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Monday, December 23, 2013

Have a great holiday season. No editorial comments today. Let your celebration include prayers of peace, love, and goodwill on earth. Remember those who are lonely or isolated and need a "touch" of contact, be it a call, an e-mail, or a visit. 

The monetary gifts are for the kids. We adults need to find a warm glow of friends, family, and quiet reflection. God bless you all.

Just for fun, here is a Christmas quiz that centers on American government and history. Try your luck with these brainteasers. Don't cheat while answering the questions and look at the answers provided after the quiz. Remember, Santa sees everything.

Here are the two main sources for the questions. Please read the articles after you take the little test. Just click on them to take you to the great reading.

Christmas American Style Quiz

1. ___  Christmas has not always been a national holiday. The Americans of the founding generations insisted upon separation of church and state not because they were irreligious, but because so many of them were

a. non-church goers without denominations
b. not in favor of Washington favoring some religious practices over others
c. still a majority of heathen rift raft
d. not interested in government

2. ___  The early National government was also "rather cool" to establishing Christmas as a holiday because of its many non-Christian origins. For example, Christmas is celebrated near the date of

a. the first British coronation
b. the Celtic festival of Samhain
c. the Roman holiday of Saturnalia
d. Parentalia, the Druid festival of the dead

3. ___  The traditions of the Christmas tree, the hanging of wreaths and house-to-house caroling have their origins in

a. the pre-Christian German holiday of Yule
b. the celebration of winter in neolithic times (10,200 BC)
c. Festivus, a secular holiday celebrated on December 23
d. Pongal, the harvest festival of Tamils

4. ___ It is claimed that the first eggnog made in the United States was consumed 

a. at the inauguration of President George Washington
b. in the Monticello home of President Thomas Jefferson
c. in the Pilgrim colony at Plymouth
d. in Captain John Smith's 1607 Jamestown settlement.

5. ___The Advent season was originally a religious time

a. for prayer of the gift of Jesus's birth
b. for granting fertility
c. for fasting to point to the Second Coming of Jesus
d. for the celebration of the Last Supper of Jesus

6. ___  From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone found guilty of exhibiting the Christmas spirit was 

a. confined to the stockade
b. fined five shillings
c. tarred and feathered
d. confined to his own quarters

7. ___  The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil. During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season. Who is given much credit for helping change the image of Christmas to a warm-hearted holiday with the publication of The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon in 1819?

a. Henry Thoreau
b. John James Audubon
c. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
d. Washington Irving

8. ___  In 1804, The New York Historical Society was founded with St. Nicolas as its patron saint. Its members engaged in the practice of gift-giving at Christmas introduced by

a. the French
b. the Dutch
c. the Native Americans
d. the Irish

9. ___  In 1834, Illinois voted whether to adopt Christmas as a legal holiday. Among those voting "nay" was 

a. Abraham Lincoln
b. Steven Douglas
c. John Brown
d. Harriet Beecher Stowe

10. ___ In 1836, the first state to recognize Christmas as a holiday was

a. Alabama
b. Ohio
c. Massachusetts
d. Pennsylvania

11. ___ During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln had Thomas Nast, an illustrator for Harper's Magazine create a drawing associated with Christmas that effectively used psychological warfare to demoralize Confederate troops. Describe the drawing.

a. Santa with Union soldiers
b. a nativity scene with the caption "E Pluribus Unum"
c. a heavenly angel overlooking Union troops
d. the Christmas star shining on the White House

12. ___ Christmas was not declared as a federal holiday until 

a. December 24, 1836
b. April 16, 1861
c. June 26, 1870
d. February 4, 1905

13. ___ What President sent out the first "seasonal" White House Christmas card

a. Woodrow Wilson
b. Theodore Roosevelt
c. Harry S. Truman
d. Dwight D. Eisenhower

14. ___ What President sent our the first Christmas card depicting a nativity scene?

a. Franklin D. Roosevelt
b. John F. Kennedy
c. Lydon B. Johnson
d. Richard M. Nixon



1. B    2. C    3. A    4. D    5. C    6. B    7. D    8. B    9.  A   10. A    11. A    12. C    13. D     14. B   

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