Friday, December 23, 2022

Festivus! The Holiday for the Rest of Us!

 Festivus is a secular holiday, normally celebrated on December 23rd. It is mainly meant as an alternative to the pressures and commercialization of the Christmas season.

The usual holiday tradition of a tree is manifested in an unadorned aluminum pole, which is in direct contrast to typical holiday materialism. Those attending Festivus may also participate in the "Airing of Grievances" which is an opportunity to tell others how they have disappointed you in the past year, followed by a Festivus dinner, and then completed by the "Feats of Strength" where the head of the household must be pinned. All of these traditions are based upon the events in the Seinfeld episode, Strangely enough, our Festivus traditions also have roots that pre-date Seinfeld, as it began in the household of Dan O'Keefe, a television writer who is credited for writing the Seinfeld episode.

Some people, many of them inspired by the Seinfeld episode, subsequently began to celebrate the holiday with varying degrees of seriousness. Allen Salkin's 2005 book Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us chronicles the early adoption of Festivus. Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut's 2012 book A Kosher Christmas: 'Tis the Season to Be Jewish' references Festivus. Martin Bodek's 2020 book The Festivus Haggadah fuses Passover with Festivus. Others have adopted Festivus as a way of engaging in a non-religious celebration over the traditional holiday season, such as by showcasing winter festivities. Some decorate using secular figures, like snowmen and snow angels, hang fairy lights to highlight their decorations, share traditional holiday food with loved ones, such as hot chocolate, gingerbread men, and candy canes, and may exchange small gifts.

The traditional greeting of Festivus is "Happy Festivus."

If you want to learn more about Festivus can check out the Wiki article on its "traditions."

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