And for Seinfeld Fans...
Just as real as fruitcake is the celebration of Festivus. Made popular by the
TV sitcom Seinfeld in 1997, this holiday is the brainchild of screenwriter
Dan O’Keefe, who based the famous episode of the show on his own family’s
practices. It is explained as being a nonreligious and noncommercialized
celebration. The four main elements of Festivus are:
The Festivus pole. That’s right. Not a decorated tree or a tree of
any kind, just a pole mounted on a stand stuck in a corner. Quite
practical once you realize the pole could make for a crude coat rack
in the event you receive more guests than expected on this day.
The airing of grievances. The festivities begin with a brief, lighthearted
griping session with participation from those in attendance.
Once all the negativity has been purged, it’s time to move on to the
next order of business.
The dinner. Meatloaf was served during the TV sitcom meal, but
the Festivus meal can be anything from spaghetti, to sandwiches, to
chili, soup, rack of lamb, ham, or whatever you want it to be.
Dinnertime should be relaxed and fun.
The O’Keefe table was always adorned with chocolates, candies
and knickknacks. The children were encouraged to make sculptures
out of clay that were later judged by their mother. Everyone wore a
silly hat. Dessert can be pecan pie or a yellow cake with chocolate
frosting decorated with M&M’s, or any simple sweet treat that you
have on hand.
The feats of strength. This element can take place after the airing
of grievances or after dinner. Keep in mind this is supposed to be
fun, yet competitive, and afford some bragging rights to the winner.
Consider a game of darts, checkers, cards, Pictionary, something all
in attendance can enjoy. Festivus is celebrated on Dec. 23, leaving
plenty of time to beg for an invitation to Christmas Eve or
Christmas dinner should you feel the pull for something more.