With all the "ho-ho ho-ing" and the "Merry Quismukkah" and the distracting tinsel and the brawls over the last doll at the store, it's time we remember what the season is really about: Festivus for the rest of us.
Festivus, the holiday made famous by George Costanza's father on the Seinfeld show, comes but once a year: December 23. If you're planning to celebrate Festivus for the first time, read on for a guide on what to serve at your Festivus dinner.
A warning: dour holiday that it is, the Festivus feast is not about enjoying the sensual pleasures of delicious food. It is something to be endured. Now get out your aluminum pole.
If you want to celebrate like the Costanzas, prepare meatloaf. Anthropologists and food scientists have studied the Festivus episode to ascertain what exactly is on those dinner plates, and it appears to be meatloaf with a gravy boat filled with a liquid too dark to be gravy. Aside from that, do not serve any side dishes. Pour mostly everyone a glass of water. Hip flasks of hard liquor are also appropriate, as demonstrated by George Costanza's boss.
Here are some appropriate recipes:
You may ask, but what about bagels? In the Festivus episode, Kramer returns to his job at H&H Bagels after a 12-year strike finally ends. This would lead Festivus revelers to believe that it is traditional to serve bagels. But this is not so! Later in the episode Kramer is denied time off from work to celebrate Festivus and pickets outside H&H chanting, "Festivus yes! Bagels no!" No bagels.
The first Festivus was celebrated not by Mr. Costanza but by Reader's Digest editor Daniel O'Keefe Sr. back in 1966. He invented Festivus as an alternative to the commercialism of Christmas. His son, Daniel O'Keefe Jr., became a writer on (you guessed it) Seinfeld, and also wrote a book about the holiday, The Real Festivus. The original O'Keefe Festivus featured turkey or ham and a Pepperidge Farms cake with M&Ms.
Years ago, Ben & Jerry invented a Festivus ice cream with brown sugar ice cream mixed with gingerbread cookies and a ginger caramel swirl. Personally speaking, this sounds too delicious for Festivus and it's probably a good thing the flavor was discontinued.
Now remember to begin your meal with the Airing of Grievances, do not decorate your Aluminum Pole, and try to survive your Feats of Strength. Happy Festivus, everyone!
Image via M. Keefe/Flickr