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Posts Tagged ‘holiday

Christmas may be over, yet tis the season that continues to linger.

In honor of this I would like to pay homage to the holiday of FESTIVUS.

Yes, I realize I mentioned Christmas, but, really, aren’t Festivus & Christmas one in the same?

Traditionally, Festivus is the “non-commerical” version of Christmas and another way to celebrate the joyous season. According to the story of origin, Seinfeld writer Dan O’Keefe created the holiday in February of 1966 with his current wife. Festivus was thrust into pop culture oblivion on December 18, 1997 with the Seinfeld episode The Strike and the always lovable Frank Costanza quickly became the poster child for the new holiday.  The rest, my friends, is history- or should I say a FESTIVUS MIRACLE.

The key events during the celebration of Festivus (December 23) include the dinner, “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength.” The dinner should consist of a ham or turkey and a Pepperidge Farm cake decorated with M&Ms. The “Airing” takes place immediately following dinner. The speaker should begin, “I got a lot of problems with you people-” and continue with the specifics of how your loved ones disappointed you the past year. The finale, “Feats,” forces the household head to challenge a dinner guest to a wrestling match. Festivus is not officially over until the head (challenger) is pinned down.

The Festivus pole (in lieu of a Christmas Tree) is the key decoration. The aluminum pole, with a high strength-to-weight ratio, is to be unadorned. Tinsel is distracting, according to Costanza.

Coming from a Catholic family, we do not participate in the aforementioned rituals-  at least not in a formal manner. I have also realized the same can be said about others that celebrate Christmas. Bright colored lights & trees adorned with tinsel are the main defining factors that separate those that celebrate Christmas over Festivus.

Christmas is supposed to be a magical time filled with love, family, miracles and, most importantly, presents. People are expected to be more generous than usual and everyone to be obliviously happy.

I’m not sure about you guys, but I have yet to see a “magical” Christmas had by anyone.

Every year it seems as though everyone forgets about the other unavoidable events that conflict with Christmas. Let’s start simple- the weather. The holiday season means colder weather. The holiday season also inevitably means dealing with more people than usual. These two factors combined mean a) you will be sick all season long or b) you will be sick for half of the season. Long story short, you will most likely be under-prepared with presents and/or baked/cooked treats and you will also be even more exhausted, stressed and, most likely cranky.

I tip my hat to those that brave planes, trains or buses this time of year. You are dealing with an ample amount of cranky people with a shared goal to reach their final destination in a timely manner. Those that don’t wind up sleeping in airports or being re-routed an unnecessary number of times. This Christmas eastbound travelers got to deal with the unforgiving blizzard and those attempting to leave the coast were stuck. Definitely not a stress-free situation.

Going to any form of a store (grocery, tiny hats, etc.) is a disaster waiting to happen. Black Friday marks the beginning of the end for any sort of shopping. Feel free to go, just remember you may get stampeded over an Xbox 360 or the last pack of unsalted butter. Don’t forget all the lines, LInes, LINES either- there is no such thing as a quick shopping trip. To top it off costumers & store clerks are generally less than jolly, so happy holidays to you.

Spending extended periods of time with anyone is a cause for catastrophe. Yes, I did just say that. It is important for EVERYONE to step back, breathe & have some alone time once in awhile. During the holiday season, this is virtually impossible, but it is absolutely necessary! There are always more Christmas parties than you can handle and, the worst part, tis the “holiday season,” so you are morally obligated to go no matter how much you don’t like the party host or hostess. Family events can be just as bad since everyone is on edge and more alcohol is involved than usual. If everyone is stressed enough beforehand your dinner will resemble the traditional Festivus dinner.

All of the above factors combined will most likely lead to an impromptu (or series of) “Airing of Grievances.” When you are running from fumes after cooking giant feasts, dealing with crazy shoppers, recovering from the flu, having little or no sleep, etc. etc.,  something is bound to erupt. You will call your crazy Aunt Sally a drunk and then she will go off on the gluttonous Uncle Bob and he will yell at your mom for being a nag and on and on. Depending on the physical nature of people this may very easily lead to “Feats of Strength” challenge(s) and viola, you have Festivus (under the guise of Christmas).

Who knew that most of society has been honoring Festivus all along? Festivus may not be as pretty as Christmas and forgets about the baby Jesus, but doesn’t it capture the heart of Christmas? Both holidays bring people together for a brief stint only to bring some of those people to blows. Let’s be honest- would it really be a Christmas without your mom yelling about how stressed she is and just yelling at you for whatever else she sees fit? No, it would not. Why not consider formally celebrating Festivus then? Save your money and forgo gifts, decorations and extravagant meals and maybe even save some stress. More importantly, you will still be able to air grievances, but in a tame way. On that note-

I GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE!


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  • saracfry: Good post. Thank you. I think that you might appreciate an article I just wrote titled "The Purity of Love"
  • fullblather: Ugh. I'm happily married but I really hate Valentine's Day and the way it feels so forced. I also hate how people make it seem like something is "wron
  • matt: Be the right person, instead of looking for the right person.

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