We'd love to tell you, but what fun would that be? After all, the best thing about a rousing game of trivia is the challenge of coming up with the answer.
Don't worry, we won't leave you in suspense over the answer to this juicy morsel of Christmas trivia. But you’ll need to read on to find out — and lucky for you, there's a whole lot more where that came from.
Question: What is thought to be the first observation of the December 25 holiday? Answer: The Christian church in Rome commemorated the Feast of the Nativity in 336.
Question: When did Christmas become a national holiday?Answer: On June 24, 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation declaring December 25 a national holiday.
Question: What was the original name of Clement Clarke Moore’s "The Night Before Christmas"? Answer: “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
Question: What controversy is associated with "The Night Before Christmas"? Answer: Some scholars suggest it was actually written by poet and farmer Henry Livingston Jr.
Question: Where did "Old Saint Nick" come from? Answer: During the Middle Ages, St. Nicholas was a patron saint of children, sailors and thieves (among others), and is known for giving out gifts to the faithful.
Question: Where did the first modern-day image of Santa Claus come from? Answer: An 1881 issue of "Harper's Weekly" featured a drawing by Thomas Nast that portrayed Santa as a jolly, robust man wearing a suit and carrying a bag of toys.
Question: Which soda manufacturer is thought to have cemented the rosy-cheeked, bearded Santa Claus that is associated with Christmas today? Answer: In 1931, Coca-Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to paint an image of Santa for their ads and it has since been the basis for the Santa Claus we know today.
Question: What did Haddon Sundblom base his rendering of Santa Claus on? Answer: Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicolas,” otherwise known as “The Night Before Christmas.”
Question: How many reindeer does Santa have? Answer: Eight: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.
Question: When did Rudolph become Santa’s unofficial ninth reindeer? Answer: In 1939, when the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released.
Question: When did Santa first become associated with reindeer? Answer: Santa’s reindeer are thought to have originated in an 1821 booklet written by an anonymous author who pens: “Old Santeclaus with much delight / His reindeer drives this frosty night.”
Question: Are Santa’s reindeer male or female? Answer: Female. Male reindeer lose their antlers in November, while female reindeer keep their antlers through the winter. Most depictions of Santa’s reindeer show antlers, which means they must be female to guide his sleigh in December.
Question: Why do reindeer have hairy hooves? Answer: The hair on their hooves supply reindeer a good grip when walking on ice and snow, per the FDA.
Question: What’s the origin of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?” Answer: In 1939, a copywriter named Robert May created the character for a Montgomery Ward Christmas coloring book based on his daughter’s love of deer.
Question: How did “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” become a song? Answer: Inspired by coloring book character's success, Robert May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, penned the song in 1939.
Question: True or false: Gene Autry didn’t want to record “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Answer: True. Autry thought the song was bad for his image and his wife ultimately convinced him to record the song as a B-side, according to the New York Times.
Question: What’s the best-selling Christmas single of all time? Answer: “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby has sold over 100 million records around the world, according to the Guinness World Records.
Question: Which song tops Billboard's list of the 100 greatest holiday songs of all time? Answer: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey
Question: Which album tops Billboard's list of the top 100 holiday albums of all time? Answer: “A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio
Question: After “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” what are Billboard's five greatest holiday songs of all time (in order)?Answer: “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms, “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)" by Nat King Cole, “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives, “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano and “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” by Andy Williams
Question: Where is the real North Pole located? Answer: The geographic North Pole is at 90 degrees north latitude, making it the northernmost point on the planet.
Question: True or false: The North Pole has no time zone. Answer: True. All longitudinal lines start at the North Pole, which means there’s no time zone.
Question: When was the first mass-produced Christmas card printed and sent? Answer: The first Christmas card was printed in the United Kingdom in 1843 and depicts a family celebrating Christmas.
Question: Who invented Christmas lights? Answer: Three individuals are responsible for the lights we hang today. Thomas Edison created the first strand of electric lights in 1880. Edward H. Johnson put the first string of Christmas lights together in 1882. And, in 1917, Albert Sadacca proposed that his family’s lighting company sell colored strands of inexpensive Christmas lights to the public.
Question: When was the first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree erected? Answer: In December of 1931, workers at Rockefeller Center pooled their money to buy a Christmas tree. It was a 20-foot balsam fir.
Question: When did lighting the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree become an annual tradition? Answer: December 1933
Question: When did the Rockefeller Center skating rink open? Answer: 1936
Question: What’s the largest tree in Rockefeller Center’s history? Answer: In 1999, The tallest tree, which was imported from Killingworth, Connecticut, stood 100 feet tall.
