The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a new awesome holiday television program for every day of Advent. This is the greatest tv of the season. Enjoy.
Day 23 "Seinfeld - The Strike"
Original air date - December, 18th 1997
For SeedSing's Advent Calendar of great holiday television shows, today, I'm going to write about the "Festivus" episode of "Seinfeld". I know the episode is called "The Strike", but lets be honest, I think we all know this as the Festivus episode. The Festivus episode of "Seinfeld" ranks right up there with any "Simpsons", "The Office" or any other TV show we have written about for the Advent calendar. In fact, I'm going to say that the Festivus episode of "Seinfeld" is the best holiday television show ever. I may quote "The Simpsons" more, or laugh at "The Office" more, but this particular episode of "Seinfeld" has literally changed the way I view the holiday. Today marks Festivus, and I will be airing grievances, showing feats of strength and getting the big pole out for this wonderful pre holiday holiday.
The episode starts off funny. We all learn that Kramer was/is a worker in a bagel shop, and the strike that he has been seemingly on for years, has ended. Funny right off the bat. The whole thing with the bagel shop, and Kramer's past, and now present, are all classic "Seinfeld". We also get another story involving Elaine giving some creeps a phony phone number and there is some wackiness that happens with this plot line throughout. But, the true gem of the episode is when George's dad tells the world of the joyous day of Festivus.
We learn that when George was a kid, his dad was in line waiting to get him a toy, a doll in fact, and someone else got the last one. He pleaded and prodded the person to give him the doll, but they just would not budge. This caused Frank to lose his mind. He got very, very upset, as he almost always does. This was when and where he Frank decided he needed to have a "holiday for the rest of us", and thus, Festivus was born. He decided that everyone needs to do many things to make themselves feel a bit better during this holiday season.
Let's be honest, this time of year brings out the anxiety and anger in the best of us. The holiday season can be pretty rough. So, the fact that Frank came up with a holiday where everyone can air their grievances, I love it. I wish this was a real thing and people would not get upset at the outcome. Imagine how nice it would be to tell everyone how you feel, but with the caveat that they cannot get mad at you, and they are allowed to do the same. This would be terrific. To let it all out, that would feel great from both sides. I love that the Costanza's do this every year, because who has more grievances than the Costanza's? No one, that's who. Imagine Frank, Estelle and George sitting around airing their grievances, it must be magically hilarious.
Then, the feats of strength. This would be my absolute favorite. This gives you the chance to prove who is the strongest in your family. I would crush this part of Festivus (ed note: no he would not), and I think my whole family, while they might disagree at first, knows that I would dominate. Now, imagine once again, the Costanza's doing this. I can almost guarantee that Estelle would be the strongest in the family. She may not look it, but I think she would absolutely dominate George and Frank in a feats of strength competition. I bet George is also the weakest, even at everyone's advanced age. He is so meek and mean, but that is just his attitude, I'm sure that does not translate into actual strength.
Then, we have the Festivus pole, which is the alternative to the tree and menorah used during this time of year. It is just an unadorned pole that sits in your living room on December 23rd. It does nothing, but it adds so much to this episode. The fact that Frank just wanted an alternative to all the glitz and glamour of the holiday's is a perfect representation of Frank and the Costanza's. They do not conform to social norms at any times, and I love that.
What makes this episode even more wonderful is the fact that people have made Festivus a real holiday. This has become a real thing. At the time of its airing, it was just an idea that Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and the "Seinfeld" writing crew came up with, but now, it is real. The computer hasn't proclaimed that I have spelled the word wrong once, there is actual written facts on the internet and most people actually celebrate the day. This has become a world wide, nationally celebrated holiday. I know for a fact that when I go see my family later today, we will celebrate some of the best parts of Festivus, and I cannot wait (ed note: also the fact that Ty will once again lose the feats of strength).
The fact that Festivus is a nationally recognized thing should be more than enough to get this episode on our list, but there are so many more reasons. It is a funny, goofy, Costanza heavy episode, which are usually the best that "Seinfeld" has to offer. While I love "The Simpsons", and it will always be my favorite show, this episode of "Seinfeld" is one of the best episodes of just general television, but it is also the best representation of this holiday that TV has ever put out. It is magnificent.
Go out and have a wonderful Festivus everyone. After all, it is a holiday for the rest of us.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. Did we mention that Ty always loses the feats of strength. He does always lose. Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.
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