Happy Festivus:

According to what appears to be the authoritative source, December 23 is the conventional date for the celebration of Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us. So Happy Festivus to all and let the airing of grievances commence!

Just a thought:
Happy Festivus to you too!

Though, personally, I celebrate Christmas and have absolutely no qualms about doing so, I'm a big fan and proponent of Festivus because it highlights (in my opinion) the absurdity of the other made-up "holiday" at this time of year, namely, Kwanzaa. Festivus is at least as legitimate in its history, creation, and traditions as Kwanzaa, and it is probably more popular than Kwanzaa. So when people wish me a "Happy Kwanzaa", I respond, "I'm sorry, but I don't celebrate Kwanzaa, I celebrate Festivus. Have a merry Festivus!"
12.23.2008 7:40am
Pete Freans (mail):
I'll go get the pole out of the crawlspace...
12.23.2008 7:59am
Jon champaigne (mail) (www):
Isn't is interesting that we have so much love for Christmas, and it is almost a requirement to celebrate it. Even if you decide to forgo Christmas traditions, they are forced upon you by the masses, isn't our constitution supposed to protect the freedom of the few from the tyranny of the many.
12.23.2008 8:16am
Fedya (www):
I'm a Packer fan. I've got a lot of grievances to air.
12.23.2008 8:18am
Curt Fischer:
Fedya: I'm a Bengals fan. To paraphrase TS Eliot, we shall not cease from our grievances, and at the end of our grieving, we will arrive where we started, and still have a lot of grievances.
12.23.2008 8:27am
You are not leaving this comment thread until you pin me.
12.23.2008 8:56am
bikeguy (mail):
I am waiting for Festivus Carols and other seasonal music. Obviously a holiday of this significance has the deep emotional resonance to inspire musicians to create beautiful music that will stand the test of time. Sort of like the Kwanzaa Carols we are hearing everywhere now.
12.23.2008 9:02am
jb (mail):
Nope, nothing at all made up about Christmas. Seriously, what makes a holiday "legitimate" anyway?
12.23.2008 9:06am
ronbailey (mail) (www):
So, Kwanzaa is "made up" but Christmas isn't? WTF?
12.23.2008 9:17am
Al Maviva:
Memo to All City Hall Employees

Re: Festivus Observances

In accordance with the Town of Dismal's recognition of the faith (or nonfaith) of all it's residents and visitors, the Town Attorney and I have determined that employees who wish to acknowledge Festivus may do so. Such acknowledgment must be in accordance with recognized First Amendment principles, Supreme Court precedent, and the sensitivities of Town residents. Toward that end we establish in this memorandum several policies to be observed by all Town employees during this holiday season.

Greetings. Specific acknowledgement of the day should not be made (e.g. "Merry Festivus") but a holiday greeting should simply consist of "Happy Holidays." This covers all the holidays in this season, and until Lars Larson, our respected town atheist figures out that the term holiday is derived from "Holy Day," we can get away with it. Some would argue that this ecumenical approach reeks of anti-Festivism. But you can't be too careful about these things nowadays, what with Michael Newdow on the prowl.

Municipal Festivus Display. Consistent with the Supreme Court's holding in County of Alleghany, any display of the Festivus pole must be included in an ecumenical display that neither endorses nor disparages religion. The pole, if displayed, shall be part of a display that is not really religious, but which acknowledges the importance of both religion and non-religion in American society. The aluminum pole may be displayed only if positioned alongside some kente cloth, a menorah, a blank space (can't leave out the atheists or Lars will be in our sh1t), and a Jesus-free fair trade creche. If no aluminum pole is available, a complaint box could be substituted, to represent The Airing of Grievances. Care should be taken not to arrange the holiday display around the town's complaint box, otherwise Lars will file a lawsuit after the holidays arguing the complaint box is comparable to a Ten Commandments display or a cross, a permanent display of religious beliefs and an impermissible state establishment of religion. Consider including a tasteful dummy hand grenade with a number tag on the pin, "Complaint? Take a Number!" display instead of the municipal complaint box if setting up the display along these lines.

Visitors. Care should be taken not to force anybody to look at the display. The Court in Santa Fe Independent School District warned us against inflicting religion or non-religion on captive audiences, so school groups touring Town Hall should not be dragged in front of the holiday display and forced to look at it. In fact, Guide Dogs for the Blind has kindly loaned us several working dogs to help those of sensitive mind, such as the local defense bar and their clients, to be able to keep their eyes closed and walk by the display to the the chambers of the Justice of the Peace, Marshall Marshall. Other captive audiences, such as Ole Olson after his annual Christmas Eve DWI or anybody who watches The View should not be exposed to this display either.

