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Christmas

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Twelve Days
Dates
People
'Twas the Night Before
A Christmas Carol
Films
Other

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Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas (carol)

The following table shows what was given on the 12th day of Christmas. This is back to front in a sense, but I find it easier to remember this way as it's how you actually sing it (in the last verse).

12 Click to show or hide the answer 11 Click to show or hide the answer 10 Click to show or hide the answer
9 Click to show or hide the answer 8 Click to show or hide the answer 7 Click to show or hide the answer
6 Click to show or hide the answer 5 Click to show or hide the answer 4 Click to show or hide the answer
3 Click to show or hide the answer 2 Click to show or hide the answer 1 Click to show or hide the answer

"Colly bird" is an archaic name for the Click to show or hide the answer
Total number of gifts given on the 12th day Click to show or hide the answer
Total number of gifts given over all 12 days (taking the song at its word: i.e. a partridge in a pear tree (1 gift) on Day 1, a partridge in a pear tree and two turtle doves (3 gifts) on Day 2, etc.) Click to show or hide the answer

Dates

Epiphany, or Old Christmas Day Click to show or hide the answer
King's College, Cambridge, holds its Christmas Eve 'Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols' for the first time Click to show or hide the answer
The BBC broadcasts King's College, Cambridge's Christmas Eve 'Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols' for the first time Click to show or hide the answer
The only year since 1928 when the BBC didn't broadcast King's College, Cambridge's Christmas Eve 'Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols' Click to show or hide the answer
George V broadcasts the first Christmas Message Click to show or hide the answer
Christmas tree donated by the people of Oslo, Norway, is erected in Trafalgar Square, London, for the first time Click to show or hide the answer
King's College, Cambridge's 'Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols' is televised for the first time (on 23 December) Click to show or hide the answer
The Queen's Christmas speech first televised Click to show or hide the answer
GPO first issued Christmas stamps Click to show or hide the answer
Christmas message not broadcast Click to show or hide the answer
Christmas message first broadcast by ITV Click to show or hide the answer

People

Popularised the Christmas tree in Britain Click to show or hide the answer
Played Kris Kringle (a.k.a. Santa Claus) in Miracle on 34th Street (1994 version) Click to show or hide the answer
Choirboy who sang Walking in the Air in the original animated cartoon film of Raymond Briggs's The Snowman (first shown on Channel 4, Christmas Eve 1982) Click to show or hide the answer
Hits rock bottom in a Santa suit, after being tricked into swapping lives with Eddie Murphy, in Trading Places (1983) Click to show or hide the answer
Christmas Oratorio: composer Click to show or hide the answer
White Christmas (song): words and music Click to show or hide the answer
The Snowman, Father Christmas: author and illustrator Click to show or hide the answer
Actress whose only hit was All I want for Christmas is a Beatle, 1963 Click to show or hide the answer
Played Scrooge in A Muppet Christmas Carol Click to show or hide the answer
Dictator of Romania, executed with his wife Elena on Christmas Day 1989 Click to show or hide the answer
Christmas Island: discovered 1777 by Click to show or hide the answer
Title role in Scrooge (1970 muscal version, film only) Click to show or hide the answer
National leader who resigned on Christmas Day 1991 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Voiced the Grinch in a 1966 TV special version of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas ("his best–known non–horror role" – Wikipedia) Click to show or hide the answer
Santa Claus: The Movie (1985): starred as an elf called Patch Click to show or hide the answer
Title role in Scrooged (1988) Click to show or hide the answer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (children's book): author Click to show or hide the answer
Title role in Scrooge (1951) Click to show or hide the answer
Inventor of the Christmas cracker (Yorkshire sweet manufacturer – 1846) Click to show or hide the answer
Title role in Bad Santa (2003) Click to show or hide the answer
The Father Christmas Letters: author Click to show or hide the answer
US jazz singer, wrote The Christmas Song ("Chestnuts roasting on an open fire") – in collaboration with one Bob Wells Click to show or hide the answer
Bob Geldof's collaborator in forming Band Aid, and in writing Do They Know it's Christmas? Click to show or hide the answer
Played Susan Walker in the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street – aged 8 Click to show or hide the answer

'Twas the Night Before Christmas ...

"'Twas the night before Christmas …" is the first line of (poem first published anonymously in 1823 in the Sentinel newspaper of Troy, New York) Click to show or hide the answer
The poem was later attributed to (but still disputed by some) Click to show or hide the answer

Santa Claus's reindeers (originally in A Visit from St. Nicholas):

Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer
Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer Click to show or hide the answer

A Christmas Carol

First sentence (six words) Click to show or hide the answer
Number of ghosts that appear Click to show or hide the answer
Scrooge's deceased partner, and the first ghost to appear Click to show or hide the answer
"God bless us, every one" Click to show or hide the answer
Scrooge's good–natured clerk, father of Tiny Tim Click to show or hide the answer

Morecambe & Wise

For most of the 1970s (up to 1977, after which they moved to ITV), Christmas in the UK wouldn't have been Christmas without the Morecambe & Wise TV special. The following table lists the classics, and summarises their highlights. (For more details, refer to Wikipedia).

