Get ready for the laid-back non-event of the holiday season!
That's right. It's time once again for Festivus, celebrated this year on Saturday, December 23, 2023.
Made famous by a legendary "Seinfeld episode, Festivus is the anti-commercial way to celebrate the holidays in good company with no Christmas tree, no fancy dinners, and no gift wrapping!
What could be better?
Just up ahead, check out more information on how to celebrate festivus this year with recipes, instructions and fun facts about the blessedly non-commercial holiday known as Festivus:
All about Festivus "for the rest of us"
First being introduced in the Seinfeld episode "The Strike" in 1997, Festivus has been celebrated every December 23 as an alternative to the traditional hectic, crazy-making holiday season.
Festivus began when Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) began to protest the commercialism of the season to his son George (Jason Alexander) and created his own holiday with the motto, "A Festivus for the rest of us!"
Since then, Festivus has become a counter-movement and cultural phenomenon for those who feel the same way about the holidays.
Invite the gang over to celebrate with catchy invitation headlines like "No Fuss. No Muss. It's Festivus for the Rest of Us!" and be sure to include the date, location and RSVP details.
For serious Festivus fans, here's are some of the more cherished Festivus traditions:
The Festivus Pole
A nice aluminum pole is all you need - without the decorations, garland or lights.
Use an existing pole from an artificial tree already stored in your closet or basement, Skip the part that dictates that you have to insert tree branches... and you're all set. Or, build your own Festivus pole.
Now admire your Festivus pole as you think about all the money you're saving on breakable Christmas ornaments and tinsel.
Invite the whole gang over for Festivus dinner. The traditional meal includes a homemade meatloaf served on a bed of lettuce. A dish of peas is optional as George's mom, Estelle prefers -- or go crazy with your own favorite vegetable side.. You can also vary your menu with other foods featured in Seinfeld episodes. (Soup for YOU?)
The Airing of Grievances
What would a Festivus dinner be without a little drama?
This is a favorite Festivus activity that most holiday party goers can only dream about, but as Frank famously exclaims to kick off the Festivus celebration, "I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you're gonna hear about it!"
Take your best shot at the annoying friends and relatives seated around you... and let the hilarity ensue. Just make sure you can take it as well as give it. Alternatively, provide pen and paper and a cork board for guests to pin up their written grievances over the past year for all to see (like an entire Washington DC community did. See below.)
The Airing of Grievances: In 2009, a community in Washington DC erected a public
kiosk for everyone to take part in the year-end Festivus tradition.
This one is silly and lots of fun. Just take any ordinary occurrence and celebrate it, Festivus-style.
A fork that unexpectedly falls off a plate? Two guests with the same initials? Point to it and loudly joyously exclaim, "Another Festivus miracle!"
Feats of Strength
This should ideally happen during Festivus dinner, but it's usually best saved for the end, as the head of the household wildly calls out an opponent with "Let's rumble!"
By tradition, it should be a real wrestling match. More practically, it can anything from a round of arm-wrestling or weight lifting to living room calisthenics! Or, have the video camera ready for a Horrible Elaine Dancing competition.
Festivus Fun Facts
Ben & Jerry's limited edition flavor
came just in time for Festivus.
• Want to learn more? There's a book that provides an in-depth look at the day's traditions, "Festivus! The Book: A Complete Guide to the Holiday for the Rest of Us" by Mark R. Nelson.
• The scene where the Costanza family celebrates the holiday lasted only three minutes to become one of the most enduringly hilarious parts of the legendary sitcom.
• In 2000, Ben & Jerry’s debuted a limited-edition flavor called “Festivus: A Flavor for the Rest of Us” which consisted of brown sugar cinnamon ice cream with gingerbread cookie chunks and a ginger caramel swirl.
• Despite the made-up name that George's father gave the holiday, Festivus has a real Latin root in “festum,” meaning feast.
More about Festivus around the Web:
Around the Web, discover more about traditional and
new ways to celebrate your very own Festivus holiday:
Festivusweb - Everything Festivus including the full script from "The Strike" episode, video clips, activities and games, Festivus songs, and lots, lots more.
Festivus - Wikipedia - Another deep dig into Festivus including details on its origins, related pop culture references, and photos.