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, "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.

Happy Festivus!

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!


  1. Had the PERFECT gift for Soleil in my online Target shopping cart and was checking out and it was STOLEN! Now it is out of stock...feel like that happens EVERY YEAR and I am not even trying to buy the "popular toy" Also felt like every time I tried to go out to shop it took FOREVER and I didn't get anything done... and out tree is dead...D E A D dead... When oh when will we just break down and buy a fake one... *sigh* the PLUS to this Christmas... It's just our little extended relatives... it's pretty quiet besides the sound of Kale whining because he can't "get" how to use his new train set despite daddy showing him 200 times... Klayton whining because Kale won't share but now Klayton is in bed hooray =) Soleil is being our little angel... after she of course complained about not being able to get out of the car to go see lights last night and then promptly passed out in the back seat... Last night was wonderful and peaceful...all kids went to bed on time and despite Mario kicking my butt at Wii... a fantastic evening was had...

    So... I'd say it's a 10% what happens to you...90% how you re-act kinda Christmas weekend...

  2. Festivus is of no need for me anymore. The sources of need are 2,000 miles away. However I will say that while back home in TN Festivus got dangerous with most events centering around duct tape, a 12 gauge, possums, and tinsel.

    I say if we have to share so do you Aaron! BTW Karissa same thing happens to me at

    Happy Festivus and Merry Guiltmas


    Guiltmas origins can be found out via my blog.