As the holidays approach, some of the decorations that emerge from basements and closets may have you scratching your head. What are the backgrounds behind some of the more bizarre items that you see adorning the homes of your friends and neighbors?
The "jolly old elf," St. Nicholas, is a deeply ingrained part of Christmas tradition. But the Santa Claus character is a very different creature from culture to culture. Which of the following is one of Santa's strangest traditional holiday activities?
repairing doors and roofs of thatched houses
stealing and eating naughty children
planting seeds for apple trees that will sprout in the spring
Which of the following has NOT been made into a Christmas tree ornament?
NASCAR great Jeff Gordon
Chicago White Sox slugger Ken Griffey Jr.
they're both ornaments
What is a presepio?
an elaborate Italian nativity scene
a Spanish wreath hung over the front door
the angel traditionally placed atop a Christmas tree
From which nation does the Christmas Pickle originate?
It depends on who you ask.
How big is the world's largest holiday light display, and where is it located?
180,000 lights in Milwaukee, WI
750-foot by 90-foot display in Beijing, China
more than five city blocks in Hong Kong
Where does Times Square's New Year's Eve ball originate?
old timekeeping practices
a high-school prank played in 1920 in Poughkeepsie, NY
an ancient French tradition to mark the Winter Solstice
Where does the tradition of breaking the Thanksgiving turkey's wishbone come from?
Native American lore
pre-Roman Italian fortune telling
a ritual practiced by early British kings
A number of traditional holiday activities centered around young women's prospects of marriage in the coming year. Which of the following was one of these holiday traditions?
cleaning a turkey while blindfolded
eavesdropping on neighbors
hiding mistletoe under the pillow
How old is the world's oldest edible fruitcake?
25 years old
132 years old
76 years old
Which holiday pastime has turned into a sanctioned sport?
competitive dreidel spinning
timed tree cutting
precision turkey carving
What is a caganer?
a tool for un-jamming stuck nutcrackers
a hook that allows revelers to hang stockings without damaging the mantle
a statue, for nativity scenes, of a pop culture figure defecating