Christmas Quiz

Christmas Quiz

Even for those of us who wait until after Thanksgiving to start the Christmas season (as you should!), it is still the longest holiday celebration of the year.  And for good reason!  It is the celebration of the miraculous birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Emmanuel.  Christmas is filled with all sorts of traditions, festivities, and legends.  Some grounded in Scripture…some not so much!  How much do you know about Christmas?  Take this quiz and find out (answers below):

  1. Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th?
  2. How did the legend of Santa Claus originate?
    What are the traditional names of the following Christmas carols?
  3. Approach Everyone Who is Steadfast
  4. Ecstasy Toward the Orb
  5. Hey, Minuscule Urban Area Southwest of Jerusalem
  6. Quiescent Nocturnal Period
  7. Removed in a Bovine Feeding Trough
  8. Seraphim We Aurally Detect in the Stratosphere
  9. Which of the four Gospels starts from the earliest point about Jesus’ origin story?  
  10. How many times does an angel appear to Joseph in the Gospel accounts?
  11. Did an angel tell Joseph or Mary to name the baby Jesus?  
  12. In which of the Gospel accounts does the innkeeper tell Joseph and Mary there is no room for them in the inn?
  13. According to the Gospel accounts, what kinds of animals were in the stable the night Jesus was born?
  14. How many magi (also called wise men) are mentioned in the Gospel narratives
  15. Why was Jesus born?


1- The Western church seems to have started celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25 in the 4th century, likely in an attempt to counteract existing pagan festivals on that day in Roman culture.    

2- The legend of Santa originates with St. Nicholas, the 4th century bishop of Myra (present day Turkey), who was known for his generosity and kindness.  As his legend grew, it became popular for children to receive gifts on the anniversary of his death on December 6th.  This tradition was eventually postponed until Christmas Eve.  The Dutch in particular loved the legends of St. Nicholas, and the Dutch form of his name – Sinter Klaas – eventually caught on.

3- Oh Come All Ye Faithful

4- Joy to the World

5- Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem

6- Silent Night

7- Away in a Manger

8- Angels We Have Heard on High

9- The answer would be John’s Gospel.  Mark doesn’t tell about Jesus’ birth, but just starts the story with the ministry of Jesus’ older cousin, John the Baptist.  Matthew begins the story after Joseph and Mary were betrothed to be married.  Luke begins before Joseph and Mary, with another couple (Zechariah and Elizabeth) and how their son will be the forerunner of the Messiah.  But John’s Gospel starts the earliest – John opens explaining how Jesus is the Word of God who was with God in the beginning, before creation!  

10- An angel appears to Joseph three times in Matthew’s Gospel – once to inform him that Mary was pregnant, once to warn him to flee to Egypt, and once to instruct him to return home.

11- An angel tells both of them. In Matthew 1:21, an angel tells Joseph to name the baby Jesus, and in Luke 1:31 an angel tells Mary. 

12- The innkeeper is not mentioned in any of the Gospels.  We are only told in Luke 2:7 that there is no room for Joseph and Mary in the inn. 

13- No animals are mentioned in the birth narratives.  We are only told in Luke 2:7 that Mary “laid him in a manager, because there was no place for them in the inn.” 

14- Only Matthew tells us about the wise men, but no specific number is mentioned.  We are told in Matthew 2:11 that they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, so the tradition developed that there were three of them. 

15- This is the most important question of all!  Unless we know why Jesus was born, every other tradition and celebration is pointless!  

In Matthew’s account, the angel tells Joseph that Mary “will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  Jesus came to deliver us from the power, presence, and penalty of our sin!  

Luke records that an angel appeared to some shepherds the night of Jesus’ birth and told them, “unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  Jesus was born for you as well.  Born to be your Savior – to deliver you from sin, evil, and death.  Born to be your Christ – that means he is the promised Anointed One sent from God to restore us back to him.  Born to be your Lord – the one you worship, follow, and obey.  

John’s Gospel says that Jesus was the true light, who came into the world to give light to everyone (1:9).  He says that “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”  

Have you received Jesus as your Savior?  Do you believe in him?  When you do, you become a child of God!  You are forgiven.  You receive eternal life.  This is what Christmas is really about.