Today is the official holiday for hardcore Seinfeld fans and people who think that George Costanza’s dad should be anointed as the Catholic Church’s patron saints of anger issues. Today is that holy day of grievance airings and feats of strength called “Festivus,” the faux-holiday created by Frank Costanza, according to the official website of Festivus.
For those who don’t know the history of this most famous of fake holy days, the first Festivus was created many years ago when George’s dad grew tired of that substandard December holiday known as “Christmas.” So he created Festivus, a “holiday for the rest of us” as a means of escaping the retail horror show leading up to Dec. 25th. It includes many Costanza-esque traditions such as the airing of grievances in which each person publicly declares all the things that have been bugging them about their loved ones, the famed feats of strength in which family members prove their physical worth to each other and the famed Festivus pole, which is just a pole on a Christmas tree stand. Sure, it’s a cheap replacement but at least you don’t have to spend an entire day and a monthly student loan payment decorating the damn thing.
Of course, all of this came from “The Strike” episode from the ninth and final season of Seinfeld in which Frank revives the long lost holiday to teach Kramer the true meaning of Festivus but it’s became such an iconic moment that real people, presumably with tongues firmly in cheek, actually celebrate it as a real holiday. For instance, this year’s holiday display in the Florida State Capitol aimed to be all-inclusive and included a Festivus pole made out of cans of Pabst Blue-Ribbon. Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson famously unleashed an on-air tirade over the news that the pole would sit along side such hallowed religious holiday icons as the Menorah and the Nativity scene. Gretchen, get a grip. It’s Florida. You should feel fortunate that the abandoned beer cans are arranged in an organized pile next to the Nativity instead of Florida’s usual scattered pile of cans tossed out by passing motorists.