Thursday, December 18, 2003

The Festivus Tradition

(Many of you have asked, so here it is: My explanation of the growing tradition known as Festivus)

It's time to share with you the tradition known as Festivus. "A Festivus For The Rest Of Us" was created by Frank Costanza of Queens, New York, who was fed up with all the commercializtion of other holidays. It is celebrated each year on December 23rd by tens and tens of people around the world.

Instead of a tree, all you need for Festivus is an aluminum pole. It is chosen for its high strength-to-weight ratio, and also because it requires no decoration. Many who celebrate Festivus find tinsel distracting.

The tradition of Festivus begins with the "airing of grievances." This involves gathering your family and friends around at the Festivus dinner and telling them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year.

After dinner, Festivus wraps up with the "feats of strength." This involves two people wrestling. Usually, the father or man of the house, is involved, along with another guest who is chosen at random. Normally, the women gather around and root on the men.

The reason for the "feats of strength" is not known for sure. It is believed by some to be a way of taking out the frustrations of the past year on those you love. Some think it is simply a measuring stick to see who is in better physical condition. Whatever you believe, the main thing to remember is that Festivus is not over until someone has been pinned.

Festivus reclaims the sometimes forgotten holiday values of family and... well, family. Here's hoping you have a Happy Festivus and may you come out on top in the feats of strength.

(Festivus originally came from "The Strike" episode of Seinfeld.)

"By now in New York City, there's snow on the ground. And out in California, the sun shines falling down. Maybe down in Memphis, Graceland's all in lights..."

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