Yes, Susie there is a Festivus for the rest of us, or is there? Everybody knows the traditions: the unadorned aluminum pole, the airing of the grievances, the feats of strength. As chronicled in the New York Times by Allen Salkin, the annual December 23 celebration of the Festivus holiday is becoming an institution in its own right:
"GATHER around the Festivus pole and listen to a tale about a real holiday made fictional and then real again, a tale that touches on philosophy, King Lear, the pool at the Chateau Marmont hotel, a paper bag with a clock inside and, oh yes, a television show about nothing. The first surprise is that from Tampa Bay, Fla., to Washington, from Austin, Tex., to Oxford, Ohio, many real people are holding parties celebrating Festivus, a holiday most believe was invented on an episode of "Seinfeld" first broadcast the week before Christmas in 1997."
and with that, there there is the inevitable evolution of interpretation in the performing of Festivus rituals:
"Interpretations of the holiday's rules differ among Festivus fundamentalists. Take the pole. On the show Frank Costanza says it must be aluminum and 'it requires no decoration.' But he does not specify what should hold it up nor its exact height."
Do we Fesitvarians follow the canons laid out by Frank Costanza with Jerry Stiller's gloss, or follow Festivus creator Dan O'Keefe's family traditions? What about the clock in the bag? Are we on the brink of a Festivus schism? With all these unsanswered questions individualistic interpretations of a sacred fake holiday tradition when does it go to far?
"Some things just grow. 'Last year," said Ms. Galdes of Chicago, "there was break dancing. I don't know how that happened.'"
Break dancing at Festivus? Heresy!
Hey what's that burning smell? Smells like heretic.