People Actually Celebrate Festivus; Here's What It Looks Like

A Festivus for the rest of us! (Image: YouTube)

A Festivus for the rest of us! (Image: YouTube)

This holiday season, there’s no need for frantic light displays on your front lawn that induce seizures or confusing Chrismukkah collaborations that show you’re trying too hard. Simply grab an unadorned aluminum pole and gather friends and family to tell them how they’ve disappointed you over the past year.

No, we’re not talking about a deranged holiday strip show, we’re talking about Festivus.

Popularized by the Season 9 episode of Seinfeld, “The Strike,” Festivus is a different kind of holiday gathering. Here’s a clip of the story to catch you up. Typically celebrated on December 23rd, some choose to set their own dates throughout the year for convenience — because this tradition is anything but traditional.
Though most associate this blessed occasion with Frank Costanza boisterously shouting “A Festivus for the rest of us!” and attempting to wrestle his own son to the ground, Festivus has an even richer history than you might imagine. Pre-dating Seinfeld, the holiday was originally invented in 1966 by Dan O’Keefe, father of Seinfeld screenwriter David O’Keefe.
The list of Festivus supporters is continually growing and the event’s practices are evolving at a rapid clip. Much like Jerry Seinfeld, it can’t be stopped and nobody’s mad about it. Well, maybe some people are mad about it, but they’re the ones who are mad about everything. They can’t be helped.

Here are a few examples of people taking this idea to the next level:

  • A Floridian protesting a nativity scene in the state capitol building constructed a six foot Festivus pole out of beer cans in the building’s rotunda. Revolt has never looked so festive.

  • One man in Atlanta bought a $10 pole from Home Depot and hung it from fishing line on his porch for all to see and appreciate. This guy would be best friends with Frank Costanza if he had the chance, let’s be honest.

  • Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is down to clown with this alternative celebration also, proudly declaring his appreciation over Twitter. No matter your political perspective, that’s something we can all get behind.

  • Oh yes, there’s a “Festivus! The Website” you can visit. The site offers a semiofficial encyclopedia of the beloved trend for the most serious of celebrators.

  • There’s also another site that sells Festivus poles, complete with a list of dos and don’ts for pole usage. For example, DO dance around the pole but DON’T try to climb it. There’s even an array of pictures that show enthusiasts with their very own poles. Because Festivus isn’t a real December holiday until everyone profits from it, completely reversing its original intention and thus solidifying its place in the holiday lineup.

If these tales have inspired you to join the ranks of Festivus fans everywhere, clear a space for Feats of Strength, grab some “red food” for dinner, make a list of complaints for the Airing of Grievances, and of course, scrounge for that bare aluminum pole. It will truly be a Festivus miracle when loved ones arrive and immediately start pinning each other to the floor in sheer holiday pride.

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