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A Festivus… For the Rest of Us!

December 22, 2011

I know, I know, Festivus isn’t until tomorrow.  But this year, my friends and I are celebrating tonight.  Festivus, for those of you who didn’t watch the clib above (how could you skip that?! SHAME), is a holiday created by Frank Costanza on Seinfeld.  One of my least favorite 90’s sitcoms.  I mean, the show is about nothing.  NOTHING!  I could never get into it, but somehow Festivus has stuck with me. 

The Holiday includes: (thanks Wikipedia!)

Festivus pole

In the episode, the tradition of Festivus begins with an aluminum pole. Daniel O’Keefe credits fellow Seinfeld writer Jeff Schaffer with introducing the concept, which was not part of the original O’Keefe family celebration. During Festivus, the pole is displayed unadorned. The basics of the Festivus pole are explained by Frank in two separate situations:

Cosmo Kramer: “And is there a tree?”
Frank Costanza: “No, instead, there’s a pole. It requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting … [I]t’s made from aluminum. Very high strength-to-weight ratio.”


Airing of Grievances

The celebration of Festivus begins with the “Airing of Grievances”, which takes place immediately after the Festivus dinner has been served. It consists of lashing out at others and the world about how one has been disappointed in the past year.

From the Seinfeld episode:

Frank Costanza: “And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!”
Frank Costanza: “The tradition of Festivus begins with the Airing of Grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you’re gonna hear about it.”


Feats of Strength

The Feats of Strength is the final tradition observed in the celebration of Festivus, celebrated immediately following (or in the case of “The Strike”, during) the Festivus dinner. The head of the household selects one person at the Festivus celebration and challenges that person to a wrestling match.Evidently, the person may decline if they have something else to do, as Kramer did in the episode. Tradition states that Festivus is not over until the head of the household is pinned in a wrestling match.  


Now, my friends and I don’t have a Festivus pole, or compete in Feats of Strength, but we will gather for cocktails and an Airing of Greivances.  Towards the rest of the world, not each other (that’s way harsh, Ty).  AND THEN, we go to the psychic and get our cards read.  I mean, who doesn’t want to know what the coming year holds for them?  I love spending time with my friends, and I love cocktails, but I think I am most excited about going to the psychic because last year she was dead on in what would happen for me this year.  Perhaps she’ll have some good news for 2012!  I mean, it is the last year of the world… it better be a good one!

Not to mention, it’s great to have a little stress relief right before the big holiday weekend (come on, let’s face it, we are all stressed right now!). 

Do you celebrate Festivus?  If you include Feats of Strength, what do you include?  Do you have any other wacky holiday traditions??

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