There’s no better way to prepare for the festivities than some healthy competition in a Christmas quiz. If you’re looking for some more unknown questions, then we have some obscure Christmas facts to really get your family and friends thinking. Simply adapt them into true or false questions or another version and you’ll be the greatest quizmaster!
We’ve all heard the classic when it comes to Christmas quizzing, even if we still can’t name all the reindeer off the top of our heads. But there are plenty of more obscure Christmas facts that’ll keep your questions interesting and mind-boggling. Take any of the following and people will think you’re a proper smarty-pants.
Obscure Christmas Facts
Here are ten fascinating Christmas facts to put in your quiz, or just to show off with!
10. Christmas Pudding Was Originally Made With Meat
So, maybe Rachel wasn’t too far off with her shepherd’s pie trifle all along! The thought sounds a bit disgusting, but really the festive treat was altogether pretty different.
Back in the 14th century, Christmas pudding was made using porridge, mutton and beef! It also had some spices and the more familiar dried fruits too. Over time, the recipe slowly changed and became the festive treat we all know today. We’re not sure that brandy sauce would have gone too nicely with the first version though…
9. Jingle Bells Was The First Song Played In Space
This is probably a little more known than the last fact but it’s still a pretty cool Christmas fact. On December 16 1965, Jingle Bells became the first song played in space (by humans) during the Gemini 6A Space Flight. Spreading Christmas cheer wherever we go, not even space can limit our festive spirit!
8. Tinsel Was Originally Made With Silver
We think this might make Christmas a tad more expensive if we were still using it nowadays. First used in Germany several centuries ago, it comes from an Eastern European folk story about a spider who decorated a poor family’s tree with cobwebs made of silver and gold!
People found that silver tarnished quickly so swapped in other metals before we finally decided on plastic in fairly recent history.
7. We Wish You A Merry Christmas was used as a threat
If you thought it was just a lovely Christmas carol then we’re afraid that’s not what We Wish You A Merry Christmas was used for. If you are a little confused about how the sweet song is threatening, then we just have to turn back the clocks to Victorian times.
With Boxing Day traditionally the day when servants were relieved of their duties to spend time with their families, masters would often give their employees a Christmas box to take home with them. However, if servants hadn’t received anything, especially alcohol, then they would sing the carol endlessly until their wants were met.
Think about the lyric ‘we won’t leave until we get some,’ and it will all make sense.
6. The First Official Christmas Card Was Sent By A Royal
Christmas cards have been sent commercially since 1843 when Harry Cole made 1000 and sold them. However, it was actually Queen Victoria that sent the first official Christmas card!
They quickly grew in popularity and by 1870 had become a tradition. There are now only 12 of the first 1000 Christmas cards left, with one auctioning for £30,000 a few years ago.
5. The Biggest Gift Ever Was The Statue Of Liberty
Imagine the size of the tree you would have to hide that under! Fortunately, it didn’t come wrapped or in a massive sleigh and was just shipped over by boat instead.
The French sent the gift to the United States in 1886 with the idea proposed by Edouard de Laboulaye, a senator for France, in 1865. Imagine waiting over 20 years for a present!
The gift was the honour of President Abraham Lincoln who died in 1865, and also to commemorate the US’s commitment to democracy.
4. Two Of Santa’s Reindeer Originally Had Different Names
A different spin on the ‘name all the reindeer question’ for your Christmas quiz! Yes, Donna and Blitzen started out with slightly different names that were Dutch. Originally, the two were Dunden and Blixem which translates to thunder and lightning.
We think they might be slightly easier to remember with their original names, to be honest!
3. Artificial Christmas Trees Were Made With Goose Feathers
This is something else we’re grateful got swapped to plastic. However, when fake trees first became popular in 1865, it was actually goose feathers that were used to replicate the leaves. First used in Germany, the feathers were dyed green to give them that proper festive look.
2. Giving All The 12 Days Of Christmas Gifts Would Mean 364 Presents
We’re not sure if this would use more or less paper than wrapping The Statue of Liberty but we wouldn’t want to either! If you properly listen to the lyrics then you’ll find that on each day the singer is being regifted all the things from the previous days too.
“On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 3 french hens, 2 calling birds and a partridge in a pear tree.”
That was only counting the third day, not the first and second as well!
1. The Rockefeller Christmas Tree Has Over 25,000 Lights
Think of the energy bill for that! You’d also hate it if one of them blew…
The tree is a worldwide spectacle of Christmas so thousands of lights are pretty understandable, but 25,000 is a huge amount!
This is particularly so when you know that the first Rockefeller Christmas tree in 1931 had no lights, ornaments or anything — it was just a bare tree!
It’s no wonder it features in so many Christmas films nowadays being such a festive icon.
So there are some of the best obscure Christmas facts! Whether you want to keep them to yourself or develop your own Christmas quiz is up to you.