Ah, Festivus. The holiday “for the rest of us” is traditionally celebrated on December 23, but don’t feel bad if you missed it. The original had no set date, but as Festivusweb puts it, it had “all the makings of a crazy fun holiday.”
— Variety (@Variety) December 24, 2014
Festivus got its start when Dan O’Keefe, Sr., father of Seinfeld writer Dan O’Keefe, Jr., used a tape recorder to record the very first Airing of Grievances. The O’Keefe family still has some of the original tapes.
The NJSP wishes everyone a safe and happy #Festivus May your grievances be few.
— NJSP – State Police (@NJSP) December 24, 2014
25 lovely chairs to choose from & Typhoid Mary plops down right next to me #FestivusGrievance
— Michael Caiola (@TheMitch182) December 24, 2014
— Matt Kroeze (@mattyk21fb) December 23, 2014
In a New York Times article based on an interview with the two Dans O’Keefe, Dan Junior said that the original was “entirely more peculiar than on the show.” There was no Festivus pole, but there were wrestling matches, a clock in a bag, and other rites that are now enthusiastically embraced by those who enjoy the modern holiday.
Each year, public Festivus displays go up. A notable one reported by the Inquisitr involved the raising of a Festivus Pole made entirely of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans. Situated alongside a Menorah and a Nativity scene at the courthouse in Deefield Beach, Florida, it was erected by atheist blogger Chaz Stevens, who had tried for five years to get religious holiday scenes taken down. Other public displays are numerous.
Picture this: A Festivus Pole in the Wisconsin State Capitol: http://t.co/Yp136aHFDT
— Nadine Goff (@NadineGoff) December 11, 2013
Everyone — atheist, agnostic, or religious practitioner — is welcome to make Festivus their own. Many simply air grievances on public platforms such as Twitter, while others go all the way with full-blown festivities.
Tips For Celebrating Festivus
Start by choosing a date that works well for you, keeping in mind that this zany holiday is traditionally celebrated during the month of December but can be enjoyed at any time during the year.
Erect an aluminum pole if you like. The original intent of a Festivus pole was to provide a stark, minimalistic contrast to materialistic displays. However, a variety of models are now available online and in select stores.
Oh Festivus Pole, oh Festivus Pole…. um. I got nothing http://t.co/e6NlEqNeMj
— Arthur H. Johnson II (@arthurjohnson) December 23, 2013
With everyone gathered ’round, enjoy the traditional Airing of Grievances. This is an opportunity to tell other Festivus participants how they’ve managed to disappoint you over the past year. Once grievances have been shared, it’s time for a traditional Festivus dinner. Make it as plain or elaborate as you want, remembering that participants are expected to take part in the Feats of Strength afterward, attempting to pin the head of household while wrestling or demonstrate physical prowess in some other way.
— Little Jerry’s (@LittleJerrys_) December 8, 2014
Love it? Hate it? Share your thoughts. With Festivus gaining popularity each year and limited edition beers, chai tea, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and other treats being named in its honor, it seems the holiday is here to stay.
— ellen moskowitz (@emoskowitz) December 24, 2014
[Image courtesy of rt19beer.com]