On December 18, 1997, during “The Strike” episode of Seinfeld, a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us. Celebrated on December 23, or in reality, whenever you want to celebrate it, Festivus came about following a dispute between its creator – Frank Costanza – and a fellow shopper over a toy. In the ruckus, the toy was destroyed and Frank had an epiphany that there had to be a better way – the result was a Festivus for the rest of us. Celebrating Festivus is a fairly loose event, though there are a few key aspects that no celebration should be without: a dislike of the typical aspects of the holidays, a traditional Festivus pole, an airing of grievances, and Feats of Strength.
Be Annoyed by the Commercial and Religious Aspects of Christmas:
This shouldn’t be difficult. If you’re having trouble, simply turn on your TV in December. If you survive the onslaught, you’re ready to celebrate Festivus. Festivus requires no religious belief, no myths about cold-resistant fat men who commit mass breaking-and-entering on a yearly basis, and no monetary expenditure of any kind.
Put up a Festivus Pole:
In lieu of a tree, Festivus is supported by a simple pole. The originator of the holiday used an aluminum pole, though any substance with a very high strength-to-weight ratio works fine. It needs no decoration, but it is not forbidden, with one exception. Tinsel must not appear on the pole – tinsel is very distracting. Ideally, between Festivuses (or Festuvi) the pole should be stored in a crawlspace, though an attic, storage closet, or messy floor should be fine.
The Airing of Grievances:
Gather your friends, enemies, family, in-laws, loved ones, and hated ones together to inform them of all the ways in which they have disappointed you in the past year. This is best accomplished with snarky remarks, piercing one-liners, and a general aura of disappointment and contempt.
The Festivus Feats of Strength:
Festivus does not conclude until the host is pinned by a fellow celebrating opponent in what is called the Festivus Feats of Strength. The Feats of Strength essentially boil down to a wrestling match, though creative minds may alter it to become arm wrestling or even a game of chess in which victory is attained by checkmating or “pinning” your opponent (one might call it mental wrestling). In theory, a particularly crafty host could keep Festivus going for days, months, or even years, though this has yet to be put up to scientific scrutiny.