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pop culture blind spots


i didn’t watch seinfeld, so i’d only ever heard the term ‘festivus’, but had no idea what it meant. upon looking it up, i was surprised to find it pre-dates seinfeld, going back to one family’s tradition starting in 1966. wikipedia:

Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of Christmas.

Festivus was conceived by writer Dan O’Keefe and was celebrated by his family as early as 1966. The holiday was later introduced into popular culture by O’Keefe’s screenwriter son Daniel on an episode of Seinfeld in 1997.

The holiday’s celebration includes an unadorned aluminum “Festivus pole,” the labeling of easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles,” and practices such as the “Airing of Grievances,” which occurs during the Festivus meal and in which each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year.

After the meal, the “Feats of Strength” are performed, involving wrestling the head of the household to the floor, with the holiday ending only if the head of the household is actually pinned.

Celebrants of the holiday sometimes refer to it as “a Festivus for the rest of us,” a saying taken from the O’Keefe family traditions.

the more you know.

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