Christmas may be for warm wishes and sweet greetings but Festivus is for the rest of us.
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The satirical holiday, brought to fame by 1990s hit sitcom “Seinfeld,” rings in another year Monday as fans across the country air their grievances to family members and friends.
The holiday, in which people sit around a plain aluminum pole in place of a Christmas tree and exchange insults instead of gifts, was introduced to America in December 1997 when Frank Costanza, father of the show’s George Costanza, recalled a Christmas flop.
“Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son," Frank Costanza said in the episode. “I reached for the last one they had but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him,” the Emmy Award-winning actor continued, “I realized there had to be another way. The doll was destroyed but a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us.”
After grievances are aired, the day wraps up with a wrestling match, dubbed the feats of strength, which typically ended up with George Costanza in a heated scuffle with his father.
While Festivus participants will shoot off insults and engage in fisticuffs, they can make up for the contention with a gift. Based on figures from the National Retail Foundation, Americans are expected to spend about $730 billion on the holidays on loved ones.