While I enjoy certain aspects of Christmas — like caroling and A Charlie Brown Christmas — I approach other parts of the yuletide with this expression:
In my opinion, there are a lot of to-do’s, traffic, travel, and testiness involved with the holidays. However, I want to get into the spirit, so here’s a 10-question, multiple-choice quiz to decide how you measure up on the Xmas spirit-o-meter.
1. When it comes to holiday specials on television, I:
a. Curse at the TV when my regular programming gets preempted and send hate mail to the networks. The silly Christmas saps should be the ones to hunt down their shows, not me.
b. Turn on the TV, discover a special, and happily settle in to watch. Who doesn’t like Santa Claus is Coming to Town?
c. Track when the best specials will air and post a schedule on the refrigerator. I can’t stand the thought of missing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or The Year Without Santa Claus!
d. Own an extensive Christmas library of classics and watch one each day in anticipation of the big day. Heck, I know every word of Frosty the Snowman and You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.
2. For holiday decorating, our family:
a. Puts up a tabletop tree and a few stockings. That’s quite enough, thank you. My house isn’t a store display window.
b. Erects a nice Christmas tree with ornaments and a few household decorations about two weeks before. Then we can count down those 12 days of Christmas as presents start to pile under and around the tree.
c. Had a couple of trees, household decor, and outside lights up the day after Thanksgiving. I love this time of the year, and having a festive house is one way to amp up the holiday spirit and have a welcoming environment for our annual Christmas party.
d. Decorate several trees around the house, each with its own theme, and receive complaints from the neighbors about our extensive light show. But the families who come by in cars and slow down to look seem to like it a lot!
3. When it comes to cooking, my idea of holiday baking is:
a. Picking up rumballs at the local bakery for the office party. Those babies are good any time of year.
b. Baking and decorating Christmas cookies with my kids in the shapes of trees, wreaths, and Santa Claus. They especially enjoy sprinkles.
c. Hosting a party or two with fresh-baked goodies and handing out homemade bread and candy as gifts to family and friends.
d. Turning my kitchen into a Paula Deen playground for a couple of weeks beforehand. This is the best time to make breads, pies, fruitcake, and cookies. I have several holiday cookbooks that I put to good use during the Christmas season.
4. My favorite holiday movie is:
a. Die Hard – Terrorists interrupting a Christmas Eve party and Bruce Willis getting revenge? What could possibly compete?
b. A Christmas Story – Getting the toy you want for Christmas? Who can’t relate to this classic theme and its humor?
c. It’s a Wonderful Life – I love that part when Bedford Falls gathers at the house and Clarence gets his wings.
d. Miracle on 34th Street – Santa Claus is REAL. And if you don’t believe, you don’t receive.
5. Some people like to dress Christmas-y this time of year, and I:
a. Mock their dorky Christmas sweaters and Santa Claus hats, in person, on Facebook, and on Twitter. What are those fools thinking?
b. Have one nice Christmas sweater that I bring out to wear to the office or church party.
c. Own Christmas shirts, some holiday jewelry, and a set of red-and-green plaid pajamas to help me get into the seasonal swing.
d. Wear something festive every day in December, put Rudolph antlers on the dog, and have everyone pose in their brand-new Christmas pajamas for our annual family Christmas photo.
6. Santa Claus is:
a. The delusional character we invented to scare kids into behaving the rest of the year.
b. A jolly fictional character represented by seasonal workers in the mall who welcome little children onto their laps to rattle off their wish lists.
c. A fairytale figure who inspires us to be more generous toward others, especially toward little children.
d. The man who lives at the North Pole, has a workshop of elves, and visits every single child on Christmas night with his magical sleigh and flying reindeer.
7. On Black Friday, you could find me:
a. Snoozing in until 12:00 noon, then holing up at my house with a remote control and football on television. Let the idiots shop ’til they drop while I drink beer, eat leftover turkey, and yell at stupid referees.
b. Checking the flyers and websites for good deals, then concluding I don’t have the appropriate body armor for the trip. Maybe one day I’ll brace myself and venture out on that crazy shopping day.
c. Out for a couple of hours with friends or family to catch a few deals. I bought the latest electronic for 60% off (which the rest of you will only get for 50% off later).
d. Camped outside the store since midnight the night before, filing my fingernails into claw shape, and drawing a diagram strategy for me and my team to rush in and grab the best deals first.
8. When I see mistletoe, I:
a. Yank it down. I’m allergic, and what do a bunch of leaves have to do with whether I get lucky anyway.
b. Smile at the sweet notion that someone might get kissed underneath. For myself, it’s never worked any wonders, though.
c. Find my honey and plant a big smooch on him. Why not use mistletoe as an excuse to get some lip-locking?
d. Drag everyone in my family underneath and give them a big kiss. Then hang some at my workplace to kiss that handsome coworker three cubicles down from me and the delicious Corrigan water guy. That’s what mistletoe is for, baby!
9. My favorite Christmas carol is:
a. Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. That song cracks me up.
b. Santa Claus is Coming to Town. That’s what this season is about.
c. O Holy Night. It’s a classic.
d. A toss-up between The Twelve Days of Christmas and Handel’s Messiah. The first helps me count down those precious days until Christmas arrives, while the second must be heard in its entirety to revel in the Christmas spirit.
10. My feelings about this quiz can be summed up as:
a. Can I have my 10 minutes back? This was a total waste of my time.
b. Cute, but I could have used the time for online holiday shopping.
c. Fun to take this quiz and start thinking about the Christmas spirit.
d. Are you kidding? I love EVERYTHING Christmas – even quizzes!
SCORING: Count up your a’s, b’s, c’s, and d’s. Which letter got the most answers?
from A Christmas Carol (2009)
Mostly a’s – SCROOGE. On Christmas Eve, be prepared to be visited by three scary ghosts who need to jolt you into a little show of humanity and Christmas spirit. Drop the “Bah hum bug” attitude and find your inner elf.
from Yes, Virginia (2009)
Mostly b’s – VIRGINIA. You have some doubts about this season, but you know deep down that “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” Still, you might want to take a Christmas lights tour or visit a Nativity scene to get yourself more excited about the holidays.
from How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Mostly c’s – MAX. You understand that Christmas isn’t perfect, but you are determined to get into the spirit and have a great season no matter what. Put on that smile and pull the sleigh. It will all work out in the end!
Mostly d’s – ELF. You belong at the North Pole year-round just getting ready for Christmas — the best day of the year. Santa Claus is accepting applications for toybuilders, and I will happily write you a recommendation letter.
So are you a Christmas person? Hanukkah person? Perhaps something else?
Post first published December 2011.