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Joyeux (Belated) Festivus!

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Sorry I wasn't home to celebrate Festivus with everyone yesterday evening, but I was at a family food and Christmas fest that went a bit longer than expected.  But frankly, who can get enough?  The fact that a comedy bit from a Seinfeld show (episode #166) from 1997 could become some sort of celebrated holiday cracks me up.

The fact that it became a Ben and Jerry's flavor?  Sweeeeeet.

For those who may be uninitiated in the ways of Festivus, here's a bit of background:

On Episode 166 of "Seinfeld," which originally aired Dec. 18, 1997, during the series' final season, George Costanza grudgingly brings Kramer and his boss, Kruger, over to his parents' home to celebrate Festivus, a celebration supposedly invented by George's eccentric, maniacal father, Frank. Replacing the Christmas tree is a steel pole that requires no decorating — "I find tinsel distracting," Frank Costanza says. After the airing of grievances, Festivus can't officially end until the feats of strength. In this instance, George must pin his father in a wrestling match (he never succeeds).

In reality, Festivus began in 1966 — or so claims Tim O'Keefe, the "Seinfeld" writer who wrote Festivus into the show. He says his father introduced the celebration to his family, in all sincerity, by "singing in German about a black pig, bitching about people who didn't like them into a barely functional tape recorder and displaying obscene, hand-scrawled signs of a political nature." O'Keefe unfolds all this and more in his book "The Real Festivus." Jerry Stiller, who played Frank Costanza on "Seinfeld," wrote the forward to "Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us," a chronicle of actual Festivus celebrations by Allen Salkin.

And you can read even more about Festivus celebrations here

But wait, it gets better. There is now a company that makes Festivus poles for the non-holiday celebration.   In case you missed the original Seinfeld episode, here are the highlights via some good splicer on YouTube.   Now, if you will excuse me, I have some grievances to air…sure, it's a day late, but that just makes for better grievances, doesn't it?  (And for the first Festivus miracle, isn't that Jack Black as the creepy, hairy guy lurking behind Elaine?  Ahhhh, yes, memories…) 

Just for kicks, I thought everyone might like to discuss who deserves the most airing of national grievances this year.  If you could pick, who would be getting the biggest lump of coal in their stocking?  Say it with me:  "Serenity, now…"

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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