How to Celebrate Festivus… the Holiday for The Rest Of Us!

Seinfeld Festivus

Do you get overwhelmed by the holiday season? Too many gifts to buy, dinners to prepare, annoying family members that you’re pressured to mingle with? This year, you can tell your family and friends that you are now celebrating Festivus on December 23 instead! On Festivus, you can air your grievances and see who is the strongest family member. If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

The holiday of Festivus was made popular by the Seinfeld episode titled “The Strike.” Inspired by his real life, writer Dan O’Keefe brought the holiday to our sitcom screens. O’Keefe’s father invented the holiday as a way to celebrate the season without being burdened by the commercialism or religious duties of Christmas back in the ’60s. On Seinfeld, Festivus is celebrated each year on December 23 but O’Keefe said his family would treat it as a floating holiday tradition.

Seinfeld Estelle Harris, Jason Alexander, Jerry Stiller. 1990 - 1998

Columbia TriStar Television/Everett Collection

O’Keefe once shared, “It was entirely more peculiar than on the show,” but admitted that the airing of grievances, in which the family shares their disappointments from the year, and the wrestling matches were inspired by real-life events. He added that there was no pole but a clock in a bag which his dad would never reveal what it symbolised. The phrase, “A Festivus for the Rest of Us,” actually has quite a sad backstory. It was a motto that the family used after the death of the older O’Keefe’s mother, to signify a party for the living.

Seinfeld Michael Richards, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jerry Seinfeld, 1990-1998, Season 8

Everett Collection

At first, O’Keefe fought against using the made-up holiday on the show but the writers and Jerry Seinfeld thought it would be hilarious. Turns out, they were right! Fans of Seinfeld will never forget Festivus and I would imagine some actually celebrate it each year. Gather your friends and family, make some meatloaf, put up the aluminum pole, and get ready to air your grievances! Happy Festivus! If you need a little reminder, check out the clips from Seinfeld:

Home For The Holidays
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Home For The Holidays

November 2021

Celebrate the holidays with your favorite classic stars!

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