Happy Festivus, Everyone!
As some of you know, Festivus — celebrated on Dec. 23 — is the holiest day in the "Seinfeld" religion. And we’re not talking about Judaism. Festivus was started by Frank Costanza, George’s irritable father, as a protest against the commercialization of Christmas, and was first explained in the episode called "The Strike" (Dec. 18, 1997):
Frank: 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.
Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank: It was destroyed. But out of that, a new holiday was born — a Festivus for the rest of us!
Christmas has the tree. Chanukah has the menorah. Festivus has the pole, which, according to Frank, must be tall, skinny, aluminum and devoid of tinsel (too distracting) and have a very high strength-to-weight ratio. On the evening of Festivus, Frank presides over the traditional "airing of grievances," in which family members share all the ways they have disappointed one another over the past year. And then it’s time for Frank to show George who’s boss by challenging him to "the feats of strength."