The Shiny Advent Quiz!

hollyThe Shiny Editors have compiled twenty-five Christmas-related questions from literature to test your knowledge – one for each day of Advent plus a Christmas Day bonus. Some are easy – some are real stinkers!  We hope you enjoy them whether you have a go on your own or test your families and guests.

The answers are cunningly hidden in a snowdrift at the bottom of this page – the text is white so you’ll have to highlight it with your cursor to see them.

No cheating… do tell us how you fared in the comments!

  1. TheLionWitchWardrobe(1stEd)What gifts does Father Christmas give to Susan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis?
  2. Which of Dickens’ Christmas tales is separated into ‘chirps’ rather than chapters?
  3. In which 1957 children’s book, which criticises the commercialisation of Christmas, does a creature with a heart ‘two sizes too small’ live on Mount Crumpit?
  4. Which classic Christmas poem was originally entitled ‘A visit from St Nick’?
  5. Who wrote the child’s-eye view short story A Child’s Christmas in Wales?
  6. From whom does Miss Woodhouse receive a mistaken proposal on the way home from Christmas at the Randells in Jane Austen’s novel Emma?
  7. In the first Harry Potter book, which character bemoans the fact that people always give him books for Christmas when what he really wants are socks?
  8. In which novel by Salman Rushdie does this quotation appear? ‘What kind of Christmas present would Jesus ask Santa for?’
  9. ‘Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents’ is the opening line of which classic novel?
  10. In which novel by Angela Thirkell do Laura Morland and her son Tony set off to spend Christmas at their country home?
  11. poguesWho wrote the novel that inspired the title of the much-loved Christmas song A Fairy Tale of New York by the Pogues and the much-missed Kirsty McColl ?
  12. Published in 2005, which author wrote the heart-warming novel A Redbird Christmas which culminates at Christmas time?
  13. Which American humourist wrote about his times working as a department store Elf in The Santaland Diaries?
  14. In which classic Christmas story does Councillor Drosselmeier bring his Godchildren clockwork toys on Christmas Eve?
  15. Which Scandinavian novelist wrote The Christmas Mystery, with a chapter for each day of Advent?
  16. Which novel by Thomas Hardy opens with carol singers making the rounds in Mellstock village on Christmas Eve?
  17. One of the stories in A Quiver Full of Arrows is about a young Pontius Pilate at the Nativity. Who wrote the collection?
  18. Joe Christmas is a character in the 1932 American novel Light in August. Who is its well-known author?
  19. Which medieval English work opens at Christmastime at King Arthur’s court?
  20. Which writer wrote the following: ‘Carol singing in my village was a special time for the boys, the girls had little to do with it’?
  21. Which Shakespeare play contains the lines: ‘At Christmas I no more desire a rose/ Than wish a snow in May’s new-fangled mirth’?
  22. bear and kittenWhich famous writer sent ‘A Letter from Santa Claus’ to his daughter Susy?
  23. Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for one author’s children. Inside would be a letter from Father Christmas in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches (e.g. right). Who wrote them?
  24. In which Agatha Christie mystery is Simeon Lee murdered on Christmas Eve?
  25. In which children’s book (and film) does the boy protagonist choose a bell from one of Santa’s reindeer as the first gift of Christmas?


The Answers:  1. A bow & arrows and a horn   2. The Cricket on the Hearth   3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss   4. Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore   5. Dylan Thomas (adapted from a radio piece performed in 1952)    6. Mr Elton  7. Albus Dumbledore in HP & the Philosopher’s Stone   8. Fury (2001)   9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott   10. High Rising   11. J P Donleavy  12. Fannie Flagg   13. David Sedaris   14. The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann  15. Jostein Gaarder, he’s actually Norwegian  16. Under the Greenwood Tree  17. Jeffrey Archer!  18. William Faulkner  19. Sir Gawain & the Green Knight  20. Laurie Lee in Cider with Rosie   21. Love’s Labour’s Lost   22. Mark Twain, his daughter was Suzy Clemens  23. J.R.R. Tolkien – collectively published as Letters From Father Christmas   24. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas   25. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.

End of Answers.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS to all our readers from the Shiny New Books Editors.

14 thoughts on “The Shiny Advent Quiz!

  1. That was tough! I only got 12 right, must catch up on my seasonal reading, clearly!

  2. Oh mon dieu! I was doing great….until I wasn’t. Only 7. I’m ashamed.

  3. I can think of a few other Christmas books (well, who couldn’t) so maybe we should just all submit potential questions for NEXT YEAR’S QUIZ. :^))

  4. Ouch. I only got 7. Can I get a pass though since I can recite the entire Night Before Christmas poem from memory?

  5. Aaargh. Only 8. It would have been 9 but I couldn’t pull the title from the back of my head for number 19. (Of course, since I guessed at Faulkner, I’m not sure if I should only admit to 7.) That was tough.

  6. Enjoyed the quiz hugely – thank you. I managed 11 right answers before resorting to Google for the remainder

  7. Great quiz. Although a fail here sadly since I got 3.

  8. Great Quiz. Some good ideas for Christmas reading. I got 8 (including the Jeffrey Archer one….!)

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