The Festivus pole in its unadorned, lusterless glory.

Many of us are familiar with the miracles associated with the holidays observed this time of year – for example the holy oil lasting for eight days instead of just the one after the reclaiming of the Temple for Hannukah or the virgin birth and bright star for Christmas. But what about Festivus? Does Festivus have miracles too?

Most of us have become acquainted with Festivus and its traditions through a Seinfeld episode that first aired in 1997. George’s father, Frank, observes Festivus to combat the commercialism that had, in his eyes, become an integral part of Christmas celebrations. (If memory serves, a dispute over a doll is central to the emergence of the holiday…)

Celebrated on December 23, Festivus is a secular holiday, featuring a number of traditions, including the Festivus Feast; the Airing of Grievances (detailing how those present have disappointed you in the past year); the Festivus fruitcake (to be admired rather than eaten); the Feats of Strength (wherein the challengers must pin the Head of Household in a wrestling match); and, of course, the Festivus pole: an unadorned, lusterless aluminum pole. (Ironically, you can find them for sale at www.festivuspoles.com. Is Festivus experiencing the slow conversion to commercialism that has, in the eyes of Festivus celebrants, tainted other December holidays? Only time will tell).

One of the most interesting components of Festivus to me is this Festivus pole. Why a plain aluminum pole? Well in the words of Frank Costanza, “It’s made from aluminum. Very high strength-to-weight ratio.” Montague folding bike frames are also made from aluminum, for precisely the same reason. So in a pinch, if you can’t lay your hands on a Festivus pole (or don’t want to purchase one for $39.95), you could just congregate around your folding bike. It might just be a Festivus miracle.

Another eerie similarity between the Festivus pole and Montague folding bikes? Festivus poles, when not in use, easily collapse for storage in the crawl space. While Montague folding bikes don’t collapse, they do fold easily for storage in your closet, under your desk, or in your trunk. Is this another Festivus miracle? Perhaps so.

A folding bike, with its lusterless aluminum top tubes, can double as a Festivus pole.

How do You Celebrate?

What holiday are you celebrating this time of year? Have you ever celebrated Festivus? (If so, how did the Feats of Strength turn out?). Tell us about any other Festivus miracles. What’s your favourite holiday tradition, Festivus or otherwise?

*Festivus Miracle = Easily Explainable Event.