Their first Christmas special (consisting mainly of extracts from shows previously broadcast earlier in the same year): guest star Frankie Vaughan Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Peter Cushing appears, for the first time in what would become a running gag, to complain about not being paid for his appearance in July 1969 Click to show or hide the answer
William Franklyn suffers much mickey–taking over his Schweppes adverts ("Schhh ... you know who") and appears in Eric's play about the Three Musketeers
Edward Woodward sings The Way You Look Tonight
Shirley Bassey sings Smoke Gets In Your Eyes while Eric & Ernie rearrange the furniture around her; she also sings Diamonds are Forever Click to show or hide the answer
Glenda Jackson performs a dance routine in "the Hollywood Melody" Click for more information
Eric mangles Grieg's Piano Concerto, with André Previn attempting to conduct
Various previous guests appear in cameos: "I worked with Morecambe & Wise, and look what happened to me!", with the camera then zooming out to show them in various menial jobs: Ian Carmichael as a news vendor, Fenella Fielding as a railway guard, Eric Porter as a binman, André Previn as a bus conductor, Dame Flora Robson as a tea lady Click to show or hide the answer
Yehudi Menuhin, Rudolf Nureyev, Laurence Olivier and André Previn appear in cameos, making excuses not to appear Click to show or hide the answer
Vanessa Redgrave appears in the Latin American Extravaganza, and in Ernie's Napoleon & Josephine play
Hannah Gordon sings The Windmills of Your Mind against a wind generator

There was no show in 1974 (just a Parkinson interview showing clips from previous shows).

The much–maligned Des O'Connor appears in the opening routine Click to show or hide the answer
Diana Rigg stars in Ernie's version of Nell Gwynne
Robin Day's "friendly discussion" turns into a brawl
Angela Rippon shows her legs and dances Click to show or hide the answer
Michael Parkinson, Michael Aspel, Richard Baker, Frank Bough, Philip Jenkinson, Barry Norman, Eddie Waring, Richard Whitmore and Peter Woods join Eric & Ernie to perform There Is Nothing Like a Dame (Woods singing the final line); Kenneth Kendall appears as a newsreader Click to show or hide the answer
Various stars from Dad's Army and The Good Life appear; Elton John and Angharad Rees sing Baby, It's Cold Outside; Eric & Ernie appear in a Starsky & Hutch spoof

Morecambe & Wise moved to ITV in 1978, and their Christmas specials were never the same again. (If you think this is just my opinion, check them out on Wikipedia.)

Films (titles)

1988: set on Christmas Eve in the Los Angeles headquarters of the (fictional) Nakatomi Corporation; consistently voted as one of the best Christmas films of all time, despite (or perhaps because of) its violent content Click to show or hide the answer
2003: stars Will Ferrell as one of Santa's elves, who learns that he's really human and goes to New York to meet his biological father (played by James Caan) Click to show or hide the answer
1984: begins with a small boy (Billy Peltzer) being given a weird pet named Gizmo as a Christmas present (Gizmo is a mogwai — Cantonese for "evil spirit") Click to show or hide the answer
1942: in which the song White Christmas first appeared (winning the Oscar for Best Original Song) Click to show or hide the answer
1993 Tim Burton stop–motion animation – a "dark fantasy musical" (Wikipedia): central character Jack Skellington (who lives in Halloween Town) accidentally opens a portal to Christmas Town Click to show or hide the answer
1994: stars Tim Allen as Scott Calvin, a divorced businessman and cynical workaholic father, who becomes a reluctant new Santa Claus after he accidentally causes the real Santa Claus to fall from his roof on Christmas Eve Click to show or hide the answer

Other

Country that administers Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) Click to show or hide the answer
Plant known as Christmas, Easter or Crab Click to show or hide the answer
Traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve in Poland Click to show or hide the answer
Decorative object, associated with Advent, typically consisting of an orange decorated with ribbin, dried fruits or sweets, silver foil and a candle; symbolises Jesus as the light of the world; first made in Germany in 1747, popularised in the UK in the late 20th century Click to show or hide the answer
Common name for deficiency of factor IX in the blood Click to show or hide the answer
Latin name: Helleborus niger Click to show or hide the answer
Described by Charles Dickens as "that pretty German toy" (in his essay for the 1850 Christmas edition of his journal Household Words) Click to show or hide the answer
Christmas carol: words by Christina Rossetti, tune by Gustav Holst Click to show or hide the answer
Name of the character who may (or may not) be Santa Claus, in Miracle on 34th Street – played by Edmund Gwenn in the 1947 version, and Richard Attenborough in 1994 Click to show or hide the answer
"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents": first line of Click to show or hide the answer
Fictional world where it was winter for 100 years, but never Christmas Click to show or hide the answer
British heavy cruiser: engaged with the Scharnhorst on its way to the North Cape on Christmas Day 1943 – inflicting damage, but suffering damage itself Click to show or hide the answer
Country that sends a Christmas tree to London every year (to be erected in Trafalgar Square) Click to show or hide the answer
Name of the elf played by Dudley Moore in Santa Claus: the Movie (1985) Click to show or hide the answer
"A good–humoured Christmas chapter, containing an account of a wedding, and some other sports beside, which, although in their way even as good customs as marriage itself, are not quite so religiously kept up in these degenerative times". This is the title of Chapter 28 of Click to show or hide the answer
Also known as the Christmas star, Mexican flame leaf, winter rose, noche buena, or Pascua; native to Mexico, introduced to the USA in 1825 by the US Minister to Mexico Click to show or hide the answer
Socialist anthem sung to the tune of the German carol O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) Click to show or hide the answer
The Simpsons' pet greyhound Click to show or hide the answer
Traditional German bread–like fruit cake, particularly associated with Christmas Click to show or hide the answer
Toy, shortages of which at Christmas 1992 prompted Blue Peter to create a make–it–yourself version, which became their best–selling 'make' ever Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
TV drama series, piloted in a TV movie called The Homecoming: a Christmas Story (1971) Click to show or hide the answer
Crowned on Christmas Day Click to show or hide the answer
Pagan winter festival of the Germanic people – absorbed into Christmas Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017