Ah, Christmas in Maine!
The mistletoe, the holiday lights, the vampires.
For the second year in a row, we encourage you to relax with friends and family and take a crack at our Maine & The Holidays quiz to put your keen, sugar-cookie-scented knowledge to the test. Winner gets that last piece of pie.
Here’s to hoping your holidays, and your answers, don’t bite.
1.”Dark Shadows,” an ABC soap opera set in fictional Collinsport, Maine, ran from 1967 to 1971 and featured the undead gent Barnabas Collins. In the episode “A Christmas Stalking,” Collins:
1) Announces he plans to marry Angelique, a servant/witch. Naturally.
2) Creepily trails Suzette, determined to get a kiss under mistletoe.
3) Treats everyone in town to a pint. Of blood. Hilarity ensues.
2. Santa, of course, has eight reindeer, nine if you count Rudolph. How many living, breathing reindeer does Maine have licensed for public display?
3. Roughly how many miles of holiday lights does Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens have strung on its trees, bushes and grounds for its Gardens Aglow event, running through Dec. 31?
4. To celebrate Camden’s annual Christmas by the Sea event, Santa visits kids in a lobster boat accompanied by:
1) Ellen the Elf
2) Tony the Tugboat
3) A fellow named Jim, who does all the driving and hates having his picture taken.
5. True or false: Maine has an official state holiday cookie.
6. Five years ago, a Maine mall fired its Santa at the height of the Christmas rush after he:
1) Showed up pantsless. Again.
2) Told a 3-year-old boy that he’d eaten Rudolph.
3) Told a 6-year-old girl she’d be getting a football instead of a doll. And no, she couldn’t sit on his lap.
7. Few places have a more seasonally appropriate name than Winter Harbor. Which bit of trivia about the town is true?
1) Every home, per ordinance, must hang a wreath on the front door in December. (It snagged them a mention on “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” in 1984.)
2) Martha Stewart invites all 500 residents over for wassail and caroling on her lawn every Dec. 23.
3) It was originally named Musquito Harbor, which, had it stuck, would have been unfortunate, in addition to being a typo.
8. A man arrested in July after leading Maine State Police on a chase at speeds up to 112 mph told police his name was:
1) Santa Claus
2) Kris Kringle
3) Bruce Willis
9. For 18 years, Sunday River Resort has hosted Santa Sunday during which people dress up as the big guy and ski for free while raising money for charity. What’s the highest number of Santas they’ve seen in one day?
10. To close out the holidays and ring in 2018, residents of Eastport will drop what out the window on New Year’s Eve?
1) An 8-foot sardine
2) 2,018 lobsters
3) The mayor. It’s tradition.
1. What was Barnabas Collins up to in “A Christmas Stalking”?
1) Telling his parents, to their grave displeasure, that he’s marrying Angelique!
On a side note, how has “A Christmas Stalking” not been the title of a Lifetime movie yet?
2. How many reindeer are licensed for public display in Maine?
2) 4 — Bo, Anna, Holly and Coco, to be exact.
Out in public, they’re very chill, she said, happy to snack while people take pictures. (Just FYI, they do prefer not to be petted.)
“You never see them really super active until it’s below zero,” Veilleux said. “That’s what seems to get them really excited.”
She’s only aware of two other reindeer living in Maine beside her own and those other two are homebodies, not licensed by the state to be out and about.
3. How many miles of lights at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens?
2) 43 miles (560,000 lights)!
They started stringing the LED high-efficiency lights on Sept. 3, according to Tory Paxson, digital marketing coordinator.
“Everybody always asks if they’ll be taken down after ‘Aglow,'” she said. “All half-a-million lights will be taken down, sorted and packed away for next year. It can take a couple months because staff is also designing gardens at the time, (in) marketing we’re getting ready for the season, education is getting their programming ready. So it’s still a busy time for us, but they all work hard to get it done.”
4. Who joins Santa during Camden’s Christmas by the Sea?
1) Ellen the Elf!
Ellen’s joined him for 18 years, according to Holly Edwards at Camden Parks and Recreation. Word on the street is that Santa and Ellen have a place in Machias when they’re not at the North Pole, parading around Camden or making other public appearances.
“(Santa) has a winter house in Machias where he brings the reindeer down so they can get fattened up and get lots of energy ahead of their big night,” said Edwards.
5. Does Maine have an official state holiday cookie?
False, it does not. But, according to Reader’s Digest, Maine does have a favorite holiday cookie, as judged by recipe link-clicks last December: cranberry and orange cookies.
I don’t want to question Reader’s Digest, but . . . as a native Mainer and cookie eater who has never had a cranberry and orange cookie in all my many years, I’m still sort of questioning Reader’s Digest on this one. Rum ball anyone?
6. What got the mall Santa fired?
3) He told a 6-year-old she’d get a football instead of an American Girl doll. And no, she couldn’t sit on his lap.
According to a story in the New York Post, her mom complained about the experience online, other parents weighed in with their own tales and the Maine Mall said ho, ho, ho, you’ve got to go.
7. Winter Harbor trivia?
3) For nearly 100 years, Winter Harbor was Musquito Harbor, according to its history on the town’s website. It was renamed in 1854 “because the harbor never froze, and it was used by mariners seeking shelter from storms.”
A deputy clerk said the fishing community has about 500 residents in the winter, many of them elderly, none of them known to carol on Martha Stewart’s lawn. (Martha has an estate in nearby Seal Harbor.)
8. What did the alleged 112-mph speeder tell police his name was?
1) Santa Claus
According to an Associated Press story, Christos Kassaras, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, gave police the fake name after leading them on a nearly 50-mile chase in a stolen Jeep. On, Dasher! On, Christos!
9. The highest number of people to dress up and ski on Santa Sunday?
The event is intended to cap off at 250 Santas, and spots usually fill up in minutes, according to Sunday River spokeswoman Darcy Lambert. One year, staff forgot to shut off event registration at 250 and nearly double that number poured in.
“It was in 2009 during our 50th anniversary celebration,” she said. “The 500 or so Santas fit in well with our 50th theme that year, so we went with it.”
10. What does Eastport drop out the window?
1) An 8-foot sardine at midnight, preceded by a 5-foot red maple leaf at 11 p.m. (to celebrate the New Brunswick New Year the next time zone over).
The 13th annual event is organized by the Tides Institute & Museum of Art. Once the sardine drops at midnight, people kiss the fish for good luck.
If your little ones can’t make it until midnight or you’d like better lighting for your sardine selfie, the fish and the maple leaf are available for visits and pics between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Dec. 31, according to Samantha Williams, Tides’ program specialist.
Sure, the Gardens Aglow event at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay is gorgeous — but just how many miles of lights are there? Take the quiz.