Happy Festivus: Grievances Anyone?

I guess I don’t have all that much to complain about. I hit the concrete for my five-mile run at 5 a.m. on what is a seasonally cold and still morning in NE Ohio. And I can report that nary a human or a vehicle — save the solitary garbage truck — distracted me during my hour-long endorphin-enhancing journey. What a great way to start my annual celebration of Festivus.

Ah, “A Festivus for the Rest of Us” — a day set aside to “air our grievances.” Gotta love it. But for those not yet into the spirit of Festivus, here’s the back-story:

“Happy Festivus” is the traditional greeting of Festivus a holiday featured in “The Strike” episode of Seinfeld. The episode first aired on December 18, 1997. Since then many people have been inspired by the goodness of the Seinfeld holiday and they now celebrate Festivus as any other holiday.

According to the Seinfeld model, Festivus is celebrated each year on December 23rd. However many people celebrate it other times in December and even at other times throughout the year.

The original slogan of Festivus is “A Festivus for the rest of us!” Instead of a tree an unadorned aluminum pole is used, in contrast to normal holiday materialism. Those attending Festivus may also participate in the “Airing of Grievances” which is an opportunity to tell others how they have disappointed you in the past year, followed by a Festivus dinner, and then completed by the “Feats of Strength” where the head of the household must be pinned. All of these traditions are based upon the events in the Seinfeld episode.

And here’s a story from the Chicago Tribune that gives even more perspective on the history of Festivus and its original creator.

For a pajama-clad citizen journalist could there be a more fitting holiday than one designed to air grievances? Let’s see: health-care reform, Afghanistan, Government Motors, Wall Street Fat Cats, Pittsburgh Steelers, and on and on.  Wow. What a great holiday! Wonder if the Republicans have the traditional Festivus aluminium pole set up in the Senate in advance of tomorrow’s vote on health care. Oops. I digress.

So Happy Festivus.

And while I know this isn’t the politically correct thing to say these days — Merry Christmas.

Hope everyone navigates the holidays without encountering any real grievances.


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