Christmas is a popular time to travel, especially for baby boomers escaping cold weather (those who live up north) and/or taking advantage of their empty nests (if applicable). And if you have grandkids you don’t want to part with at Christmastime, you can always take them with you!
One option is to put together a Christmas-themed vacation. But how much do you really know about where to find Santa Claus, reindeer herds, unique Christmas trees, an It’s a Wonderful Life festival, or an island named Christmas?
Take our quiz to find out (answers coming in my next post; try to resist googling or risk finding lumps of coal in your stocking).
1. Christmas Island was discovered by British Royal Navy Captain William Mynors on December 25, 1643, hence the name. Which ocean would you travel to to spend the holiday season on Christmas Island?
a. The South Pacific
b. The South Atlantic
c. The Indian Ocean
d. The Antarctic Ocean
2. Which U.S. state would you travel to in search of a town named Santa Claus?
3. Where would you travel to retrace the footsteps of the original St. Nicholas, a 4th-century bishop whose reputation for gift-giving and miracle-working eventually provided the model for the modern-day Santa Claus?
4. If you’re reading the first printed version of Clement Moore’s famous poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (better known as “The Night Before Christmas”), what are the original names of two of Santa’s eight flying reindeer? (OK, I know it’s a stretch to give this a travel angle, but they do fly, and I like the question.)
a. Donner and Blixen
b. Donder and Blixen
c. Dunder and Blixem
d. Dunder and Nixon
5. Where would you travel to find reindeer herds tended by the nomadic Sami people?
a. Northern Scandinavia
d. Nunavut, Canada
6. The two most popular cities for German Christmas markets are:
a. Nuremberg and Dresden
b. Berlin and Cologne
c. Frankfurt and Stuttgart
d. Hamburg and Munich
7. If you visit West Point, the beautifully situated U.S. Army academy on New York’s Hudson River, you may hear tales of the 1826 caper staged by several cadets who smuggled in whiskey and rum to spike the eggnog at the academy’s Christmas party, violating West Point’s strict prohibition of alcohol. What later famous Civil War figure was among the cadets involved?
a. Ulysses S. Grant
b. Robert E. Lee
c. Stonewall Jackson
d. Jefferson Davis
8. Where would you travel to find the world’s largest gingerbread village, as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records?
a. New York, New York
b. Nuremberg, Germany
c. Bryan, Texas
d. Minneapolis, Minnesota
9. Where would you travel to see a Christmas tree made out of paint buckets?
a. St. Petersburg, Florida
b. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
c. Shanghai, China
d. Prague, Czech Republic
10. What city claims to be the inspiration for the fictional Bedford Falls in the 1946 classic Christmas film, It’s a Wonderful Life, and hosts an annual It’s a Wonderful Life festival each December?
a. Twin Falls, Idaho
b. Seneca Falls, New York
c. Columbia Falls, Maine
d. Bedford Hills, New York
Good luck! But most of all, have a joyous Christmas and holiday season, a Happy New Year, and safe travels now and in 2016, from all of us here at clarknorton.com. (Well, that would be me, but many friends and associates contribute ideas, photos, and links to great stories, for which I’m forever grateful.)
I’m also thrilled to have met readers and travel buffs from around the world, even if most of the meetings have been virtual. I always appreciate your emails and comments — please keep them coming.