Festivus For The Rest Of Us

by Shannon Randol, volunteer contributor, and Taelor Duckworth, staff contributor, American Red Cross

ae590f9713fd57b91afa8c2c0e61b7beAhh-yes, the day is finally here! Happy Festivus! Festivus for the rest of us is a holiday that encourages estranged family, friends and co-workers to sit at the table surrounded by a hot, cooked meal and an aluminium pole while venting to your audience about why you dislike each and every one of them.

Doesn’t this sound so much better than Christmas at the in-laws?

This fictional holiday was created by Seinfeld scriptwriter, Dan O’Keefe, and it was rumored to have originally been a family tradition of his own. The holiday was the main focus in the 1997 episode, Airing of Grievances. 

We know the holiday season can be a stressful string of events for adults. The pressures of Santa Clause, the in-laws and making all of the kids’ Christmas wishes come true can take a toll on your holiday cheer. We understand. While Festivus at your house can be done all in good fun, we’d also like to encourage you to take the time to really enjoy the ones you hate to love most!

As you prepare to spend several days among your relatives sharing the holly jolly feelings of the season, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Water your tree! At most: daily and at least: once every two days. The twinkle lights on your tree are hot and can catch your tree on fire. Nothing screams “chaotic family overload” like a holiday house fire. #firesafety, people!
  • Be sure to schedule breaks in your day for alone time. Too much togetherness is always a recipe for disaster, and WE know about disasters!
  • During the Feats of Strength, be sure to have medical professionals on standby in case of injury.tumblr_nh2kctEhsW1rm4mpho1_250 (1)
  • Doing some last minute shopping? Mentally prepare yourself before walking in to the store. Determine your budget, what you need to buy and execute your plan quickly to avoid being sucked into the black hole of retail craziness.
  • Consider giving to others as a way to bond your family over helping the less fortunate. You can’t go wrong when you #GiveWithMeaning.
  • If you don’t have family or friends living near you, contact local clubs, religious groups or community centers to see if they are holding activities that may interest you. Even if you can’t be with “your people”, it’s always a good time to make friends.
  • When traveling, allow extra time for traffic jams, bathroom stops and gas fill-ups. With many people on the road, you want to be sure that you don’t let the stresses of road rage get you down. Check out @TXDOT on Twitter or their website for driving conditions in Texas.
  • The Mayo Clinic also has some good mental health tips for holiday stressers.


No matter how you decide to prepare for the endless hours of love, laughter and loony family members, we hope that you have a safe and wonderful time during your holiday celebrations. Oh, and Happy Festivus, from us!

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