Airing of Grievances. The Town of Dismal respects the rights of its employees to practice the religion (or non-religion) of their choice. Since The Airing of Grievances is an integral part of any Festivus celebration, it is necessary to issue a rule dealing with the practice when it occurs on work time or on public property. Henceforth, employees may only engage in the Airing of Grievances (e.g. "complain, gripe, whinge, moan, or bitch") on their own time off city property. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for a minimal display of bitching and moaning during the lunch hour, in an employee's cubicle, or in discreet personal displays on clothing. Supervisors should never make employees feel compelled to air grievances. For those holding a sincere religious belief that the Airing of Grievances is required several times daily, we will set up a private prayer room next to the Islamic prayer room and foot bath to allow you to practice your faith. The Airing of Grievances shall not be made before members of the public, and no other employee should be compelled to listen to your bitching if they don't want to.

Finally in closing, the Town Attorney and I wish you a great December with all our heart, and a happy January.

Mayor O'Connor
12.23.2008 9:27am
Houston Lawyer:
Festivus is pure genius. It could not have caught on if not for the comic dysfunction of George's family.

Kwanzaa is the PC anti-Christmas. I will show it no respect.
12.23.2008 9:31am
Bengals? Packers? You think you have grievances? My father is a Lions fan. Go ahead try to top that.
12.23.2008 9:35am
Merry Christmas.
12.23.2008 9:39am
Ah, 'tis the season. Don't forget the feats of strength that follow the airing of grievances!
12.23.2008 9:48am
Just a thought:
Every holiday, whether it be a religious or secular observance is "made up". The question is, what "made up" holiday is worthy of respect?

Martin Luther King Day is a holiday created by our country to honor a great man. I think that is worthy of respect. Lenin's birthday was a holiday created by the former Soviet Union commemorating something that I don't think is worthy of respect. Thus, I don't celebrate Lenin's birthday.

Christmas is a holiday created by the Christian religion 1600 years ago to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. I (and many others) think that event is worthy of respect, and so I celebrate Christmas. Kwanzaa is a holiday created by a Black Nationalist felon guilty of torture in order to commemorate principles of "Blackness" as an alternative to Christmas, while Festivus is a holiday created by a TV show as a joke. Personally, I think that Festivus is worthy of more respect than Kwanzaa, and so I wish you a "Happy Festivus".
12.23.2008 9:53am
resh (mail):
RE Deathsinger: "My father is a Lion's fan."

Tell him to forget the holidays. He needs to move. Now. Or wear a bag. 0-15. Eternally embarrassing.

The only two historical performances that were worse since the dawn of time were 1) when the armored Goliath lost to the wimpy Jew and his bubblegum sling and 2) the '62 Mets.

(Note:I threw in the Mets just to piss off the NY crowd.)
12.23.2008 10:07am
Curt Fischer:
deathsinger: Since 1990 the Bengals have a win percentage of 36%, but the Lions have a very, very nice, respectable win percentage of 39%. I wish I were a Lions fan.
12.23.2008 10:16am
The Cabbage (mail):
Don't forget the feats of strength that follow the airing of grievances!

Eugene is going to bench press the entire Pacific Second.
12.23.2008 10:20am
ASlyJD (mail):
Thank you Lord for creating the Lions so that the Chiefs are not the worst team in the league.
12.23.2008 10:29am
I wish everyone a Happy Solstice.

(that celebration was here long before all of these johnny-come-lately things like Christmas)
12.23.2008 10:34am
jb (mail):
"Christmas is a holiday created by the Christian religion 1600 years ago to honor the birth of Jesus Christ."

Kwanzaa isn't really the inventing of a holiday as much as the attempted co-option of an existing one (Christmas) by people with an agenda and a new slant. In that respect it is exactly the same thing the Christians did to Saturnalia. For me though, I could care less about the origin as Christmas is a time for me to eat, drink, be merry, and see loved ones. Jesus Christ doesn't really factor in. The problem with your view of holidays is that quotes like this might conflict, while for me I merely find it interesting:
"The popular image of Santa Claus was created by the German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840--1902), who drew a new image annually, beginning in 1863. By the 1880s, Nast's Santa had evolved into the form we now recognize. The image was standardized by advertisers in the 1920s." (wikipedia)
How does that effect legitimacy?
12.23.2008 10:50am
Curt Fischer,


In the last 30 years the Bengals have a win percentage of 41.3 and the Lions 38.7. In the last 25 years Bengals 39.8, Lions 37.8 In the last 15 years Bengals 37.4, Lions 36. Last 10 years Bengals 38.7, Lions 30.2. Last 5 years Bengals 47.5, Lions 26.6. Other than the last 16-22 years, the Bengals have a higher cumulative winning percentage. And as bad as the Bengals have been since 1990, they have as many playoff wins in that time as the Lions have had since the dawn of the Super Bowl (which predates me by a few months).
12.23.2008 12:10pm

I don't really care what Benedict says, Christmas co-opted the holiday of the birthday of the Unconquered Sun.

