And who should be upon that ship, but Joseph and his Ma-a-ry, and who should be upon that ship, on Christmas Day in the morning?

So the answer was “Joseph and his Ma-a-ry,” but never mind. Here, have a listen. Julie Andrews certainly delivers a song, of course, and the orchestral arrangement pulls out the stops with gusto.

9. The three wise men show up in Judea, and rather naively ask King Herod, in public, where the new king is who has just been born. Kings really don't tend to like that line of thinking. Now, there's a prophecy that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, so Herod suggests they check that out and get back to him. On the way to Bethlehem they realize their mistake, and don't report back before returning home. But now Herod is in a paranoid frenzy, and orders the massacre of the innocents. Lully, lulla, thow littell tine child,

10. Truth! At least that’s the accepted story! Which means that anyone who complains that the holiday has become too secular and needs to get back to its religious roots is taking part in an 800 year tradition of contention. And tradition is what holidays are all about, yes?