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When Is Festivus - the 'Holiday for the Rest of Us'?

Don't want to miss the annual airing of the grievances or feats of strengths? Then get ready because Festivus is just a few days away.

Christmas -- a joyous, happy time of year ... for some. For the rest of us, the holiday season may not be quite as cheery and bright due to the expense and stress of the holidays. That is why we can all be thankful for Festivus.

Festivus, which is celebrated on Dec. 23, was established as an alternative holiday free of the commercialism and pressure of Christmas.

According to the Happy Festivus website, there are several key components to a Festivus celebration:

1. An aluminum pole - the unadorned pole is used in place of a highly decorated and lit Christmas tree, which, as the website explains, "is in direct contrast to normal holiday materialism."

2. The Airing of the Grievances - Though many Christmas celebrations include this, Festivus makes it official by setting aside a time to let family members know how much they have disappointed you during the past year.

3. Festivus Dinner - In keeping with the depiction of the Festivus dinner aired on "Seinfeld," the dinner should consist of meat loaf, spaghetti or any other dish in red sauce. 

4. The Feats of Stength - The head of the household must be wrestled to the floor and pinned to conclude the Festivus celebrations.

Though most people are aware of Festivus due to a 1997 episode of "Seinfeld," the holiday was reportedly conceived in 1966 by the family of "Seinfeld" screenwriter Daniel O'Keefe

Now Festivus has become an accepted part of popular culture. The holiday has its own Facebook page, "I celebrate Festivus." Festivus "celebrations" frequently make the news such as in the case of the Florida atheist who erected a Festivus pole to protest a nativity scene in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Even Google has acknowledged Festivus with an "Easter Egg" featuring a Festivus pole.

Ironically, Festivus merchandise is also widely available. Items available for purchase include Festivus t-shirts and cards, Festivus coffee mugs and even a desktop Festivus pole.

Do you have a Festivus pole? Do you plan on participating in the Airing of the Grievances or any of the other Festivus traditions? Let us know in the comments.

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