The late Jerry Stiller explains the origin of Festivus. Photo via Netflix.

The holiday season encompasses a large variety of celebrations across different cultures, religions and families. Among those celebrations is Festivus, a real life holiday created by the father of Seinfeld writer Dan O’Keefe and immortalized through the show. 

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On season 9, episode 10 of Seinfeld in 1997, George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander, was forced to participate in his father’s made-up holiday called Festivus. In the show, Festivus was held Dec. 23 and served as a cynical response to Christmas cheer in which families gathered and went through three preordained rituals. 

Upon being pressed about the origin of such a bizarre concept, writer O’Keefe revealed that Festivus was conceived by his father, Daniel O’Keefe, in the 1960s and practiced throughout his childhood. Since the episode aired, Festivus has remained an iconic pop culture joke.

As we arrive on Festivus Day 2022, it’s time to bring its memorable rituals to Lake Highlands. 

Airing Of Grievances: Festivus begins with the airing of grievances, which is used to purge all the negative thoughts you’ve had about a particular person by telling them to their face. This is played for laughs in the show, and the Advocate would never willfully bring about negativity in the community. 

For this year’s airing of grievances, we look to the unfortunate loss of two community favorite restaurants, Yogi’s Home Plate on Skillman and Hei Hei in Lakeridge Village.

Photo by Simon Pruitt.

Festivus Dinner: The second phase of Festivus is a large dinner with family and friends who were invited to the celebration.

For Festivus Dinner 2022, we highlight the extension of SoCo Coffee into the space next door, which opens at 5 p.m. with an all-new dinner menu, cocktails and atmosphere to enjoy them in. 

Feats Of Strength: Festivus closes with a fabled “feats of strength,” a vaguely defined showcase of some sort of physical acumen. In Seinfeld, George’s father declares a wrestling match between himself and George, with the stipulation that Festivus doesn’t end until George can pin him. 

We’ll do our best to avoid any kind of familial violence here, but a celebration of our Wildcat football and basketball teams may be in order.

In the 2021-22 season, football finished with an 8-3 record good for third in district. LH basketball ended its season at 32-5, three rounds into playoffs. 

With that, a Lake Highlands Festivus has concluded. We look forward to another great year in the neighborhood!