2089: Christmas Eve Eve

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Christmas Eve Eve
It turns out that saying "Oh, so THAT'S why they call it Boxing Day" is a good way to get punched a second time.
Title text: It turns out that saying "Oh, so THAT'S why they call it Boxing Day" is a good way to get punched a second time.

Explanation[edit]

This year's Christmas comic was posted on December 24, 2018, the Christmas Eve of 2018.

The evening or day preceding a special day such as a holiday is often referred to as the eve of that day (derived from the same word from which we get evening). Thus December 24 is Christmas Eve. Some people extend this and call December 23 "Christmas Eve Eve," as Christmas Eve is itself a noted holiday. The day before that would be "Christmas Eve Eve Eve," adding one "Eve" for each night before Christmas morning, although the increasing extension leads to each additional "Eve" being continuously less common.

Cueball notes the general idea, and Megan acknowledges it. Cueball follows by naming December 24 as Christmas Eve, December 25 as Christmas, and then mentions that the following day is his favorite. Megan's "Oh no" implies that she knows what Cueball will say next.

Since December 26 is the 364th day before Christmas (when the following year is not a leap year, which was correct in 2018 when the comic was released), it follows that it is "Christmas" followed by "Eve" 364 times.

Megan finds listening to Cueball recite this unacceptable. As such, she announces that she will not give him gifts, taking the extra step of returning the gifts she'd already bought. As Christmas presents in America are first handed out on Christmas Day's morning (unless the giver and recipient are aware in advance they will be unable to meet in person on that day; Megan's presence on Christmas Eve indicates this is not a threat), she has not given it to him yet.

The title text refers to the Boxing Day holiday celebrated the day after Christmas in the UK and many parts of the former British Empire. Although the exact origin of the name is unknown, it is believed to be in reference to the Alms Box placed in areas of worship to collect donations to the poor, which was then opened right after Christmas. Most Americans don't know this and make jokes about how it refers to the sport of boxing. In this title text we can presume Cueball was punched (or boxed) after his litany of 364 Eves, to which he replies, "Oh, so that's why they call it Boxing Day." As this is a pun of groan-inducing triviality, he receives another punch.

Transcript[edit]

[Cueball with his arms out is talking with White Hat and Megan. In Cueballs long last remark the letters get smaller from line to line.]
Cueball: Today is Christmas Eve. Yesterday was Christmas Eve Eve.
Megan: Uh huh...
Cueball: Of course, tomorrow is Christmas. And then, my favorite...
Megan: Oh no.
Cueball: ...Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve Eve!
Megan: I'm returning the presents I got you.

Trivia[edit]

  • The day before this comic was released (that is on the actual Christmas Eve Eve day) a comic with a similar theme was released on the web comic Nancy:
  • Each line has the following number of eves:
  1. 11
  2. 14
  3. 14
  4. 14
  5. 15
  6. 16
  7. 17
  8. 17
  9. 18
  10. 20
  11. 21
  12. 22
  13. 24
  14. 25
  15. 27
  16. 30
  17. 32
  18. 27
  • 364 total!
  • The first line also has Christmas along with the 11 eves, and do take up more space than the 14 eves below.
  • The last line is only partially filled, with 4 eves from the line above on each side (so room for more than 35, probably 40, eves in one line with that font size.)
  • The first three lines with 14 eves becomes clearly shorter, before more is added almost in every line after this, except two lines with 17 each.


comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!

Discussion

The "eve" count might be off by one or two. I used 365. Blacksilver (talk) 05:40, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

Correct would be 364. Except in leap years. 162.158.90.90 09:23, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
Anyone ACTUALLY count to make sure Randall got it right? 108.162.246.29 02:22, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
I have no life so I did count, and Randall has 364. Why would we doubt him? 162.158.75.178 14:15, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

In Germany, Christmas happens on Christmas Eve, so Cueball would be saying "eve" forever and just refer to the same date every time. "Heiligabend abends" is occasionally used to say the evening of 24th (the time of presents) and in northern Germany you sometimes say "Heiligtag", meaning "holy day" instead of "holy evening". 162.158.90.90 09:23, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

The presents are given on Christmas Eve. This doesn't mean that Christmas is on Christmas Eve. --188.114.102.34 09:22, 25 December 2018 (UTC)

"The day after Christmas" - isn't that just 2nd Christmas day? --Zom-B (talk) 10:55, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

Not in USA. They only have one day of Christmas. 198.41.242.82 12:58, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
In Denmark we are not so Christen so they never got us to call the party for Christmas, but we kept to the Yule time, and still calls Christmas for "Jul". In the Viking tradition we always celebrate when the day starts, and in their custom the new day begins when the sun sets and ends the current day. Thus we always celebrate the night before the day, that is actually celebrated. So we have the Jule dinner and presents on Christmas Eve (called Jule aften = Jule Eve). The 25th is then called Jule dag (Christmas day). And the "eve eve" we call "Lille Juleaften" = "Small Christmas Eve". We call the 26th "Anden Juledag" = "Second Christmas Day". Then someone use 3rd and 4th etc. up till New year. But that is not official. But The 25-26 is national holiday, and most people also have the 24th as a holiday. But not the 23rd (But this year it was a Sunday). Continuing to count the day before Lille Juleaften could be called 363 Christmas Day, then Small xmas evening, and xmas eve. Of course we could also call the 22nd Lille Lille Juleaften, and then add 363 for the 26th :-) --Kynde (talk) 16:00, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Interestingly the rather amazing "Nancy" did a similar gag yesterday. https://www.gocomics.com/nancy/2018/12/23 --141.101.77.62 14:09, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

I don't see where anybody actually reported counting the number of times Randall wrote "eve", so I counted each of the 18 rows separately and then added them together. I got 11, 14, 14, 14, 15, 16, 17, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 30, 32, and 27 - a grand total of 364 times, as expected. Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 14:13, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

Hat tip. 108.162.246.29 02:23, 25 December 2018 (UTC)
I added a trivia with the same count, before I saw yours, so now three have reported that it is 364 (and next year is not a leap year, so no mistake there either). --Kynde (talk) 15:53, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

My kids call the day before Christmas Eve "Christmas Adam". --WhiteDragon (talk) 18:33, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

I wonder if this explanation is the page on this wiki with the most occurrences of the letter 'v'. 108.162.241.106 19:21, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

The perl script to find the explanation with he most “v”s would not be particularly hard to write, but I might have to read documentation on the LWP module so I’m not going to bother (unless Christmas dinner at my brother-in-law’s goes particularly badly, in which case some mindless coding might be fun). Perhaps the guy who counted all the “eve”s will be more motivated than I 😀162.158.79.89