Happy Festivus For the Rest of Us!
We’ve observed many holidays here at BuildDirect over the years we’ve had this little blog of ours going. But, this is a new one. And rightly so, since it’s kind of a new tradition where the holiday season goes, historically speaking. For it’s FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US, celebrated on December 23rd!
What is Festivus? Well, it’s a holiday that celebrates the season without attaching itself to traditional religious affiliation, or the rampant consumerism normally associated with this time of year.
- It eschews a Christmas tree and decorations in favor of a bare, aluminum pole. This is because, as many are already aware, tinsel is distracting, and vaguely threatening.
- It replaces peace and goodwill toward men with “the airing of the grievances”, and “the feats of strength”.
Overall, it is a holiday that defines a sort of rugged indivdualism, with a dash of absurdity, too. For you new entrants to the Festivus milleu, here’s how it works on the day.
The traditional Festivus dinner involves a roast, or meatloaf, or pasta dish, followed by a store-bought packaged cake. Immediately after the meal, the Festivus ritual consists of at least two main parts:
1. The Airing of the Grievances
In this part of the proceedings, one lashes out at others around the Festivus table, as well as at the world at large, with a litany of enraged expressions of petty disappointments. In other words, it takes the passive aggression you’ve seen around the Christmas table all these years, and takes the ‘passive’ out of it.
2. The Feats of Strength
This section of the Festivus tradition involves a designated representative who pits himself or herself against the head of the household, in a bid to wrestle him or her to the ground. Tell me this hasn’t already occurred to at least some of you.
The season was celebrated most famously on an episode of Seinfeld called “The Strike”, in 1997. But, that episode was based on the real life experiences of Seinfeld writer Daniel O’Keefe, who’s dad in 1966 ‘invented’ what would become known as Festivus in its earliest form. O’Keefe even wrote a book about Festivus!
So, happy Festivus!