If you’re a pop culture fan, then why not celebrate some of these alternative winter holidays next year?
1. Life Day
There’s no doubt about the impact Star Wars has had on pop culture, but the weirdness that was the CBS Star Wars Holiday Special can’t really claim any credit for that. It is appallingly bad and worth watching just for the campiness. Jumping on the Christmas special bandwagon on November 17, 1978, the folks at CBS aired the two-hour program which focused on Chewbacca’s return to Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day with his family. The holiday features a Tree of Life, wookiees and much spontaneous singing. At any rate, celebrating Life Day is as good a reason as any for breaking out the light sabers and having a party.
2. Verdukian Holiday of Mouth Pleasures
The Secret Santa exchange at the office can be pretty disappointing. (True story: I once received an expired Subway gift card.) If you’d like to get out of it, take a cue from 30 Rock and convert to Verdukianism. Celebrations include meat cubes with pictures of Jimmy Connor, blonde virgins and dental floss, sausage pizza, and plenty of root beer for its healing powers. If things get weird, just renounce your new faith—but not to the police, who will tase you, bro.
3. Festival of the Bells
Fraggle Rock was one of my favorite shows as a kid, and I vaguely remember Episode 301: The Bells of Fraggle Rock. Gobo thinks the festival is sort of silly and useless, so he goes off to find the Great Bell at the heart of Fraggle Rock. Muppety hijinks ensue, culminating in this clip--the near-stoppage of the Rock threatens to end Fraggle life as they know it, but Gobo discovers the Rock can be jump-started again by ringing bells to awaken the Great Bell, who keeps the Rock spinning. You can celebrate similarly, if you so choose.
Daniel O’Keefe isn’t the name usually associated with Festivus, the secular holiday popularized by Seinfeld. But O’Keefe’s son, who was a writer for the show, included the family-created celebration as part of the storyline in the 1997 episode “The Strike.” Now Festivus is celebrated independently in varying degrees of seriousness, complete with aluminum (stripper) poles, the Feats of Strength, Airing of Grievances, and minor Festivus miracles. If you need help getting started, pick up one of these handy Festivus in a Box kits for $22.95.
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive celebration with no contractual obligation, look no further than Virgin Mobile’s Chrismahanukwanzakah. While celebration details are sketchy, there are gifts of (rather outdated) cell phones for every girl and boy and dreidels made of non-pork meat.
6. Wintersday, Feast of Winter Veil, and Starlight Celebration
These are alt-holidays in MMORPGs, celebrated by players of Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, and Final Fantasy XI. Each feature holiday-only items, special quests, and festive in-game decorations. A day spent trash-talking via the Internet and eating junk food actually sounds like a pretty good time. The rare items and pseudo-Christmas trees are like a bonus.
7. Refrigerator Day
Remember the early-1990s ABC sitcom Dinosaurs? They didn't have religious celebrations, what with pre-dating man and all, so they set aside a day to honor the refrigerator, the greatest invention of Jurassic times. Celebrations include decorating the fridge with sparkly things, making up a refrigerator mold pie, and presents! Watch the full episode here if you can handle the out-of-sync audio.