How much do you know about Christmas tree lore? Take our quiz
BY CAROLYN KELLOGG Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
12/25/12 at 5:50 AM
There are many things about Christmas that we all know: the lyrics to "Jingle Bells," Scrooge's first name, how many reindeer pull Santa's sleigh. The Christmas tree is a fixture as familiar as it is ubiquitous; there's one on the White House lawn, at the local mall and quite possibly in your living room. But how well do you really know the Christmas tree? Take our quiz, adapted from the charming, illustrated book "Inventing the Christmas Tree" by Bernd Brunner.
1: Although there is no precise record of the first Christmas tree, stories of trees decorated at the height of winter began appearing before 1600. In 1419, one was adorned with apples, wafers, gingerbread and tinsel. Where was it?
2: In 1561, Christmas trees had become so popular that local authorities in the Alsace region declared what?
(A) Taking pine trees from the forest was forbidden
(B) Each citizen could take "one pine in the length of eight shoes"
(C) The forest was off-limits from Dec. 15 to Jan. 1
(D) A tree must be planted for every tree that was taken
3: About how many real, natural Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. each year?
(A) 3.5 million
(B) 25 million
(C) 35 million
(D) 50 million
4: What is thought to be the origin of spherical glass Christmas ornaments?
(A) A declaration by Queen Elizabeth
(B) A drought in Alsace that spurred red apples to be replaced by blown glass spheres
(C) The Lalique workshop
(D) A metalworkers' strike in Germany
5: The National Christmas Tree is a large evergreen near the White House that has been decorated since 1923. What was its nickname that year?
(A) Calvin Coolidge Jr.
(C) The Singing Tree
(D) The Winter Princess
6: What was the colloquial German phrase for tinsel?
(A) Gilded goulash
(B) Silver-plated sauerkraut
(C) Silver spaetzle
(D) Silver strudel
7: In her first Christmas in the White House, what did First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy use as inspiration for her tree decorations?
(A) Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf"
(B) Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music"
(C) Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite"
(D) Wagner's "The Ring Cycle"
8: Before the advent of electricity, Christmas tree lights took several forms. What did people use?
(A) Beeswax candles
(B) Nutshells filled with tallow oil
(C) Small glass oil lamps
(D) All of the above
9: One of the earliest known non-tree Christmas trees to be marketed was made of what?
(A) Blue plastic strips
(B) Feathers dyed green
(C) Pink tinsel
(D) A rubber balloon
10: Which of these Christmas trees is thought to be the most expensive?
(A) A 13-foot evergreen laden with jewels in Abu Dhabi
(B) A diamond-studded tree with matching teddy bear in China
(C) A 24-karat gold Disney character tree in Japan
(D) A 3-ton crystal and diamond tree in Singapore
Answers: 1 C, 2 B, 3 C, 4 B, 5 (the tree had loudspeakers in its branches), 6 B, 7 C, 8 D, 9 B, 10 A