Can You Complete These Christmas Phrases?


By: Abi Luftig

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Part of what makes Christmas so special is the familiarity surrounding the entire month of December. We collectively listen to the same holiday songs, watch the same Christmas movies and put up the same decorations.

We also tend to say (and sing) a lot of the same things! Who here hasn't seen a box labeled "fragile"around Christmastime and immediately thought of Ralphie's dad from "A Christmas Story" saying, "Fra-gee-lay! It must be Italian!"

And we bet you know how to fill in the blank in this phrase: "We wish you a _______ _________ and a happy New Year!"

Whether it's songs we were forced to sing in third grade choir, hymns from religious services or just part of one of our favorite musicals (we're looking at you, "Meet Me in St. Louis,) these Christmas phrases have been emblazoned into our psyches.

Do you think you're a yuletide lexicon pro? Then gather your milk and cookies for Santa, let some sugar plum fairies dance in your head, and take this quiz. It's even better than the reindeer games poor Rudolph wasn't allowed to play!

How does this line from "A Christmas Story" end? "You'll shoot your ______!"

In the classic film, "A Christmas Story," Ralphie only wants "an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle!” He is told repeatedly by his parents, his teacher, and even Santa that, "You'll shoot your eye out," which he very nearly does.


"There's no place like" where "for the holidays?"

Originally the title of a Perry Como song, this phrase has become part of the holiday lexicon. Despite being a Christmas song, the lyrics mention heading home for "some homemade pumpkin pie," which is traditionally associated with Thanksgiving.


What "comes but once a year?"

This phrase comes from the title of a 1936 animated short film. It is now used to imply that people should focus more on giving and helping others in the 'Holiday Spirit.'


Can you complete this phrase: "It’s the most _________ time of the year?"

This phrase comes from the title of the 1963 Andy Williams song. In recent years, it has been used in 'Back To School' commercials by Staples.


"T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a" what?

These are the opening lines from "A Visit from St. Nicholas," better known as "The Night Before Christmas." The poem was published anonymously in 1823, and Clement Clarke Moore claimed authorship in 1837.


What word follows "Happy" as a holiday greeting?

Americans are accustomed to saying "Merry Christmas," but Brits are more used to saying "Happy Christmas." Given the proximity between the holidays, talk of the New Year often overlaps with Christmas, leading to the use of phrases like "Happy New Year" (said in many Christmas songs) and "Happy Holidays."


What is the missing word in the phrase "Have ______ a merry little Christmas?"

Judy Garland's classic rendition from 1944's "Meet Me In St. Louis" led to this phrase becoming a part of the Christmas lexicon. Some feel that the lyrics are a bit depressing for the holiday season, but they are far more uplifting than the original lyrics, which the songwriter was forced to change at the behest of the musical's director.


"I Saw Three" what "on Christmas Day?"

The lyrics to this carol mention "sailing into Bethlehem," but this is impossible since the city is 20 miles from the nearest body of water (the Dead Sea.) This has led many to believe that these ships are the camels ridden by the Magi, as camels are known as "ships of the desert."


The common expression says that we should do what to the halls?

The popular Welsh carol asks that we deck (short for decorate) the halls. The original lyrics, translated by Thomas Oliphant in 1862, spoke heavily of holiday drinking: "Fill the mead cup/Drain the barrel/Troll the ancient Yuletide carol," but by 1887, the lyrics were changed and all references to alcohol were removed.


"Santa Claus is coming to" where?

This jolly song was first released in 1934 and became an instant hit. It has been covered more than 200 times by various artists.


"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is" doing what "for all to hear?"

This phrase is said several times in Will Ferrell's classic holiday romp, "Elf." While being relatively recent in cinematic history, "Elf" quickly climbed to the top ten of several lists of the best Christmas movies, including Entertainment Weekly (#4), Total Film (#3) and Forbes (#7.)


What is it "beginning to look a lot like?"

This song was written by Meredith Wilson in 1951. It was made into a hit by Perry Como.


How does this famous phrase end: "God bless us, ____?"

This famous line from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is spoken by Tiny Tim. Dickens never specified what illness Tiny Tim had, but literary critics and historians have suggested it was either renal tubular acidosis or rickets.


What completes this famous quote? "Now I have a ________. Ho ho ho!"

Hans Gruber, played by the late, great Alan Rickman, reads this off of a note John McClane pinned to the corpse of one of his henchmen and dropped through the ceiling. "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie. Don't argue with us.


Who is informed that, "Yes, _________, there is a Santa Claus?"

This famous phrase comes from an op-ed in an 1897 edition of The New York Sun, where an 8-year-old girl named Virginia O'Hanlon wrote (at the advice of her father, who didn't want to answer the question himself) to ask whether there really was a Santa Claus or not. The editor, Francis Pharcellus Church, wrote back saying that Santa exists through love, faith and kindness.


What is it "we have heard on high?"

