A game to liven up the Christmas lunch

Your festive feast has been served and everyone’s had ‘firsts’.
Take a break before round two by testing guests on these Christmas traditions.

True or False?

On Christmas Eve 1968, astronauts aboard Apollo 8 became the first humans to escape the gravity of a celestial body.

True

The crew sent out a special live Christmas Eve broadcast complete with images of earth and readings from the Book of Genesis.

Right or Wrong?

Louis XIV, aka the Sun King, loved to dress up as Saint Nicholas on Christmas Eve – and make some of his favourite courtiers act as his eight reindeer, complete with antlers and harnessed to a sleigh. He was such a method actor, he would make them eat the evening banquet out of mangers.

Wrong

Apparently Christmas was a bit of a fizzer in Versailles, thanks to the snobbishness of Louis XIV’s brother Philippe, who despite marrying a German princess, couldn’t abide the idea of adopting any of her delightfully Deutsche holiday traditions.

Right or Wrong?

We have the Wall Street Crash of 1929 to thank for Advent calendars. When its largest customer went bust in the wake of the crash, a quick-thinking marketing manager at the Allegany Candy Company – famous for its bite-size candies – persuaded a local card and diary maker in New York State to produce a Christmas countdown calendar with a tasty treat stuck to each day. The idea proved a huge hit and, within a few years, had morphed into the perforated door style loved by children (and sneaky adults) to this day.

Wrong

Fact or Fake?

Think of elves and you’ll probably picture smiling, industrious characters, happily making toys for Santa to deliver on Christmas Day. In reality, there’s a far darker background to this slice of festive folklore – Romanian tradition holds that elves embody the souls of children imprisoned by tyrannical 16th century duke, Ivan of Slobozia, and forced to make the candles that brought him his enormous fortune.

Fake

True or False?

Today’s image of Santa Claus in a red, fur-trimmed suit is the result of a clever advertising campaign by Coca Cola in 1933. The key visuals we now associate with the jolly, pathologically gift-giving fellow were all invented by some smartypants art director way back when and have become part of our cultural baggage ever since.

False

Santa was shown almost exclusively in a red suit for most of the 19th century and it was cartoonist Thomas Nast, way back in the 1870s, who did most to create his contemporary image. Coca Cola wasn’t even the first soft drink company – White Rock portrayed a thoroughly modern Santa in adverts from 1923.

Fact or Fake?

Amid the carnage of WWI, a Christmas miracle. British and German troops laid off slaughtering each other in vast numbers and ventured towards enemy lines with Christmas gifts, carol singing and even a few games of soccer.

Fact

© Six Black Pens 2021