Happy Festivus! How Seinfeld Fans Can Celebrate the Annual Holiday Instead of Christmas
Forget the tinsel and prepare your grievances: Festivus is officially here!
The Dec. 23 holiday — which began in a season 9 episode of Seinfeld in 1997 — serves as an alternative celebration to the perceived commercialization of Christmas and was created by George Costanza’s (Jason Alexander) father, Frank (Jerry Stiller).
To kick off the tradition, the NBC sitcom’s official Twitter account shared a hilarious throwback clip from the show, getting fans in the spirit of Festivus.
“The tradition of Festivus begins with the airing of grievances. If you got a problem with someone, tag them and let them hear about it! #HappyFestivus,” the account wrote.
Here’s how you can celebrate the secular holiday:
1. Get a Festivus Pole
Similar to the way Christmas is often associated with a Christmas tree, the Seinfeld holiday has its own iconic symbol — an unadorned aluminum pole.
According to the official Festivus website, “The Festivus Pole is the ultimate symbol of an anti-christmas holiday, it is plain looking, unencumbered by branches and decorations, and it is relatively inexpensive.”
Franks also chose this symbol because he “finds tinsel distracting.”
2. Prepare a Festivus Dinner
Once the pole is secured, it’s time to celebrate with a home-cooked meal.
Some fans like to incorporate foods that have been featured on episodes throughout the series. However, many recreate the meal featured during the original Festivus celebration — which includes meat loaf placed on a bed of lettuce, with peas and mashed potatoes for side dishes.
3. Air Your Grievances
As Frank said, the festivities don’t truly begin until you’ve gotten some complaints off your chest, which fans of the show were quick to do on Twitter.
One annual Festivus celebrator is Sen. Rand Paul, who began his list with some gripes about President Donald Trump’s recent impeachment.
Other fans had some more lighthearted complaints.
One fan even took the time to write out his 13 grievances in the Notes app on his phone to share with the world.
4. Host a Festivus Feats of Strength
The final tradition of the holiday is the “Feats of Strength,” in which the Festivus host chooses one of their guests to wrestle them. A guest can only decline the challenge if he or she has something more important to do.
Festivus is not considered to be over until the host is wrestled to the floor and pinned down.