Festive Flaws: 50 Christmas Facts Quiz

Written by: Larry Walder



Time to read 4 min

Seasons Greetings to all our readers!

Whatever you are celebrating this winter season, the staff at TEFL Toolkit and English in Action wish you happy holidays!


Many TEFOL and ESOL teachers will be finishing off their classes before the Christmas holidays begin. Our own English in Action Teachers will be bringing a festive flourish to the final courses they teach in the week leading up to Christmas. The gnomes in the Toolkit Office will be putting the finishing touches to new materials lined up for you in the New Year. Meanwhile, the academic team at EiA are making final preparations for January’s induction in snowy Vienna, at which a host of new teachers will be introduced to teaching English in Europe. Why not join the party?


So, while we put up our decorations and sip some mulled wine, we thought you might like a little festive fun for yourselves or to share with your students.

Fifty Festive Facts

We have gathered fifty fun facts about the season, but there is a catch… The facts are all wrong! Maybe it was Gremlins, or perhaps it was The Krampus, but every fact has a mistake in it. However, they can all be corrected by changing just one word in every sentence. Some may be easy to spot while others may be a bit trickier.


So please read on and enjoy our seasonal challenge. Most of the mistakes are fact-based, but knowing that you are English teachers, we included a few lexical errors as well. The only tip we can give you is that there really is only one word that needs changing in each fact. Don’t worry if you can’t spot them all. The true facts (without the single word mistakes) can be downloaded at the end.



Christmas Fun Facts (Change One Word)

1.    Last Christmas’ by Bing Crosby is the biggest selling Christmas song of all time.

2.     The tradition of using eucalyptus trees as Christmas trees originated in Germany.

3.     The world’s tallest Christmas tree was a 221-foot Douglas fir discovered in Seattle, Washington.

4.     In Japan, it’s a tradition to eat Kimchi on Christmas Day.

5.     Jingle Bells was originally written for Easter, not Christmas.

6.     The first artificial Christmas tree was made from dyed peacock feathers in the 19th century.

7.     Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created for an advertising campaign by the Montgomery Ward hospital store in 1939.

8.     Jim Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ was first released in 1994.

9.     Christmas stockings originated from the story of St. Nicholas dropping socks down a chimney.

10.  The abbreviation “Xmas” dates back to the 16th century and “X” is the Greek letter for Twitter.

11.  The world's largest Christmas cake measured 106 feet and 9 inches long and 49 feet and 1 inch wide.

12.  In the 1300s, Christmas pudding was a type of spiced soup made with brussels-sprouts and mutton.

13.  Peas didn’t appear on the Christmas menu in Britain until the rule of Henry VIII in the 1500s.

14.  The tradition of giving gifts in mid-winter dates back to ancient Egypt.

15.  In Ukraine, it’s traditional to decorate houses with spider webs at Christmas.

16.  Singing Christmas carols door to door is based on the English tradition of wrestling.

17.  Christmas was first celebrated on December 25th, in 336 AD during the time of the mad Emperor Constantine.

18.  “Silent Night” is one of the most recorded Christmas songs ever, with over 700 verses.

19.  London’s Trafalgar Square Christmas Market is a gift from Norway.

20.  In Iceland, there are 13 singers known as Yule Lads who visit children.

21.  In Sweden, they leave a cabbage for Santa instead of mince pies.

22.  Jingle Bells was the first song to be sung in outer Mongolia, in 1965.

23.  The tradition of singing under the mistletoe comes from ancient Norse mythology.

24.  In Victorian times, those who delivered the mail were nicknamed “snowmen” which is why they feature on lots of Christmas card designs.

25.  The tallest decoration ever built was 122 feet and 1 inch tall.

26.  In Greece, the traditional Christmas bread has a hidden nut inside, and the person who finds it will have good luck in the coming year.

27.  The word "Christmas" originates from the Old Latin phrase "Cristes Maesse," meaning "Christ's Mass."

28.  Scientists at the University of Glasgow created a Christmas tree so tiny it could only be seen through a microscope. 

29.  The tradition of sending Christmas cards started in 1843 in Lapland.

30.  In Sweden, a popular Christmas drink is a fizzy mulled wine called "glögg."

31.  The cactus, a popular Christmas plant, originated in Mexico.

32.  The idea of Santa Claus is based on the story of St. Nicholas, a Christian poet of the 4th century. 

33.  In Italy, a traditional Christmas seafood meal is known as ‘The Feast of the Seven Dwarfs’.

34.  “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens was written in just six chapters in 1843.

35.  In Norway, it’s a tradition to hide bicycles on Christmas Eve to prevent witches from stealing them for a ride.

36.  Netflix played a big role in shaping the modern image of Santa Claus through its advertisements.

37.  In Catalonia (Spain), it’s customary to have a figurine called "Caganer" depicting someone sleeping in the nativity scene.

38.  In England, it used to be considered bad luck to stir the mincemeat for Christmas apple pies clockwise.

39.  The world's largest nutcracker was 63.1 meters long and 4 meters in diameter.

40.  Christmas Mountain, an Australian territory, is named after the day it was discovered in 1643.

41.  In Germany, children put a bin outside the door on December 5th to receive sweets and presents from St. Nicholas.

42.  In Scotland, Hogmanay is the name for New Year's hangover.

43.  In Venezuela, it’s a tradition for people to roller-skate to early morning Christmas breakfast.

44.  Christmas was delayed in England from 1647 to 1660 due to Puritan beliefs.

45.  In Belgium, children believe St. Nicholas travels with a companion named “Blue Peter.”

46.  Dr Spock’s ‘The Grinch’, is the highest grossing film released at Christmas.

47.  ‘Die Hard 2’ is the second highest grossing film released at Christmas.

48.  Harry Potter has several official addresses depending on what country you are writing from.

49.  The biggest selling Christmas song of all time in Britain is the charity song ‘Do They Know It’s Santa?’.

50.  The Krampus is a scary devil-like creature who torments Australian children on 5 December.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


You can check the answers in the download below.