"Angels We Have Heard On High" is a famous carol inspired by the French carol Les Anges dans nos Campagnes ("The Angels in our Countryside.") It was translated into English by James Chadwick, Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in 1862.


"May your days be" what?

The lyric is "May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white." Since the Christmases are specified separately from the rest of the days, the song "White Christmas" technically only wishes that your "days be merry and bright," not white.


What do we wish for "on Earth?"

The holiday blessing "Peace on Earth, goodwill to men" originally comes from the Annunciation to the Shepherds (describing the nativity.) It was then incorporated into the lyrics for the carol, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear."


"Hark! The" what kind of "Angels Sing?"

"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" first came into being in 1739 as a hymn written by Charles Wesley. It was fine-tuned and reworked over the years, and the version we know today was created by Felix Mendelssohn in 1840.


What “is believing in things when common sense tells you not to?"

This line comes from the holiday classic, "Miracle on 34th Street." Despite being one of the most iconic Christmas films of all time, it was actually released in cinemas in May of 1947, because a studio exec insisted that "more people go to the movies in warmer weather."


What does the familiar expression say we should trim?

In this case, "trim" does not mean to cut. It means to decorate with ribbons and ornaments.


According to Zuzu Bailey's teacher, what happens "every time a bell rings?"

Despite being one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time, "It's a Wonderful Life" was initially a box-office bomb. Incidentally, the $8,000 deposit Uncle Billy "loses" to Potter is worth more than $100,000 in modern money.


Finish this lyric: "And a" what "in a pear tree?"

This is the oft-repeated last line of each verse of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and was originally two gifts, a partridge AND a pear tree. Since 1984, PNC Bank has operated a "Christmas Price Index," which jokingly calculates the total prices of the gifts for each day, adjusted for inflation ($34,363.49 in 2016) as well as the "True Cost of Christmas," which assumes that a new version of the gift is bought each day, meaning 12 partridges, 12 pear trees, 11 sets of turtle doves, etc, etc. ($156,507.88 in 2016.)


"You're a" what "one, Mr. Grinch?"

The song is called, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," but the lyrics refer to him as foul, vile, a monster and a rotter. Due to his name not being included in the closing credits of the original 1966 movie, most people don't know that the song was sung by Thurl Ravenscroft and assume it was sung by narrator Boris Karloff. Karloff was very talented, but could not sing.


"I will honor Christmas in my" what "and try to keep it all the year?"

This promise is given by Ebenezer Scrooge at the end of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." The story was originally published in 1843.


What type of "greetings" do we offer?

This phrase started in the Victorian era when cards included the phrases: "Compliments of the Season" and "Christmas Greetings." Over time it was shorted to "With the Season's Greetings," and by the 1920s, cards were published simply saying, "Season's Greetings."


What word precedes "humbug?"

"Bah! Humbug" is the catchphrase of Ebenezer Scrooge, but he did not invent the word. "Humbug" has long been used as another word for "fraud," so when Scrooge declares, "Bah! Humbug," he is declaring Christmas a fraud.


We often wish what "to the world?"

"Joy to the World" is a Christmas carol based on Psalm 98, 96:11-12 and Genesis 3:17-18. It is also considered a hymn (yes, there's a difference) and is the most-published Christian hymn in America.


While you dine on “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” who is "nipping at your nose?"

"Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" is actually the subtitle of the song "The Christmas Song." Nat King Cole recorded the song three times over the course of his career (1946, 1953 and 1961,) but his original 1946 version is the most popular.


What is Linus talking about when he says “I never thought it was such a bad little _____. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love?"

Linus says this as he convinces the other Peanuts to restore the famous Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" aired in 1965.


"It's Christmas Eve. It's the one night of the year when we _____. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be." What is missing from this Scrooged quote?

At the end of 1988's "Scrooged," Frank Cross (Bill Murray) offers this impassioned speech: "It's Christmas Eve. It's the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be." Murray famously did not get along with the film's director, Richard Donner.


Who "thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"

"How The Grinch Stole Christmas," by Dr. Suess, is the story of the Grinch who hates Christmas due to his heart being "two sizes too small." After the producers failed to give proper credit to Thurl Ravenscroft for singing the famous song, Dr. Seuss called Ravenscroft personally and apologized profusely for the oversight and wrote letters to national newspapers informing them who really sang the song (even though it was not his mistake.)


"Tis the season to be" what?

This is the second line of the song "Deck the Halls." On December 23, 2016, Google Doodle used a holiday doodle called 'Tis The Season.


I offer you "tidings of" what "and joy?"

This is a common phrase on holiday cards. It is also the last line of the first verse of the carol, "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen."


Merry Christmas to" who "and to" who "a good night?"

The best possible line to end this quiz on, this is the final line from, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." There is some dispute over who wrote the poem. Clement Clarke Moore claimed authorship, but historians and literary critics have come to believe that Major Henry Livingston, Jr. was the true author.


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