A Festivus for the rest of us!
Festivus is a secular holiday celebration on 23 December as a way to celebration the holiday season without participating in its pressures and commercialism.
It was started by Daniel O’Keefe in 1966 and then popularized by one of the episodes named “The Strike” of “Seinfeld” in 1997 written by his son Dan O’Keefe. It aims against the commercialism of Christmas and advice’s to celebration for the season with an undercoated aluminum pole (instead of a tree or Menorah), “Feats of Strength” (a wrestling match) and the “Airing of Grievances” (an opportunity to complain about anything and everything).
The Festivus celebration begins with the “Airing of Grievances,” after the dinner has been served. This takes place immediately after the delicious Festivus dinner with celebration. It starts with each person’s disappointment in the past year. They lash it out onto one another and to the world. In the Seinfeld episode, Frank Costanza starts off, “I got a lots of problems with you people, and you’re going to hear about it!” The most popular dialogue at any Festivus celebration.
The “Feats of Strength” is the final celebration Festivus tradition where the head of the household chooses a family member or friend. He then challenges him to a wrestling match. Festivus celebration can only end when a challenger successfully pins the head of the household. Why, we’re not totally sure, but just go with it.
“Seinfeld” fans around the world have made it more of an annual tradition where they celebrate it by airing their grievances. While Senator Rand Paul has his opinion of sharing blessings of family not airing grievances in Festivus, others too have their own opinions.
In this episode of “Seinfeld”, Frank Costanza tells the story of a routine outing to secure a Christmas gift for his son George where he came to the realization that there should be a new holiday. Kramer becomes interested in resurrecting the holiday.
Meanwhile George uses Festivus, which he once hated in his youth, as an excuse to his boss, Mr. Kruger. George was confronted by Kruger in lieu of exchanging Christmas presents. George defended himself saying that he feared persecution for his beliefs, for not celebrating Christmas. Attempting to call his bluff, Kruger came home with George to see Festivus in action.
Kramer, who was also invited to the celebration, when his manager tells him he can’t get time off for “Festivus”, goes on strike from his bagel vendor job and seen on the street with a sign which reads “Festivus yes! Bagels no!”
The Pole replacing the Christmas tree might not be acceptable for many persons but it does bring joy to many who can’t afford a tree and all its glare. The Festivus dinner similarly creates a joyful ambiance to celebrate the occasion. Admit it or not, people do love complaining. So, keeping all reserved for the very special day and lashing it out loud does make the environment lively. Moreover the wrestling with the Family head which is of course a mere formality for some in this occasion, but for some it could heal the very deep wounds in the family.