Happy ‘Festivus’: Everything to Know About the ‘Seinfeld’ Holiday ‘For the Rest of Us’

by Liz Holland

Happy “Festivus”, Seinfeld fans! Of those who don’t celebrate Christmas or follow a religion that does, many opt to celebrate “Festivus” on December 23rd. 90s sitcom Seinfeld popularized the anti-holiday, referring to the day as “Festivus for the rest of us.” It takes a jab at Christmas-centric consumerism and offers plenty of atypical traditions for self-proclaimed “scrooges”. 

For decorations, “Festivus” celebrators display a pole instead of a Christmas tree. The “Festivus” meal features meatloaf. Following the meal is the official airing of grievances. Then, feats of strength–where the head of household is meant to challenge a guest to a wrestling match. The catch is, the holiday isn’t over until someone manages to pin down the head of household. 

Where Did Seinfeld’s ‘Festivus’ Come From?

Dan O’Keefe, Seinfeld writer, says the idea for the episode stemmed from his own childhood experiences. “As a kid, we’d come home and there’d be weird decorations,” O’Keefe said in an interview. “There was the playing of strange German and Italian pop music from the ’50s. And the airing of grievances was a real thing.”

Seinfeld fans took to twitter this year to air their grievances, share their love for the sitcom, and make “Festivus” jokes. One Seinfeld fan tweets, “While everyone is ironically celebrating Festivus, let’s remember the real miracle. The Seinfeld episode ‘The Strike,’ where Festivus comes from, is a legitimate five-plot episode, with all five plots converging at the end of 23 minutes.”

Another fan said they had only one grievance this year, in the name of ice cream. “The only Festivus grievance is the most important. Ben & Jerry’s was banned from using the name Festivus for one of their best ice cream flavors. THAT FACT SUCKS!!!!!,” user kalirobber writes.

Fans of The Anti-Holiday Share Their Grievances Online

In the spirit of airing grievances, one tweeter lets out their road rage for the holiday. “We’ve all heard of road rage but there is such a thing as walk rage. Few things are as infuriating as someone going 2.5 mph in a 5 mph lane on the sidewalk or at the airport. MOVE!” 

Seinfeld fan Tim Shaw is using the day to praise what he says is the best sitcom scene ever. Shaw writes, “IMHO, this is the best scene ever written in a sitcom. It’s not just hilarious. If you knew nothing of either character, or George Constanza, you learn almost everything about them in this scene. And Jerry Stiller was a genius comic actor. Just superb. Happy Festivus!”

The tweet features a short clip from the Festivus episode. 

Finally, one fan says complainers need to save their grievances for this day. 

“A Festivus grievance/observance…if you’ve spent the last year whining and moaning on your social instead of saving your grievances for Festivus, you shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate this year. Air those grievances on Festivus and keep your mouth shut the rest of the year,” the writer tweets.