Vol. 2, Ep. 5 "Festivus" (2008)


Festivus! (Vol 2, Episode 5)

 Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

 Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?

 Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!

Festivus is an annual holiday invented by writer Dan O'Keefe and introduced into popular culture by his son Daniel, a scriptwriter for the TV show Seinfeld. Although the original Festivus took place in February 1966 as a celebration of O'Keefe's first date with his wife, Deborah, most people now celebrate the holiday on December 23, as depicted on the December 18, 1997 Seinfeld episode "The Strike." According to O'Keefe, the name Festivus "just popped into his head." The holiday includes novel practices such as the "Airing of Grievances", in which each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year.

 Also, after the Festivus meal, the "Feats of Strength" are performed, involving wrestling the head of the household to the floor, the holiday only ending if the head of the household is actually pinned. These conventions originated with the TV episode. The original holiday featured far more peculiar practices, as detailed in the younger Daniel O'Keefe's book The Real Festivus, which provides a first-person account of an early version of the Festivus holiday as celebrated by the O'Keefe family, and how O'Keefe amended or replaced details of his father's invention to create the Seinfeld episode.

 Some people, influenced or inspired by Seinfeld, now celebrate the holiday in varying degrees of seriousness; some carefully follow rules from the TV show or books, while others humorously invent their own versions.

 The five main ingredients of a proper Festivus:

The Festivus Pole

Festivus Dinner

Airing of Grievances

Feats of Strength

Festivus Miracles