Oh Quizmas Tree, Oh Quizmas Tree…

He’s done it again. Paul has created one final quiz for 2021. Let’s see if this turkey is well-cooked…

1. Santa Claus is on a health kick this holiday season. Instead of milk and cookies, what snacks would you leave out for him?

A health kick?! ‘Santa’ in my house usually enjoys a mince pie and a shot of whiskey. His reindeer get carrots… which I guess with the right kind of dip would be healthy. Carrots and orange juice, or perhaps celery sticks with low-fat mayo. Santa would not be amused at the abrupt change, but he can’t complain, for he’s over-indulged during lockdowns, and could do with losing the gut…

2. Picture your 8-year-old self. You are home alone during the holidays, when burglars try to break in to your house. What do you do?

We’re aiming to recreate a certain famous Christmas movie about a kid stuck in their house alone aren’t we? Except as an eight year-old I doubt I would have the skills or bravado to develop any kind of traps and tricks to stop thieves, so I’d cower in my bedroom and let them take whatever they wanted, though if I could grab the phone to call the police, I would. Except at the age of eight we didn’t have a cordless phone, and the only handset was downstairs… so I’ll settle for cowering with a carrot.

3. Have you ever bought a gift for someone else that you wanted to keep for yourself? If so, what was it?

You know what? Nothing immediately comes to mind. That’s a boring answer but it’s also the most honest one I can give. Carrots are nice.

4. Which would you rather build: a snowman or a snow fort? Explain your decision.

I’m choosing snowman, because A: it’s easier to build, B: quicker (therefore less time out in the cold snow) and C: I rather like the traditional snowmen with carrots for noses and stones for buttons. Of course, there will come a point where they die – I mean melt! Sometimes they look a tad demonic as they turn into a puddle, but such is their fate.

5. It is your job to remind others to drive safely in treacherous winter conditions. Write a Public Service Announcement that will play on the radio this winter.

Only make essential trips, such as to get fresh carrots and veg from the supermarket, or other key foodstuffs. Drive slowly and make sure your lights are in full working order. Keep a thermos with tea or coffee on hand in case you wind up stuck anywhere. Have the means to charge your phone in case you need to make emergency calls. Wherever possible travel only on ploughed and gritted roads which are well-lit.’

6. There is a holiday party at your workplace and everyone must bring in one dish of food to share. What are you bringing?

Mini carrot-cakes, nice and sweet and gloriously indulgent.

7. Someone got you a hippopotamus for Christmas because you insisted, “only a Hippopotamus will do”. How did they give it to you?

Well, there’s no chance of a hippo fitting through either my front or back door. I guess I could look at removing the roof but I’m guessing this would be frowned upon. I’d be thinking of luring the hippo into the garden with some carrots, but once it’s in there, what then?! Don’t they need to be in water? The UK winter would be far too cold for them too. I’d have to politely decline said gift.

8. What advice would you give someone who isn’t good at wrapping presents?

I’d like that advice myself! I hate wrapping presents, I much prefer gift bags, which are reusable and don’t generate nearly as much waste! If I had to to give advice, I’d say practice with something awkward like a carrot, move up to generic boxes, and if you’re really ambitious, practice on spherical objects.

9. In the movie, Home Alone, Kevin McCallister says, “Be sure to bundle up if you go outside. It’s a little nippy.” How do you stay warm when it’s cold?

Layers. I wear a vest, a t-shirt, a hoodie or jumper and my big thick winter coat when going out. If chilling at home I’ll eschew my carrot juice for a hot cup of tea or coffee, but will retain the layers (sans coat). If it gets really cold the heating goes on.

10. Are you a Dasher or a Dancer? Why?

I am no good at running or dancing, but if I had to choose one or the other, I’d be a Dancer. A few sips of something alcoholic and I become a great dancer (hence why Santa prefers whiskey to carrot juice). Ok, I don’t become a great dancer, I become a dancer, and I am usually surrounded by people who are pleading with me to stop.


1. Santa is about to put you on the naughty list this year. Convince him he’s making a mistake and that you were a good person in 2021.

I’m going to struggle with this one. I mean, I don’t think I’ve been inherently bad this year, but how do I convince a multi-dimensional, time-dilating being like Santa of this? What have I done that can be described as ‘good’? I guess I could point out that I did not take advantage of a deaf customer when I could have easily taken his money. I’ve always tried to be good, in whatever I’ve done – I tried to help someone push-start their car? This is a tough question, I need a carrot juice and a lie-down.

2. There have been allegations that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was bullied by his fellow reindeer. The North Pole calls you in to give the reindeer a stern talking-to. What do you say?

Firstly, I speak to them all individually. ‘What are your thoughts on the allegations of bullying?’ I’ll have them walk through scenarios based on their personalities that make them uncomfortable. I wouldn’t go as far as to say ‘taste of their own medicine’, but I’d want to make them think about how it would feel to bullied about something they cannot change. I’d invite Rudolph in and offer him a carrot but not the others. ‘How does it feel to be excluded?’ Finally, I’d point out that Rudolph’s nose provides a key benefit – it lights the way. Good luck delivering anything without him!

3. On the television show, The OC, Seth Cohen created Chrismukkah as a way to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. Meanwhile, on Seinfeld, George Costanza’s family celebrates Festivus – a secular and non-commercial holiday – on December 23. Create your own alternate winter holiday and tell me all about it. What’s it called? What are the traditions? Who can celebrate?

In our household we tend to get a Chinese takeaway on Christmas Eve, with things like shredded carrots, lettuce and water chestnuts, sweet and sour chicken balls, prawn curries, egg-fried rice and prawn crackers. We’ll watch Die Hard at some point over the Christmas period but the exact date varies (it’s not officially Christmas in our house till Hans Gruber falls off Nakatomi Tower). Beyond that we don’t have set traditions – at one stage we’d take our daughter to the Church where we got married for the Chris Tingle service, involving an orange to symbolise the world, and a candle for peace, but we have a busy calendar this year, so I don’t know if we’ll manage that this time. Thinking about the takeaway is making me hungry.

That’s it, that’s all the answers from Meerkat Musings. I wish you all a Meery Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

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