If you've watched Seinfeld, then you've probably made a Festivus joke or two in your day. Heck, you may have even shared some memes about the made-up holiday that were based off of a very, very real aggravation people have with the Yuletide season: and all of the expectations that surround it.
The fake camaraderie. The manufactured cheer. Pretending like you care about your friends and family and coworkers for a limited time only.
Festivus memes are perfect for those who hate the holidays.
That's not to say that some of us don't actually care. Many of us do or at least put some effort into demonstrating our consideration for our fellow human beings. But it's the commercialization of these feelings corporations use to guilt and influence us into buying anything and everything for our loved ones.
Like, what about those Lexus commercials where someone slaps a huge red ribbon on a car?
What kind of person just has the cash lying around to buy an entire $40,000 whip and slap a bow on it? And let's say you're getting it for your spouse and just went through the trouble of haggling with the dealer and forking over some $600 for the high-quality fabric bow, it's probably not a good idea to burden your family/partnership with a significant financial responsibility for the next few years. A not-so-merry Christmas indeed.
That's kind of the entire point of Frank Costanza's rant against the holidays in the now-legendary Seinfeld episode. So, instead of just complaining about it ad nauseam and participating in Christmas traditions anyway, grumbling the whole time, Frank decided to combat it by creating his very own holiday: Festivus.
What is Festivus and what are its traditions?
It's an anti-holiday holiday that served as the subject matter and main plot line of a hilarious Seinfeld episode. It's taken on a pop/sub culture status, with tons of people actually participating in the celebration and replacing typical Christmas/holiday traditions with the comedic ones created by Larry David and co.
One of the biggest traditions of Festivus is to air one's grievances. Instead of pretending to be nice to everybody and biting your tongue over a big family style dinner, you just let loose with all the gripes, problems, and issues you've taken with those around you all year. It's like the purge, but for complaining.
Festivus also favors another home fixture instead of a Christmas tree... a pole. That's right, just a simple, humble, gray pole. What's funny is that every year, real people share their own real Festivus poles online, and there are people who actually put their gifts under the pole.
While it might seem strange, I guess it's no weirder than putting them under a living organism you've severed from the ground and dragged into your home... but I guess old habits die hard. I'm not saying I'd rather put some ominous, brutal-looking pole in my house, either.
Feats of strength
According to Frank's rules, Festivus isn't over until the head of the household selects someone from the family to engage in a "feat of strength" and that feat is pinning the proverbial head in a wrestling match. If the selected participant cannot be involved in the feat of strength for any reason, another guest can suggest someone else.
Once the wrestler is selected, any bulky clothing should be removed and the household head must shout, "Let's rumble!" Once the head is pinned, Festivus is complete.
So are you shaking up your holiday traditions this year by injecting a little Festivus into your life? Or are you good?
Technically, you could do both because Festivus is on Dec. 23.