Saturday, December 25, 2010
CHAPTER TWELVE: Festivus Grievances.
I know that like most of you the time of Christmas and the surrounding holiday's can bring stress and sometimes are just plain miserable. Now don't get me wrong, time with the kids and all the songs in small amounts are great, but spending more time with the family can be all out crazy.
We humans are not build to sit and drink coffee with our third cousin and watch Harry and the Henderson's with Grandpa as he sleeps with a smoking cigar in-between his lips. The pressure of buying the perfect gift and the sugar high will do it to anyone.
Hence the invention of Festivus. Yes, the great and realistic break from Christmas and for the few who dare to celebrate it can be a wonderful and happy time for all.
Festivus, a holiday that rose to popularity thanks to the popular TV show "Seinfeld."
According to the website Festivusweb.com, "Seinfeld" writer Dan O'Keefe based the concept on family traditions started by his father.
The Festivus episode of "Seinfeld" includes this memorable exchange between Frank Costanza (George Costanza's father) and Cosmo Kramer:
Frank Costanza: "Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way."
Cosmo Kramer: "What happened to the doll?"
Frank Costanza: "It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born Â... a Festivus for the rest of us!"
Cosmo Kramer: "That must've been some kind of doll."
Frank Costanza: "She was."
Festivus traditions include the Airing of Grievances, a giant complaining session that takes place after dinner. It's followed by the Feats of Strength, a family wrestling competition.
What you need:
The Festivus pole. The basics of the aluminum pole are explained by Costanza: "It requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting, and "It's made from aluminum. Very high strength-to-weight ratio." When its not being used, the pole is stored in his crawl space.
Feats of Strength:
The FOS generally follows the AOG. Under the Seinfeld orthodoxy, Festivus is not over until the head of the household is wrestled to the floor and pinned. While there is an undeniable classic elegance to this, real world Festivus practitioners have developed other cathartic methods of discharging pent-up energy against one's fellows, including thumb wrestling and washer tossing.
The Airing of Grievances:
Like everything else Festivus, the AOG has evolved some wild variations, but the core of it remains lashing into others and the world about how they have been disappointments.
This usually brings participants into a circle of sorts in which each takes turns excoriating friends, enemies, relatives, acquaintances and strangers. When all who care to have taken a turn griping, there is no required hugging or making up.
So here is what we are going to do. Post something Christmas related, some kind of tragedy, annoying dinner date or anything else about the "Other" Holiday that drove you to Festivus.
And Happy Festivus!