How To Celebrate Festivus

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The most important thing about celebrating Festivus properly is to not give a fuck. I mean literally DO NOT GIVE A FUCK. Is the day you celebrate the same every year? Do you decorate the pole? Do you overpromise and underdeliver? Do you throw a shitty party? Does someone get hurt? The answer is the same to all of these questions and to any other question that may come up: DO NOT GIVE A FUCK. If you can master this one thing, then you’re well on your way to becoming an awesome Festivus-er.

Festivus is a cathartic physical and emotional release to the stress of a long year. Festivus requires no decoration and little to no expense. You will need a pole. Use whatever you have lying around to function as the pole and don’t bother decorating it — put as little effort into this part as possible. Throw a party to show off your shitty pole and plan for the following activities: the feats of strength and the airing of grievances. Parties should take place anywhere between December 1st and early to mid-January. The feats of strength involve wrestling and speed eating. Wrestling is required and should be followed by the speed-eating contest so no one throws up during a match. The feats of strength are followed by the airing of grievances, which requires each partygoer to stand next to the pole and share all the things that have pissed them off over the last 12 months.

Drawing by Douglas Fowler

Drawing by Douglas Fowler

Because wrestling is required, your attendees may need some “lubrication” — alcohol and drugs are the easiest methods but if you’re sober like me, time the party to begin with lots of chill acclamation time and aggressive, dance-y music. Once everyone is sufficiently loosened, the wrestling matches begin. I find the best method of pairing to be random and so I pull names out of a hat. As people arrive, I covertly write down their names on slips of paper so I have a batch of potential wrestlers all ready to go once I deem it time for the feats of strength. I like to employ a bracket system to the matches: the winners of the first round go into a new hat and fight each other. There is always one standout match and the victor of that match is then deemed the ultimate winner of wrestling. Depending on how many guests you have, one round may be plenty, in which case you just pick the most impressive competitor.


This is video of me dominating a guest at my last Festivus party. I’m still working out the logistics of throwing a Festivus party now that I live in a co-op.

Uploaded by namkcalb327 on 2012-01-09.

Moving on to the food part. I don’t make the speed eating a required activity because it would take too much preparation, expense and effort, so instead, I save it for the inevitable jackasses who claim injury to get out of wrestling and the adventurous souls who imagine their stomach capacity to be impressive. It is of the utmost importance that the speed-eating contest features congealed Kraft Macaroni & Cheese because the first Festivus party I ever threw featured congealed Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and so it is now a tradition. Congealed Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is incredibly difficult to eat in any quantity, or at a fast pace, and is thus, the second-most perfect challenge to serve as a feat of strength. Amp up the frustration level by asking your eaters to use their hands and then sit back to laugh your ass off as you watch the participants slog through; choking on gobs of cold sticky cheese/carb wads and pausing frequently just to swallow.

After fighting with each other and suffering through an awful speed-eating contest, your guests should have much to complain about. This is the precise time to announce the airing of grievances. Kick things off by complaining about some of the people in the room; don’t forget those losers who wouldn’t wrestle.

It is important to reward your guests for their physical participation so collect a small handful of the shittiest gifts you can find. Over the years, some standouts include a regifted Shake Weight, Ring Pops and Magnum condoms. Feel free to improvise and use a roll of toilet paper or something crappy you want to get rid of; the shittier the better. Pass out the gifts to the winners as people start leaving. Mix it up and give some trash to the non-winners to make everyone feel equally honored. Close the door after your final guest and then sleep for 10 hours. Remember that you don’t give a fuck and the party can be cleaned up tomorrow.

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