Just under the wire (and perhaps the mistletoe)… a literary Christmas quiz, one that will require you to use your (egg)-noggin! Happy holidays to everyone!
- In O. Henry’s short story “Gift of the Magi,” what is the name of the woman who sold her hair to get a Christmas gift for her husband?
- In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, during his Harry’s first Christmas at Hogwarts, what gift—a Potter family heirloom—does Harry receive via an anonymous Dumbledore?
- What Shakespeare play is named after the Feast of the Epiphany, which takes place on January 6th (the day, according to some scholars, when the play was first performed)?
- What is the name of Scrooge’s former employer, the proprietor of a warehouse who would host Christmas balls?
- In John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, the narrator describes how Owen Meany, during one holiday season, played a role in a Christmas pageant and a role in a version of A Christmas Carol. What were these two roles?
- I am an American poet who wrote a poem called “Christmas Trees (A Christmas Circular Letter),” but you probably know me better for that other wintry poem, the one about keeping promises on the darkest evening of the year. Who am I?
- I am a classic American novel which ends with the line, “So we beat on boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly to the past.” This Christmas, I was supposed to get 3D movie treatment (thanks to director Baz Luhrman), but the studios decided to postpone the film’s release until the summer. I am who?
- In The Catcher in the Rye, which historical figure is Phoebe Caulfield reportedly playing in her school’s Christmas pageant?
- John Milton, author of “On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity,” is better known for what other religious poem, about the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden?
- Chris Van Allsburg, the author of children’s books such as Jumanji and Zathura, is also the author of which Christmas classic?
- Which now-classic Christmas movie—about a boy and his BB gun—is based on a book of short stories called In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, written by Jean Shepherd?
- Joe Christmas is the main protagonist of what William Faulkner novel with a decidedly non-Christmas-y title?
- And what non-Christmas-y Yeats’ poem ends with the line, “Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born”?
- The song “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”—recorded by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Sarah Maclachlan, and Bette Midler—is based on the poem “Christmas Bells,” written by which American poet (famous for “Paul Revere’s Ride”)?
- According to the Foreword of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, which character reportedly dies on Christmas Day 1952?
- What is the name of the young boy who is one of the two main characters in Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory”? (Hint: he shares his name of a famous Christmas elf.)
- In what C.S. Lewis novel does Santa Claus give children named Peter, Susan and Lucy “tools, not toys”—including a sword and a red shield emblazoned with the picture of a lion?
- What is the official title of Clement C. Moore’s “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”?
- I am an American poet whose poem “The Savior must have been a docile Gentleman”—which notes how Jesus was born in Bethlehem on ”so cold a Day”—has two of my trademarks: it’s brief (40 words) and full of dashes!
- Boris Karloff, who narrated the animated special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” famously played what famous movie monster, originally created by Mary Shelley?
- What Scottish poet wrote the poem “Auld Lang Syne” in 1788?
- What Christmas ballet is based on an 1816 short story by M. T. A. Hoffman about a toy that comes to life?
- What Irish poet, famous for “Don’t Go Gently into That Good Night,” also wrote “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”?
- I am the author of the one-act play The Long Christmas Dinner, but you probably know me better by my Pulitzer-prize winning play Our Town. I am who?
- Which Christmas carol began as a poem, written by Father Joseph Mohr in 1816, which was then set to music by his friend Franz Gruber?
2. Invisibility Cloak
3. Twelfth Night
5. Baby Jesus, Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
6. Robert Frost
7. The Great Gatsby
8. Benedict Arnold
9. Paradise Lost
10. The Polar Express
11. A Christmas Story
12. Light in August
13. “The Second Coming”
14. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
15. Lolita herself (Mrs. Richard Schiller). She died while giving birth to a stillborn child.
17. The Lion,The Witch, and The Wardrobe
18. “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
19. Emily Dickinson
20. Frankenstein’s monster
21. Robert Burns
22. The Nutcracker
23. Dylan Thomas
24. Thorton Wilder
25. “Silent Night”