cheers to Tib's Eve

This is Toronto. Wanting to be New York? I don't know. Who cares. It's Christmas.

It's hectic and cheerful and bustling and magical. A time of giving and receiving. A time to rest, reflect and be overwhelmed.

Thank God for CBC radio.

This morning on CBC Radio 2 I learned about Tib's (Tibb's) Eve from Tom Power. Essentially, it's an excuse to go out and have a couple of drinks on the night before Christmas Eve. Who doesn't love Newfoundland?

Below are two (abridged) definitions of the phrase from the Dictionary of Newfoundland English.

tib's eve n. also tips* ~ and, by folk etym, tipsy eve OED tib sb 5 ~ dial (1785-1902), EDD tib(b)'s eve, JOYCE 342 for sense

1. A day that will never come; never.
'it will be Tibb's Eve before you get that done.' If the person asked, 'when is Tibb's Eve?' you would reply, 'Tibb's Eve is neither before Christmas nor after.' I don't care if he's there till Tibb's Eve, he won't get out of that room till he knows every word of his lesson.

2. A day or two before Christmas.
A period when 'anything goes.' It means, or meant once, a specified date, the day before Christmas Eve. Tipsy Eve, December 23rd. What a day! School is out. Christmas has begun... Though I'm only guessing, I've always assumed that the name Tipsy Eve originated from this custom of the men going from house to house on the afternoon of December 23rd to test or taste each other's brew.


I am in no way leaving out CBC Radio 1. Lots of faves there: Ghian, Anna Maria, Randy, Matt, Nora, even Rex. And some shows are repeated on both frequencies. To quote Kathleen Edwards, I love CBC radio one, but CBC radio two is where the party is at.

Tonight, Canada Live aired The McGarrigle Wainwright Christmas - A Not So Silent Night. It is both a Christmas celebration and a loving tribute to the life of Kate McGarrigle who, before she sadly, passed away in January 2010, devised a scheme simple yet effective. That her entire far-flung clan would gravitate back to Quebec for a Christmas dinner each year and hold an annual Christmas concert. She would have be pleased this year with 27 of her family and friends on stage at The Theatre Saint-Denis in Montreal. All proceeds went to The Kate McGarrigle Cancer Fund.

You might want to stop what you're doing and listen to it right now because it ends with the McGarrigles and the Wainwrights singing A Fairytale in New York.

If that doesn't say Merry Christmas, I'm not sure what will.


I am fortunate for many things. Too many to list here.

Living on a street that goes hog wild with lights is one of them.