For a “show about nothing,” Seinfeld definitely had a huge impact on our culture. It made us think about comedy differently, gave us countless colorful characters to quote, and—most importantly—gave us Festivus in the season nine episode "The Strike" in 1997.
This alternative to Christmas famously started when Frank Costanza was forced to "rain blows upon" another father over the last doll on the shelf during the holiday shopping season. In the scuffle, Costanza thought “there had to be another way!” And thus, a “Festivus for the rest of us” was born. If, like Costanza, you hate all the commercial aspects of the holiday season, you can join the celebration (or revolution?) with the Festivus Celebration Kit, available on Amazon for $12.
Inside the kit, you'll find a nine-inch pole, based on the aluminum rod at the center of this contrarian holiday. The pole in the kit has four buttons, which play some of Frank Costanza’s famous quotes. You’ll also get five Human Fund donation cards (a fake charity created by his son, George) and two magnets. Unfortunately, the kit does not come with anything in keeping with the Festivus tradition of the “Feats of Strength,” but might we suggest a wrestling match in your living room? Oh, and no tinsel—as Costanza says, it’s “distracting.”
While a lot differs from Christmas, some Festivus traditions are pretty similar. For example, the “airing of the grievances” takes place over dinner and those in attendance get to recount all the ways their family disappointed them this year (sound familiar?).
If you can’t get enough of the holiday, Amazon also carries a Festivus board game ($25) where you and three other players can air your grievances and compete in feats of strength.
While the hit series definitely made this holiday popular, it wasn’t just made up for the show. Read more about how Dan O’Keefe, one of the co-writers of the episode, based it on the tradition his father started back in the mid-1960s.
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