Entries Tagged as 'Holidays'

A New Year’s Quote by T.S. Eliot

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. – T.S. Eliot

“Auld Lang Syne” Lyrics

Happy New Year!

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.”

Robert Burns, Auld Lang Syne

Merry Christmas!

I hope you’re having a great holiday filled with family, fun, and lots of good food!

When someone says “Merry Christmas”, what should I say?

Traveling, spending time with family, and getting everything prepared in time for guests are all adrenaline producing activities.  Emotions during this time (a cocktail of joy, mixed with stress and homesickness) can overwhelm the brain and people might not stop to think, “Wait.  Is this person a Christian?”

So, if someone wishes you a Merry Christmas and you don’t celebrate Christmas, they might not be trying to be insensitive to other cultures or religions.   They might be so busy, they’re not stopping to think, so they just repeat the same adage they’ve heard for years.

Still, the question is, “What should I say?”

One option:

Person:  Merry Christmas!

You: Thanks! You too!

Another option:

Person: Merry Christmas!

You: Merry Christmas to you, too! (stress on the word “you”)

Non-Christian options:

Person: Merry Christmas!

You: Happy Holidays to you.

Many people the world over have at least some time off between December 20th and January 7th.  So another possibility is to wish the person to have a good rest during their well deserved break.  So another non-Christian or non-religious option would be:

Person: Merry Christmas!

You:  Yes, I’m looking forward to the time off.  How about you?



What does “eve” mean?

When speaking of Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, “eve” means the evening before.  So Christmas Eve is December 24th, and New Year’s Eve is December 31st.


Prepositions in the Christmas Tradition

Prepositions and phrases to use this season:


  • What are you doing during the holidays?
  • You can shop during our holiday store hours.
  • I’m looking forward to seeing everyone during our visit.
  • Don’t talk on your cell phone during Christmas dinner.


  • on Christmas Eve
  • on Christmas day
  • on New Year’s Eve
  • on New Year’s day
  • The name on this box is yours.


  • I’ll be at home on Christmas Eve.
  • You can reach me at my parents’ house.
  • The stores are more crowded at Christmas time


  • What are you giving your sister for Christmas.
  • I’m baking these cookies for Christmas.
  • What are you doing for the holidays?


  • You should wait until Christmas morning to open your presents.
  • I can’t wait until our guests arrive.


  • You will find presents under the tree.
  • If you stand under the mistletoe, someone might kiss you.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween vocabulary list:

  • trick or treat
  • jack-o-lantern
  • pumpkin
  • costume
  • goblin
  • ghost
  • witch
  • black cat
  • vampire
  • candy
  • treats
  • bite-size
  • fun-size
  • make up
  • wig
  • disguise
  • howl
  • bat
  • scary
  • frigtened
  • spooky
  • Boo!

It’s Halloween Eve! What does “Eve” mean?

Why do people say “Eve” instead of just Christmas or New Year’s?  What does “Eve” mean?

During the holidays, we say “eve” to mean the evening before the holiday.  It is also used when speaking about Halloween.  October 31st is All Hallow’s Eve.  All Hallow’s Day, or All Saints Day, is November 1st.  We usually don’t say Halloween Eve, because (1)  it would be redundant to do so, since Halloween, the word itself, comes from an abbreviated form of All Hallow’s Eve, and (2) Halloween Eve, if used, would actually refer to October 30th.

I have heard (and seen on Twitter) people jokingly expand the definition of eve to mean the day before any day:  my birthday eve (the day before my birthday), or Thursday is Friday Eve.

People don’t joke about Eve very often, just often enough for me to want to mention it.  Remember, if you use eve in writing after a holiday, even if you’re joking, remember to capitalize it!

Labor Day

Labor Day 2011 is on Monday, September 5.  Some of you might wonder why we celebrate Labor day.  According to the Department of Labor,

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

I know a lot of people are out of work or currently looking, so this is my tribute to the many people who had to spend countless hours this summer updating resumes and interviewing.  May your search be short and fruitful.

Call your mother!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Capitalization tip:  When you use Mom (or Mother, Mama, or Mommy – you know who you are) as a name, use a capital letter.  For example, “Dad, I already told Mom I was going out,” or “Would you bring me a blanket, Mom?”).

If you are talking about a person and use the nouns mom or mother to describe who they are (“This is my mom, Mary”), don’t capitalize the words mom or mother.  And unless you’re 5, don’t introduce her as “Mommy”. :)