You may be asking yourself what is "Festivus"? Well friends and neighbors, just sit back a few minutes and read a very interesting story.
Many Christmases ago, a wise man named Frank Costanza had rushed to the toy store to buy his son a doll. Just as he reached out to grab the last doll another man had done the same thing. And as the two men begun to rain blows upon each other with fists of holiday fury, it dawned on Mr. Costanza that there has to be a better way. And so came to be the holiday Festivus...A Holiday for the Rest of Us.
Festivus is not meant to take Christ out of Christmas, nor is it to replace the dreidel, but what is does stand for is the removal of commercialization from the holiday season.
Just as Christmas has it's traditions, so does Festivus.
Christmas has the Christmas Tree; Festivus has the Festivus Pole. The Festivus Pole is just that; a pole. Preferably an aluminum one and like Christmas Trees, it too can come in all shapes and sizes. However there are no lights or ornaments, not even tinsel because "it's too damn distracting," according to Festivus Patriarch Costanza.
During Christmas we exchange gifts, but in Festivus you have the Airing of Grievances. This is the process of gathering with friends and family and present the gift of sharing. Sharing by taking turns in a clockwise manner expressing how much that person may have let you down over the course of the year.
The Christmas dinner may be a ham or the like. Festivus has a traditional meal that consists of meatloaf followed up by a boxed cake (Entenmann's) that the children decorate with m&m's.
Christmas has caroling. Festivus has the "Feats of Strength". This is the climax of the holiday as it consists of the head of the household selecting someone to pair-off in a wrestling match. It has been noted that over the last few decades that the tradition of wrestling has somehow been altered to an arm wrestling match. But either way, it is done in the spirit of the holiday.
The "offical" end of the holiday is declaired once the head of the household is defeated by being pinned or their knuckles hitting the table. Rumors have been told for generations that in the Olde World some families had celebrated Festivus for weeks, even months until the head of the household was defeated.
How is this good for the soul you ask? Well the most important aspect of Festivus is the "Airing of Grievances", the sharing of how others have disappointed you over the year. What this tradition does is allow those who observe Festivus clear the conscience, get a load off one's chest, establish (or re-establish) lines of communication and most importantly it clears the proverbial slate and allows you to start the new year off with a renewed sense of motivation.
So as the Festivus season is coming upon us, don't be alarmed if you see a father and son fighting on the front lawn next to an aluminum pole stuck in the ground.
In fact, stop and enjoy the Feats of Strength and just maybe you will be offered a piece of Entenmann's crumbcake with m&m's on top!
MAY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAVE A HAPPY FESTIVUS!