(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Break out your aluminum pole and prepare your grievances to be aired because Festivus is upon us.

Festivus takes place on December 23 every year and goes back to the 1960s originally. “A Festivus for the rest of us” was the family motto of the O’Keefe family who were the originators of the made-up holiday. Dan O’Keefe Sr. was the mastermind of the holiday and Daniel O’Keefe, his son, helped make it nationally famous by co-writing the “Seinfeld” episode “The Strike.”

The episode aired in December 1997 and became the start of a growing movement of “American anti-holiday” celebration according to an archived article by Jan Uebelherr which covered the then preview of Allen Salkin’s book “Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us.”

Salkin said in the article that the appeal of the holiday is that it is “intentionally low-key, sarcastic and, well, basically anything else you’d like it to be.” Frank Costanza, played by the late Jerry Stiller, in “Seinfeld,” the father of George Costanza came up with the fake holiday after a fight over a doll in a department store turns the normal holidays sour for him.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) questions Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss the federal government’s response and future planning for COVID-19 on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (Greg Nash/The Hill)

Festivus has become a normal holiday for many, especially the airing of grievances. Senator Rand Paul, from Kentucky, has issued a Festivus Waste Report every year since 2016. This year was no different. According to Pauls’s report, almost $5 billion in waste spending is highlighted, including:

  • Using COVID relief funds to construct an 11,000-square-foot spa – $140,000,000
  • Camouflage uniforms that do not fit the Afghanistan environment (Department of Defense) – $28,000,000
  • Maintaining 77,000 empty Federal buildings (U.S. General Services Administration) – $1,700,000,000
  • Mismanaged and un-tracked fuel purchases (State Department) – $77,000,000
  • Watching hamsters fight on steroids (National Institutes of Health) – $3,000,000
  • Researching if Thanos could snap his fingers wearing the infinity gauntlet (NSF) – $118,971

Festivus doesn’t have to be all grievances though, according to O’Keefe, his father wanted a holiday that centered on the family without religion or politics. The “Seinfeld” episode that introduced it made it mainstream and gave an alternative to the typical holidays of the season.

Other ways Festivus has been used or celebrated:

  • In 2000, Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick forbade the use of the word “playoffs” from use, substituting “Festivus” instead. Billick was superstitious about making the playoffs and banned the entire Ravens organization from using the p-word. He felt so strongly about this that defensive tackle Tony Siragusa was fined $500 for using the p-word on his radio program. The Super Bowl that year was referred to as Festivus Maximus.
  • In 2013, a “Festivus pole” was made of beer cans and erected in the rotunda of the Florida Capitol.
  • In 2018, the city of Wollongong in Australia named one of its roads “Festivus Lane” to honor the celebration of Festivus which had become a yearly local tradition.

No matter how or if you celebrate Festivus, enjoy family and friends on the anti-holiday.