A minor dispute

23 Dec

Okay, so Michael and I had a small disagreement yesterday. It started when I mentioned that our friend Lara is having her son baptised on Christmas Eve and I wondered aloud if it would be during the Christmas mass. Michael said, “It’s got to be. When else would they do it?” I answered that sometimes families have private baptisms, so they could theoretically be having it done during the day.

“But then it’s not Christmas Eve,” said Michael.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas.”

“No,” said he. “That’s Christmas Eve DAY. Christmas EVE is only the eve before Christmas.”

I snorted. “So according to you, Christmas Eve starts at 6 o’clock?”

I’m pretty sure the word “eve” is an old word meaning the day before. Like “All Hallow’s Eve” being the ENTIRE day of Halloween, not just the evening.

What say you, Internet peeps? Is the eve of a holiday the whole day before, or just the latter part of that day?

14 Responses to “A minor dispute”

  1. Kara December 24, 2008 at 6:30 am #

    hmmmm I am wondering how minor this dispute is since you have posted it up 5 times!!! hehehhehe

    And I go with you. The whole day is Christmas Eve!

  2. Murray December 24, 2008 at 6:46 am #

    Christmas Eve is the eve before Christmas (hence the name!) – 6 pm works for me.

  3. Barbara December 24, 2008 at 6:52 am #

    Doesn’t matter to me. I do think it is more important that this post was posted 5 times….might wanna check that.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Meandering Michael December 24, 2008 at 7:12 am #

    Isn’t it interesting how, on All Hallows Eve, the kids go out trick-or-treating in the evening?

  5. Heather December 24, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    Sorry guys, but you’re both right! Eve does refer to evening, but it also refers to the day or time before a significant event.

    “evening,” O.E. æfen, with pre-1200 loss of terminal -n, which was mistaken for an inflexion; from P.Gmc. *æbando- (cf. O.Fris. ewnd, O.H.G. aband, Ger. abend, O.N. aptann), of uncertain origin. Now superseded in its original sense by evening (q.v.). Meaning “day before a saint’s day or festival” is from c.1290.

    and on google reader, your post is up 8 times! lol.

  6. Andrea December 24, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    Sorry Fawn, I’m with Michael on this one.

  7. Jenny December 24, 2008 at 9:48 am #

    I think Michael is sleep deprived, it’s the whole day. Isn’t it only “day” in the Yukon for about 6 hours right now? Then the rest would be Eve anyhow.
    Isn’t it nice to be able to go online and prove your husband wrong! I don’t know how many movies I’ve looked up to prove to my husband it was the actor I said starring in the role!

  8. Craig December 24, 2008 at 10:01 am #

    Silly People – It’s Cat’s birthday, that’s all that matters, and her birthday is an all day event!

    As for your dispute – Michael is correct in my opinion. In the current day context Christmas Eve would be the evening (after 6pm) and Christmas Eve Day or more aptly “the Day of Christmas Eve” related to the entirety of the 24 hour period.

  9. Jackie S. Quire December 24, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    Holy Crow… I opened up my Google Reader today and I have to say, the fact that it appeared EIGHT TIMES one after another on my reader had me questioning how small this ‘little dispute’ really was, haha.

    But enough about blogfeed glitches.

    I agree with … YOU Fawn, Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas, not just the evening.

    Which is why I should have the day off and be writing this from bed, not work. Boo.

  10. Meandering Michael December 24, 2008 at 12:43 pm #

    Jackie, today could be appropriately referred to as Christmas Eve Day – but it’s not Christmas Eve (yet).

  11. Bubblybunny December 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    I think you are both right. Eve does literally mean the evening, but in general, when people say “Christmas Eve”, they meant the whole day before Christmas. I mean, when the mall says it’s a “Christmas Eve” sale, they don’t actually mean the sale starts at 6pm, right?

    I do remember our church doing baptisms during Christmas Eve masses every year. And if I remember correctly, our church also cancels their daily mass at noon on Christmas Eve. I don’t think the church will accommodate a private celebration on Christmas Eve because it’s too busy and too much going on that day. So if someone wants to be baptized on Christmas Eve, it’ll have to be during one of the evening masses.

    Our church has 4 masses on Christmas Eve: 5pm, 7pm, 9pm and midnight. I’ve always sang at the 5pm one, start caroling at 4:15pm. So “eve” actually start at 5pm at our church, officially! 🙂

    Anyhow, that was my 2-cents. Have a wonderful holiday with your family and enjoy little Halia’s first Christmas!! 🙂

  12. maleesha December 24, 2008 at 10:35 pm #

    I’ve always assumed it meant “evening” which would start at about 6-ish…but then again I have always referred to the whole day as Christmas Eve. They should really have a manual out there to clear this up.

    Merry Christmas! I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday together.

  13. shannon maccuaig December 26, 2008 at 7:48 am #

    michael is *technically* right, but everyone uses the phrase “christmas eve” to mean the whole day! “we’re heading out of town on christmas eve at 9am with the kids”… i’m sure there’s a word to describe this type of use of the language, but it is eluding me at this moment! 🙂

  14. Lara January 5, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    LOL! I LOVE that Bennett’s Baptism spurred such a heated, interesting, fun debate! Unfortunately I have to agree with Michael since that’s how I use the term but think that both are correct given the dual EVE meaning.

    Just to settle the question that sparked the debate, it was at the public Christmas Eve service at 9pm, not a private service and it was great. The minister held him during her sermon because she pretended to be Mary and he symbolized baby Jesus. It was really cool!

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