are explanations or further details about some answers that players
might find puzzling or intriguing. If you have a question or comment
about a question/answer not listed here, contact the author at
entry number below refers to the numbers in the booklet that follow
each question and are preceded by a ♦. Only those questions
whose correct answers are underlined [a, b, etc.]
are discussed herein.
2. One night, so the story goes,
Nicholas tossed a small bag of gold coins into the window of a
poor family who needed a dowry for a marriageable daughter. The
bag happened to fall into a stocking that had been hung up to
dry beside the fireplace, thus starting the tradition of hanging
stockings on Christmas Eve. [See notes for #400]
6. The U.S. does not have national
holidays, only federal holidays [for federal employees and the
District of Columbia] and state holidays.
18. Due to primarily to war-time
rationing of helium.
21. The wicked witch in The
Wizard of Oz.
31. In the 1912 game, Stanford
quit after falling behind 49 to 0.
44. Matthew says the family
fled to Egypt and stayed there until Herod's death. Luke
says they took Jesus to Jerusalem to be circumcised and then returned
53. Their website is: http://my.execpc.com/~gmoe/gg-web2.
65. This tourist attraction is
a marvel of engineering, built without nails or central support
in the Chapel of Our Lady of Light in 1878.
67. A traditional segment of the
annual Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall is the firing of
a toy cannon at a line of Rockettes dressed as toy soldiers.
72. The term "troll"
has two musical meanings: (1) to sing parts of a round in succession,
and (2) to sing heartily.
76. Edward H. Johnson, VP of the
Edison Electric Light Company, set up a tree in his New York parlor
with 80 custom- made, hand-wired, walnut-sized lights of red,
white, and blue. The tree rotated and the lights blinked. It was
sensational, but hardly practical.
100. It worked. Nast's drawings
of Santa with Union troops has such a disheartening effect on
Confederates that General Grant claimed the cartoonist had done
as much as any man to preserve the Union.
127. An apple for good health and
a golden orange for prosperity.
129. Ogden Nash's poem is not as
well known as Clement Moore's, but it's just as appealing to the
child in all of us.
137. First published as "Dunder
and Blixem" [Dutch for "thunder and lightning"]
in 1823, the 1844 version of the poem changed the pair's names
to "Donder and Blitzen". The name Donner wasn't used
142. 12 single gifts of a partridge
and one gift of 12 drummers.
Dating Christmas on our "Mistakes, Misunderstandings,
and Mondegreens" page.
164. The star of the TV show The
Equalizer, Woodward was a most impressive ghost.
169. The original/correct phrase
is "four colly birds" referring to a type of blackbird.
There is no such thing as a "calling bird."
192. Scrooge's first ghostly visitor
was Jacob Marley.
193. Beginning in 1931, Sundblom
and The Coca Cola Company have been primarily responsible for
the worldwide familiarity with the American image of Santa.
211. In Miracle on 34th Street.
225. After intense lobbying by
department-store magnate John Wanamaker in 1939, Roosevelt changed
the date from the last Thursday in November to the third Thursday.
Congress later changed it to the fourth Thursday.
228. Santa's assistants are, in
Holland, Black Peter; in Austria, Krampus; and in The Santa
230. Rudolph: 1964, Grinch: 1966,
Frosty: 1969, Nightmare: 1993
242. In 1902, because he thought
the practice was ruining forests. His sons, Archibald and Quentin,
later dissuaded him by getting a leading conservation expert to
testify that proper cutting of Christmas trees was good for timberlands.
250. The wassail bowl is a large
decanter typically filled with a toxic concoction of wine and
270. In 1948, Sen'ko, Somov, Geordiyenko,
and Ostrekin were the undisputed first to reach the North Pole
over land, according to Guinness World Records.
277. The others are Italian, Danish,
286. Named for President Theodore
296. First "Rollo" and
then "Reginald" were rejected by the writer's bosses.
Finally, they accepted his daughter's suggestion of "Rudolph."
307. Based on Greensleeves.
308. The number three has been
inferred from the three kinds of gifts.
317. According to the French poet
Bonaventure, the youths had been dismembered by an evil tavern
owner who intended to serve them for supper until Nicholas [then
the Bishop of Myra] intervened.
333. Connecticut, Kentucky, Indiana,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia also
have towns named Bethlehem.
347. Upon going to bed Christmas
Eve children tie one end of a piece of string to their big toe
and hang the other out the window. In the morning, the rollerskaters
give a tug to any string they see hanging.
349. At Rockefeller Center, in
Home Alone 2.
357. Khriein meant "ointment"
such as used in anointing a leader.
369. Sent from astronauts aboard
the Apollo 8 spacecraft.
374. This is a group of stars near
the outermost limits of the Orion Arm of the Milky Way.
386. Then called the Continental
Air Defense Command, they received so many calls that they started
the Santa-tracking program, which continues to this day. See their
393. The booklet's author, Robert
L. May, was the brother- in- law of the song's writer, Johnny
395. Angel Second-Class Clarence
396. For his role as Kris Kringle
in Miracle on 34th Street.
400. The same family that found
the bag of coins in the hung stocking [see notes for #2] had two
other daughters, and later, so it is said, received two more bags
of gold from St. Nicholas. When the moneylenders of Italy adopted
Nicholas as their patron saint, they chose these three bags of
gold to symbolize their trade the three gold balls that
today hang in front of most pawnshops. Nicholas also has been
named the patron saint of children and sailors.
402. Scott in 1984, Finney in 1970,
and Hicks in 1935 and 1913.
408. Americans had to import
their cards from Europe until 1875, when Prang opened a small
press. By 1881, his plant in Roxbury, Massachusetts, was producing
over 5 million Christmas cards a year.
426. In his poem A Hymn Sung
as by the Shepherds, ca. 1640
431. In 1870, introduced by Representative
Burton Cook of Illinois
444. According to the Alaska Department
of Fish and Game, both male and female reindeer grow antlers in
the summer. Each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the
beginning of winter. Female reindeer, however, retain their antlers
until after they give birth in the spring.
446. Prompted by widespread publicity
about a U.S. government sponsored expedition to the Pole in 1882.
450. The seven birds are: partridges,
doves, hens, colley birds, geese, swans, and gold-ringed pheasants
(referred to as "gold rings").
455. In act one, scene one of Hamlet:
"Not a mouse stirring."
464. Founder of Hallmark Cards,
Inc., he started off selling postcards in 1908.
467. Cradles are a rarity in Japan.
Most infants sleep as their parents do, on mats on the floor.
471. "Plum" meant "plump"
or "swell", which is what the raisins did when the pudding
473. As strange as it may seem,
in 1980, Meco Monardo and Don Oriolo published R2D2, We Wish
You a Merry Christmas.
481. Moore was a wealthy land-owner
and a part- time professor of Oriental and Greek literature at
a theological seminary in N.Y. City. He seemed reluctant to claim
authorship, but accepted the credit by including it in a book
of poems he published. Some claim that the poem was written by
Henry Livingston, who died before Moore's book was published.
But the claim is not flawless, so we'll probably never know the
truth of the matter.
502. The Amalgamated Order
of Real Bearded Santas (AORBS) was founded in 1995. Here's