It's the most wonderful time of the year -- for a news quiz. This week, our Week to Week news quiz takes a news-focused look at Christmastime.
Some random but actual hints: Time for shorts; never re-use your ornaments; where would Osama bin Laden be without it; and Mele Kalikimaka. Answers are below the quiz.
1. What do New York City, Washington, D.C., and Chicago have in common this Christmas?
a. They are tied as the three top tourist destinations
b. Santa is boycotting them because the smog chokes up his reindeer
c. They are all way too warm to have snow
d. Billionaire Sheldon Adelson announced plans to purchase major daily newspapers in each of these cities
2. Who received a Christmas Eve pardon this year from California Governor Jerry Brown?
a. The founder of the Symbionese Liberation Army
b. 101 convicted drug traffickers
c. Santa Claus was given a ceremonial pardon, freeing him from charges of home invasion when he delivers presents
d. Actor Robert Downey Jr., for a 1996 drug conviction
3. In what war did German and British soldiers celebrate a "Christmas truce" in which they played soccer, exchanged wine, and sang songs together?
a. World War II
b. The Thirty Years' War
c. The war on terror
d. World War I
4. What White House Christmas tradition did First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy begin in 1961?
a. She chose a theme for the White House Christmas tree decorations
b. She held the first White House Christmas open-house for veterans and their families
c. She dressed up as Mrs. Claus and had President Kennedy dress up as Santa Claus
d. Before her, all White House Christmas trees had been artificial; she was the first to use a real tree
5. Some say that this set off a chain-reaction of events that fed the current turmoil across the Middle East. What happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas day 1979?
a. President Jimmy Carter signed the peace accord between Israel and Egypt
b. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated
c. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan
d. Ayatollah Khomeini became supreme leader of Iran
6. On Christmas Day 2003, the Beagle 2 probe disappeared just before it was due to land where?
b. The last ice shelf in the Arctic
7. After an 18-year courtship, what comic book hero finally married his girlfriend on Christmas 1949?
b. Dick Tracy
c. Iron Man
d. Little Nemo
8. Where will President Obama spend Christmas?
a. Raising money for Democratic congressional candidates in the western states
b. Alone in the Oval Office, his hand hovering over the phone in case there is an emergency
c. On vacation in Hawaii with his family
d. In Martha's Vineyard with the Clintons
9. What did Justin Welby, Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury, use his Christmas sermon to highlight?
a. The plight of London bankers under tough new money-laundering laws
b. The elimination of Christianity in the Middle East under ISIS
c. The need to increase the income of the Archbishop of Canterbury
d. Same-sex marriage
10. Why did several hundred protestors disrupt last-minute Christmas shopping on Chicago's Michigan Avenue?
a. They were demanding Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner resign over corruption allegations
b. They were demanding an end to gang violence, which has killed 474 people so far this year
c. They were protesting police violence
d. They demanded an end to racial profiling
BONUS. What did the Pocatello, Idaho school district say it did this year in the spirit of the holidays?
a. Required its employees to work on Christmas Day to redecorate the district superintendent's home: "We agreed to pay them, so I don't know why they're complaining."
b. Used food dye to change its ketchup from red to green
c. Offered to rehire a cafeteria worker it had recently fired because she gave a free lunch to a 12-year-old girl who couldn't afford the meal
d. Instead of paying bonuses to its employees, it made a donation in their name to a local modern art museum
Want the live news quiz experience? Join us Monday, January 25, in downtown San Francisco for our next live (and lively) Week to Week political roundtable with a news quiz and a social hour at The Commonwealth Club of California. Panelists include Dr. James Taylor.
Explanations of the hints: Time for shorts: it's too warm for a snowy white Christmas in those cities; never re-use your ornaments: Kennedy started giving each Christmas tree a theme; where would Osama bin Laden be without it: Russia invaded Afghanistan, the U.S. armed the rebels, Tom Hanks played Charlie Wilson, and it went downhill from there; and Mele Kalikimaka: that's Hawaiian for "Merry Christmas. In whatever language you know, Merry Christmas.