[That co-opted the older holiday of Saturnalia, but the birth concept does come from Sol Invictus]
12.23.2008 12:15pm
JosephSlater (mail):
I've been a Lions fan myself since I was a kid. Since my life began (several years before the first Superbowl) the Lions have won a total of ONE playoff game. And that was in the window of time when they had Barry Sanders, one of the best running backs of ALL TIME.

I saw the Packers blow the game to the Bears last night, and it didn't look good. But let me tell you, if the Packers play that way against the Lions next week, they will beat Detroit handily, making them the first 0-16 team ever. And with the sole exception of wide receiver in Calvin Johnson -- the only one of the approximately 70 wide receivers Detroit has taken in recent years with a high draft pick who has actually worked out -- there is zero sign of any player on the team with potential to be a star in this league in the future on the team.

Oh, and I hate grading. There we go, my grievances have been aired.
12.23.2008 1:05pm
Fedya (www):
In honor of the Festivus holiday, I've made a donation in the name of each commenter and conspirator to The Human Fund.
12.23.2008 1:15pm
Dave N (mail):
Isn't is interesting that we have so much love for Christmas, and it is almost a requirement to celebrate it. Even if you decide to forgo Christmas traditions, they are forced upon you by the masses, isn't our constitution supposed to protect the freedom of the few from the tyranny of the many.
Didn't you forgot the "Bah, Humbug!"?
12.23.2008 1:24pm
Curt Fischer:
deathsinger: You make a compelling case. But, at least your father has all those ancient championships to feel good about. The Bengals' big moment was getting beaten by Joe Montana. Twice.
12.23.2008 1:26pm
ronbailey (mail) (www):
"Christmas is a holiday created by the Christian religion 1600 years ago to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. I (and many others) think that event is worthy of respect, and so I celebrate Christmas."

"Christmas is a trumped-up holiday created by the Christian religion 1600 years ago to co-opt ancient solstice celebrations like Saturnalia. It was originally considered decadent and gauche and was outlawed in Europe and North America until the 1870, when it was finally granted Federal Holiday status in the US."

Fixed that for you.
12.23.2008 1:56pm

My father was only alive for three of them. Only remembers the 1957 championship. Worst thing for him was that we moved to PA during the 70's. (I am a Steelers fan because of it. He can't bare watching the Steelers win Super Bowls.) To add a heaping helping of lousy for my dad, he is also a Tigers fan...

My memory of '82 Superbowl is not of Montana, but of a goalline stand.

BTW, the worst franchise since 1990 is the Cardinals by virtue of one more loss (Cinci has a tie). So those two teams have "Worst team since 1990" riding of this week's game.
12.23.2008 2:15pm
Just a thought:
I don't understand the relevance of your re-definition. Your re-definition is factually correct... but what does that matter? The Christian church coopted the date of Saturnalia and other pagan festivities in choosing the date of Christmas, and Christmas has not always been a holiday recognized by civic government... so what? It still is a holiday created by the Christian church to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Personally, I think that is a worthwhile event to observe, and so I celebrate Christmas. You might not think that it is a worthwhile event to observe, and that's fine, you don't need to celebrate Christmas. You are free to observe your own commemoration that is meaningful to you.
12.23.2008 2:47pm
Sarcastro (www):
Ahhh, Festbug! This is just another front in the War on Christmas!

The Festivus stands for Baal, and also abortions.
12.23.2008 2:50pm
John S. (mail):
<i>So, Kwanzaa is "made up" but Christmas isn't? WTF?<\i>

Of course Christmas isn't made up, it is beyond argument that Dec. 25th is the literal birth date of Christ.

And all those fossils you see in the ground? Every single scholar of note accepts that anyone who believes fossils are more than 6000 years old is just being tricked by Satan and will be cast into the stinking pit of hell.

12.23.2008 7:40pm
Why no mention of the Prof. Yaron Eliav University of Michigan affair here?

The situtation seems ripe for legal discussion of the issues of proof for the assault and prostitution charges, the issues of the use of craigslist and email as proof of consent to the beating, and of course the fact that the 'victim' was a law student.
12.24.2008 11:16am

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