Question: Which actor won an Oscar for their portrayal of Santa Claus? Answer: Edmund Gwenn won best supporting actor for his role as Santa Claus in “Miracle on 34th Street.”
Question: What’s unique about the McCallister's house in “Home Alone”? Answer: Nearly all the rooms are decorated in red, green and gold.
Question: Where was the movie “Home Alone” filmed? Answer: The bulk of the film was shot on sets built inside a Chicago high school.
Question: True or false: The gangster movie that Kevin McCallister watches in “Home Alone” is a real film. Answer: False. “Angels With Filthy Souls” was created especially for “Home Alone,” but is based on the 1938 James Cagney movie, “Angels With Dirty Faces.”
Question: Which actor broke their finger while filming “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation"? Answer: While filming the scene where Clark Griswold punches the outside Christmas decorations after he can’t get the lights to work, actor Chevy Chase broke his pinky finger but continued filming the scene that appears in the final movie.
Question: What's the significance of the moose glasses that Clark Griswold and Cousin Eddie drink eggnog out of during “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?” Answer: The moose glasses are from Walley World, the Griswold vacation destination from the original “National Lampoon's Vacation."
Question: Which classic Christmas movie inspired “The Wonder Years?” Answer: “A Christmas Story”
Question: Why do we leave milk and cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve? Answer: According to NPR, one of the first literary references to leaving out milk and cookies on Christmas is in a short story from the 1870s, a time when good manners dictated hosts put out food for visiting guests to eat.
Question: How much does the average consumer spend on holiday gifts and other related purchases? Answer: In 2021, the National Retail Federation estimated that consumers would spend roughly $997.73 on holiday gifts, decorations and other items.
Question: What percentage of people return at least one of their holiday gifts? Answer: At least 66% of consumers surveyed by Optoro returned at least one holiday gift in 2020.
Question: In 2021, what percentage of U.S. adults intended to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Answer: According to the National Retail Federation, 90% of adults planned to celebrate the holidays.
Question: True or false: Early holiday shopping (defined as prior to November) is on the decline. Answer: False. Half of holiday shoppers plan to start buying before November, the highest number in the National Retail Federation's survey’s history.
Question: True or false: The Puritans canceled Christmas. Answer: True. The English Puritans banned the holiday in 1647 because they viewed it as a pagan celebration. In Massachusetts, the U.S. Puritans followed suit. From 1659 to 1681, anyone caught celebrating the holiday was fined.
Question: Where’s the biggest Christmas light display in North America? Answer: Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. The display boasts more than ten million Christmas lights.
Question: Which state produces the most Christmas trees in the U.S.? Answer: According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, Oregon is the top tree-producing state, followed by North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Question: What’s the most popular type of Christmas tree?Answer: Fraser fir, followed by noble fir, Douglas fir, balsam fir and Scotch pine.
Question: How many Christmas tree seedlings are planted each year? Answer: 60 to 70 million
Question: True or false: You should add bleach, aspirin or fertilizer to Christmas trees to make them last longer. Answer: False. The National Christmas Tree Association says some commercial additives and other hacks can increase needle loss. Just use plain tap water instead.
Question: How much should you cut off before putting a tree in a stand? Answer: Half an inch, per the National Christmas Tree Association.
Question: How many real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year? Answer: Approximately 25-30 million
Question: What is the most popular Christmas cookie in the U.S.? Answer: A YouGov poll found that chocolate chip cookies are the most popular Christmas cookie, followed by sugar, fudge and brownie cookies.
Question: What’s the least popular Christmas cookie?Answer: The same YouGov poll found that anise cookies are the least popular come Christmas, followed by chai sugar, spritz and Pfeffernüsse.
Question: When was “A Christmas Carol” published?Answer: "A Christmas Carol" was published by Charles Dickens on December 19, 1843.
Question: How long did it take Charles Dickens to write "A Christmas Carol"? Answer: Six weeks
Question: How many ghosts visit Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol"? Answer: Technically four. The first is Scrooge's former business partner, Jacob Marley, who tells him about the three spirits that will follow.
Question: After Jacob Marley, who are the spirits that visit Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve? Answer: The spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future
Question: Which famous author and peer of Charles Dickens wasn't a fan of "A Christmas Carol"? Answer: Mark Twain famously critiqued Dickens' work, saying "there is no heart. No feeling – is nothing but glittering frostwork."