Thursday, December 23, 2010

Today is Festivus! Happy Festivus!

Some of you may recall this post from last year, but I really felt the need to post it again! Enjoy!
This holiday was originally conceived by writer Dan O'Keefe, and then expanded on by his son Daniel, a writer on the Seinfeld show. If you were a Seinfeld fan, you are familiar with the Feast of Festivus. Celebrated on December 23, it was probably one of the most creative legends that came out of the Seinfeld Series.

A holiday dreaded by George Castanza, it generated a frenzy of followers among the fans of the show. Retailers recognized a money-making opportunity marketing. Festivus memorabilia. There are t-shirts, signs, ornaments, Fesitvus poles--all kinds of goodies, many of which are still available on line.

The essential paraphernalia for a standard celebration is the Festivus pole--a light-weight aluminum pipe with a stand. No celebration would be complete without one.

Those who celebrate Christmas often stand the pole somewhere near their traditional Christmas tree.

Others choose to have the Festivus pole as the keynote piece of their celebration.

Some include Santa in the activities. Although a six-foot aluminum was the most popular (I actually purchased one a few years ago and gave it to my son and daughter-in-law--major Seinfeld fans.) , those who lack the funds or the space to set up a tall pole can opt to purchase a much shorter one for table top use.

Tradition calls for a gathering of friends and family for a holiday meal. The original meal served in the O'Keefe household was ham or turkey, but there's no specified menu required. Though the Costanzas had meatloaf, rumor has it that a ham glazed with melted junior mints is popular with many. Ben and Jerry's even came out with an ice cream flavor dedicated to the occasion.
During the holiday meal, it is customary to take part in the Airing of Grievances. This is the opportunity for each person to tell each of the others gathered round the table how they have disappointed the teller during the past year. Each person gets their turn to make his or her grievances known.

Some write the grievances on the refrigerator with washable marker, some write their complaints down on paper and drop them in the pole anonomously, to be read aloud after the meal.

After the dinner comes the part of the celebration most dreaded by George Costanza. The head of the household selects one diner and challenges him to a wrestling match. The Festival is not over until the host is "pinned." Failure to pin the head of the household results in the person being banned from that Festivus. The feats of strength have been modified over the years--some choose to have thumb-wrestling matches or hula-hoop competitions.

The Seinfeld version of the Festival included Festivus Miracles; hoever, there is some doubt (as often is the case with miracles) as to whether any actually occurred.

Some organizations actually used Festivus as a fundraising activity.

Although the O'Keefes originally celebrated Festivus in February, the Costanzas celebrated the holiday on December 23rd., and that is when the holiday continues to be celebrated. It's popularity is attributed to the fact that it is a secular holiday which has no religious affiliation; hence, Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, and agnostics all can celebrate the day.

The  UTube video below has several references to Festivus, so I thought I would add it to my post! 

Festivus--that holiday for the rest of us! Although the original holiday did not involve the consumption of alcohol, those who so desire are welcome to imbibe--responsibly, of course!

That last greeting is reserved for my detractors, if there be any today!

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Mary at Deep South Dish said...

You have detractors? Well, I never!! ;)

Hope you have a wonderful holiday Eva!

Marla said...

Oh yeah, one of the classic Seinfeld episodes of all time. Whwn I was a project manager for AOL, I actually hosted Festivus for 1000 people in the OKC call center. What a day!

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®☼₥... said...

I love this post and the holiday has always been hilarious. I'm all about 'the airing of grievances'.

Christmas for some, Festivus for the rest of us.

Brian Miller said...

happy festivus! any reason to put a pole in the room is a good reason to me...

Nezzy said...

Oh my goodness glory girl, I missed this last year. You've got me laughin' hard here.

I do remember that episode and the video just brought it all back.

This was a great read sweetie and I so needed the laugh.

God bless ya and you and yours have a very marvelous Christmas and a prosperous New Year!!!

glnroz said...

i aint no Disk-tractor..I dont even live on a farm,, but you have a happy Festivus from the Rest-uv-us...

Michelle Saunderson said...

Too funny.

SisterMerryHellish said...

I'm so glad you reposted this! The bosses round my office have a Festivus happy hour every year. They must keep it extremely hush-hush because we never hear tales of what transpired, but if the actually do the airing of the grievances... Well, I'll just say I'd like to be a fly on the wall for that celebration!

Reeni said...

I love Seinfeld - Festivus is so funny! Didn't realize it was such a big deal...would love to try the ice cream! Merry Christmas Eva! xoxo

Clipped Wings said...

Ha ha funny! Wishing you a very happy holiday.

Kristina P. said...

I really need to start celebrating Festivus.

Pearl said...

There are no detractors where creative genius is present.

Excellent post, Eva. I really need this kind of goofiness at this time of year.


Pat said...

I love it! Happy Festivus!

Oh, and have a Wonderful Christmas, too!

Claudia said...

ben&jerry's - hmmm
and happy festivus eva... ;=)

Jen said...

HA,HA,!! Hope you and your family have a wonderful, Merry Christmas!! LOVE YOU, SIS

tsonodablog said...

All hail the airing of grievances! Not enough of that going around.

Happy Christmas Eva!

Red Hamster said...

I loved the Seinfeld Festivus episode. I believe my family celebrated Festivus at occasional Christmas times before it was called Festivus. :-)

I had no idea there was Festivus ice cream. I need to go check my local grocery for that.

Have a happy holiday whatever you celebrate!

tattytiara said...

I celebrate unconsciousness - the traditional "holiday for the rest of us"!

Eva Gallant said...

glenn: So glad you're not a disctractor!

Michelle: Glad you got a laugh!

SisterMH: I would imagine it would be interesting!

Yvonne: Happy holidays to you, too.

Veg: You crack me up!

Jen: You too!

Terri: Not sure if that would be a good thing!

Rebecca said...

blaaah! You are a crack me up. Hi there, It's been a while but I figured I'd pop on over and personally wish you the very best to you and your for the New Year and a very Merry Christmas too. Hope you'll follow me back over at The Blessings of Modern Domestication. I do pop over to your blog from time to time. The baby has had me busy I'm sure you understand. Best! said...

Hi Eva. I found this through BestPostsOfTheWeek. I LOVE this post. I didn't know there was a Festivus ice cream. Festivus for the rest of us. Woo-hoo! Happy holidays. xo

Sarah said...

Lol, loved that episode, thanks, and happy holidays to you and everyone.

Eva Gallant said...

Sarah: Glad you liked it! Happy holidays to you, too!