15 Christmas Trivia Questions to Keep the Whole Fam Entertained

Kelly Allen
·4-min read
Photo credit: Pool BASSIGNAC/REGLAIN - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool BASSIGNAC/REGLAIN - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

When you’re not quite ready to watch another Christmas movie but still want to engage in a family activity, trivia is always a solid game to turn to. Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition, right? We’ve rounded up some questions to test your family members on so that you can spend more time playing the game than creating it.

How did red and green become Christmas colors?

We mostly have holly and Coca-Cola to thank for the rise of red and green as Christmas colors. Holly, obviously, has bright red berries and dark green leaves. It was used long ago by the ancient Celts for winter solstice celebrations as a symbol of protection and good luck. Coca-Cola’s role in making the colors a widespread combo for the holiday began in 1931 with ads featuring Santa Claus in a red and white suit surrounded by a green background and accents.

Photo credit: Library of Congress - Getty Images
Photo credit: Library of Congress - Getty Images

What’s the most successful Christmas movie ever?

With a whopping $286 million at box office, 1990’s Home Alone is the highest-grossing Christmas movie ever. Coming in second is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, released in 2000 with a box office of $260 million, according to Forbes.

How many packages does the USPS deliver during the holidays?

In 2019, the USPS projected 800 million package deliveries between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The postal service hasn’t specifically said how many packages are being delivered this year, but the package volume is at an all time high because of the pandemic.

True or false: "Jingle Bells" was written to be a Christmas song.

False! The song wasn’t intended to be attached to the holiday. Some historical reports say it was first performed at a Thanksgiving church service. In any case, the lyrics don’t mention any holiday at all.

When was the first tree put up at the Rockefeller Center?

Technically, the first Christmas tree was put up in 1931 when construction workers building the site decided to buy one to lift their spirits during the Great Depression. In 1933, it became a tradition with the first official lighting ceremony.

Photo credit: MATT CAMPBELL - Getty Images
Photo credit: MATT CAMPBELL - Getty Images

Has Christmas ever been illegal to celebrate?

Yes. The Massachusetts-Bay Colony ordinance of 1659 made Christmas illegal to celebrate in that specific colony. The law was repealed in 1681. Christmas didn’t become a state holiday in Massachusetts until 1856, though.

When was the term “Xmas” first used?

The term was first used in the mid-1950s. It comes from the Greek letter chi, the first letter in the word Χριστός, which means Christ.

What are two other names for Santa Claus?

Saint Nick and Kris Kringle.

How many Americans use artificial Christmas trees?

A survey conducted by Nielsen for the American Christmas Tree Association found that nearly 94 million U.S. households will display a Christmas tree this year. Of those, 85 percent are artificial.

What department store sold $50,000 chocolate advent calendars in 2007?

Harrods sold a 4-foot, Christmas-tree shaped advent calendar carved from wood that had compartments filled with organic chocolate. The proceeds from the calendars went to cocoa farmers in Belize.

Name the eight original reindeer.

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen.

How much do Americans spend on holiday shopping?

The National Retail Federation reports that Americans plan to spend an average of about $998 this year on holiday shopping. That’s down from last year’s average of around $1,048.

True or false: People no longer send out Christmas cards.

False! The rate of sending any greeting card has gone down over the years, but this year especially, people are sending holiday cards as a way to connect with others during the pandemic.

Photo credit: Francis Dean - Getty Images
Photo credit: Francis Dean - Getty Images

Why is kissing under mistletoe a tradition?

The start of the tradition is up for debate, but many ancient cultures believed mistletoe to have healing properties—from potentially protecting against poisons to restoring fertility. There’s also a myth that mistletoe was used to kill the god Baldur, and his mother Frigg used its berries to bring him back to life. She then declared the plant a symbol of love and promised to kiss anyone who went underneath it.

Why are stockings hung?

The most popular legend tells of a poor man who was worried his three impoverished daughters wouldn’t have enough status to marry. St. Nicholas heard of his situation and wanted to help but knew the man wouldn’t take charity. Instead of directly handing him money, St. Nicholas put gold coins in the daughters’ stockings that were drying by the fire and disappeared.

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