With Christmas just hours away, another highly anticipated, less traditional holiday is almost here. According to a WRIC ABC8 report published on Dec. 22, an annual, non-denominational holiday is almost here and people around the world are ready to celebrate. Dec. 23 is Festivus.
While holidays have a wide range of origins, Festivus became a worldwide sensation due to a popular television sitcom when crotchety Frank Costanza (played by actor/writer/producer Jerry Stiller) first celebrated Festivus during “The Strike” episode on “Seinfeld.” The episode aired on Dec. 18, 1997, and the rest, as they say, is holiday history. Festivus was actually “invented” by the real-life father of one of the Seinfeld writers, Dan O’Keefe Sr., who came up with the idea after he saw it mentioned in a book back in 1966.
While “Jesus is the reason for the season” for Christians around the world, “Festivus for the rest of us” is the mantra for Festivus fans! If you plan to celebrate the occasion this year. there are some rules associated with the holiday:
Instead of the traditional Christmas tree, Festivus celebrators revel around the Festivus Pole, an unadorned, aluminum pole. Decorations are strictly forbidden.
Instead of turkey or ham, folks enjoy a less traditional fare. The Festivus Feast consists of, well, just about anything except for ham or turkey. Dessert consists of Festivus Fruitcake, which like most fruitcakes is never eaten. Instead, it is on display and saved from year to year.
Instead of honoring the miracle of baby Jesus or being thankful for the many blessings in our lives, Festivus celebrates something else entirely. During the Airing of Grievances portion of the event, participants discuss how much others have disappointed them during the past year.
The holiday is officially over when a holiday participant pins the head-of-the-household during a wrestling match after dinner during the Feats of Strength.
This year, some Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma are not embracing the Festivus spirit. Chaz Stevens, from Jupiter, FL., has official approval to place a 6-foot Festivus Pole in the rotunda of the state capitol building next to giant nutcrackers and a sleigh. The pole will be wrapped in LGBT pride colors of the rainbow flag and topped with a disco ball. Some of the lawmakers have said the display is a mockery of Christianity and a war on Christmas. Bah humbug!. That said, Stevens has approval to display the Festivus Pole in several states.