Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Airing of Grievances

I was in Home Depot yesterday buying replacement fuses and other mundane household items when it hit me: There was no special seasonal display of aluminum poles. And when I thought about it, I realized I'd been shopping in Target, Kmart, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, and Borders over the last several days, and in not one of those stores was I wished a Happy Festivus! Could it be that there's a War on Festivus? Where is the Bill O'Reilly who will rally to the defense of Costanzians everywhere? Really, I ask you, does this seem moral? At long last, have we no values??

Notwithstanding the fact that holiday shopping often turns into Feats of Strength, it seems that traditional Festivus observances are largely disregarded by our crass, all-too-busy consumerist culture...

...or so I thought. On a whim, I Googled "Festivus" and discovered that Seinfeld's fictional (or should I say, formerly fictional) secular alternative to Christmas refuses to go away. To complement a variety of quirky celebrations around the world, it has its own website, two new books, even its own song. One of the editorial reviews at Amazon refers to Festivus as a "bare-bones celebration of second-rate miracles and hopeless regrets," and really, what could be a more relevant holiday for these benighted times?

This Thursday you can see how it started -- the Festivus equivalent of It's a Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas all rolled into one -- on TBS. Check your local listings!

BTW, in case I don't talk to you tomorrow... Happy Solstice!

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