The Festivus Pole and Traditions

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 53,274
    Allen Salkin, author of ‘Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us’, demonstrates how to celebrate Festivus properly including an overview of the Festivus pole and traditions.

    Allen Salkin: Hi, I am Allen Salkin, author of 'Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us', and today we are talking about how to celebrate Festivus. The first thing you need to know about Festivus is when is it. Now according to Seinfeld which was a popular sitcom the 1990s, Festivus was celebrated on December 23rd and the problem with December 23rd is that most people have already at that point gone home to be with the people they don't want to be with, namely their families. Since Festivus is often celebrated with the people you do want to be with, the people you feel comfortable complaining to and wrestling, probably your friends, it's often celebrated earlier in December. It can also be celebrated anytime of the year, anytime you feel you need Festivus, it's Festivus.

    Now, once you have decided that one thing that you will probably need is the Festivus pole. Now there are some companies that have started selling commercial Festivus poles. The most popular is Wagner which is a company in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin which is very Festivus like city and state. In fact the Governor himself once erected a Festivus pole in the capital. It's now visible at the Wisconsin State Historical Society. So Wagner sells poles via the Internet. There is a large size pole and there is a small size pole. However you do not have to order a perfectly sized or specifically dedicated Festivus pole. You can go to Home Depot, Lowe's or any home improvement store and buy a fence post. You can also use a nail, stuck into a tiny piece of sponge or wood, that can be a Festivus pole. Miniature Festivus pole, I made this one myself. You can cover a paper towel roll with little bit of foil. You can stack aluminum cans to the ceiling. You can just use a roll of aluminum foil and do nothing except hit it against the table or just hold it in you hand. Almost anything can be a Festivus pole. The one rule about Festivus pole is no tinsel, no decoration of any kind as it can be very distracting, no tinsel! Now there have been some companies which have tried to make money of off Festivus and have introduced some new items which you might want to bring and include for your Festivus party. They include greeting cards, Festivus cards. There is also Festivus wine which is from that great wine producing state of Oklahoma. From the town of Okemah which as you know is Woody Guthrie's birthplace. If you don't know who Woody Guthrie is? Look it up. There are also some Festivus foods you should consider like the Festivus Ham with a junior mint and snapple glaze, and Shrimp impelled on miniature Festivus poles, always a hit. But don't do this too far in advance, otherwise the Shrimp will start oxidizing on the nails. It is not pretty. There have also have been three companies that least that we know of, that have tried to brew a Festivus Ale or a Festivus beer. Usually the efforts to bottle Festivus don't work out. There have been many family squabbles among those who have attempted to make Festivus beer. It usually ends badly. But if you can find one they often make delicious drinking. One other thing about the pole. While it is a good idea to mount it securely, it's also a good idea to make sure the guests at the party can remove it if necessary. Often once there has been enough drinking of Festivus wine or Festivus libations such as Festivus shooters, people often want to play Limbo and a Festivus pole makes a great limbo pole. At one Festivus party a women woke up with a Festivus pole in her bed. She doesn't really remembered what happened. You might want to avoid this. Next we are going to talk about the Airing of Grievances or the AOG.