Thanks to Seinfeld's Frank Contanza, there is a tinsel-free, pro-aggression way to enjoy the holidays. However, in order to celebrate Festivus in all its every-man glory, it's important to get a few things right: the aluminium pole, physical contact, and an extended gripe session. (If you need to bone up, maybe it's time to pick up Seinfeld: The Complete Series DVD.)
For the happiest Festivus yet, here's what you need to know:
1. THE FESTIVUS POLE
The tradition begins with a bare aluminum pole, which Frank praises for its "very high strength-to-weight ratio." During Festivus, an unadorned aluminum pole is displayed because the holiday's creator, Frank Costanza, "finds tinsel distracting." Purchase yours at - where else - FestivusPoles.com, which are manufactured in Milwaukee - a city famed for its very high strength-to-weight ratio. (festivus poles: festivusbook.com)
2. AIRING OF GRIEVANCES
3. FEATS OF STRENGTH
The head of the family tests his or her strength against one participant of the head's choosing. Festivus is not considered over until the head of the family has been pinned to the ground. However, if they have something better to do, a participant is allowed to decline to attempt to pin the head of the family.
To learn more about this fabulous holiday and how it's being observed around the world, check out Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us which features a forward by Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) and is a "romp through the modern Festivus landscape with tastings of Festivus Beer, visits with the Festivus snail, and quality time with Miss Festivus." The accompanying website, FestivusBook.com, has Festivus short films, photos of cats named Festivus, grievance airing, and tales of Festivus glory and woe, like this prize-winning Festivus Haiku:
I have a problem
with all of you who will not
air their grievances
Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us is available at Amazon.com.
- Lesley Scott