Tibb's Eve is a sacred tradition in Newfoundland, but it's different for everyone. g2g founder Kim Todd and g2g campaign coordinator Natalie Haire share their unique but all-too similar Tibb's Eve experiences and traditions.
Tibbs Eve at 52 - by Kim
December 23 and the Tibb’s Eve Tree Trim marks the start of the Christmas season. Growing up in St. John’s Tibbs Eve was a vague thing – not part of our family tradition. But it’s a huge deal now, and it came organically.
A thousand years ago in the early 90s I and my GenX cohort were freshly grown-up. Heady days, those. The Duke of Duckworth was new. Thanks to a sound
investment in Engineering bashes and the Breezeway, friends of friends were automatic friends. Our ‘everybody’ was edging into the rest of our lives with careers here and away, grad studies, and home ownership. Perfect combination for good things to happen and so they did.
On that day before Christmas Eve people were just back home from away, mostly clear of work obligations, not yet tied up with family time, and no real plans or
expectations for the 23rd. An old friend and I had planned to decorate the tree – the first in the new-to-me 90 year old high-ceilinged house. (The friend’s mother was an amazing maker of extraordinary Christmas tree ornaments and she promised to bring one). If anyone wanted to swing by, come on. It’s hard to imagine now, but communication without social media was remarkably efficient.
So from the airport, the offices, and the shopping expeditions, into the house on Prescott Street, armed with braces of Frexinet and full of stories from away and sheer happiness to be together again came everyone. There was singing and dancing (thanks Great Big Sea and Spirit of the West) and new ideas. It made for a rough Christmas Eve, and the tree still needed work, but it started something.
Over the decades the Tibbs Eve Tree Trim evolved. There are now lots of ornaments, each with a story. Babies came along and put the boots to a late night, kids commandeered the evening activities for a decade or so, the ‘everybody’ has grown to include new neighbours, workmates and kids friends and many of the early cohort aren’t home for Christmas anymore. While the scattered brace of Frexinet comes in, we have an official Tibb’s Eve beverage (2018 - Felted Slipper. 2019 – Golo). But what people are really looking for now is the handmade Christmas cookie.
Happily, happily many of the early 90s GenX cohort from the Prescott Street era still come, and if they don’t they’re missed.
And those babies who put the boots to the late nights are now putting the boots to the floor – the dancing is back. Come on come on – it’s Tibbies!
Tibb's Eve at 22- by Natalie
Tibb's Eve is different for everyone but for me it truly means being with friends. For people my age, Tibb's Eve is designated for friends, because the days following are reserved for family, and they wouldn’t be able to celebrate Christmas with many of the people close to them otherwise.
I don’t have a set Tibb’s Eve tradition that I do every year, but I’ve spent many Tibb's Eve’s partying with friends and enjoying live music. I find Tibb's Eve is a great night for music downtown, and I have seen many fantastic shows. One show that stands out to me was AE Bridger and Fog Lake at George Street United Church. The music was dreamy and the space was so warm and welcoming.
We never really make up our minds until the last minute but today there’s talk of, pool, Georgestown pub, and partying, so who knows where the night will take us. This Christmas has been a special one for my friends because this year, many of us moved away and we are finally back together after months apart. As long as we’re together we’ll have a memorable Tibb's Eve.
Kim Todd & Natalie Haire
Tibb's Eve is a special feature of seasons groundings. Kim and Natalie are some of the faces behind G2G. Kim is the founder and CCO, and Natalie is her sidekick as campaign coordinator.
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