This Was Television On December 23

1997: A Festivus miracle

Although the episode which introduced it, “The Strike,” aired a week earlier on Dec. 18, 1997, in the world of Seinfeld, Festivus was celebrated on Dec. 23. And soon after Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) unveiled his seasonal creation, the real world followed suit: “A Festivus for the rest of us” has been celebrated by small but devoted pockets of the non-traditional worshippers since at least the early 2000s. The holiday, conceived by Seinfeld scribe Dan O’Keefe but based on a tradition his family had long shared, encompasses rituals such as the Feats of Strength, the Airing of Grievances, as the decorating of the Festivus Pole. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: James Gregory, detective (d. 2002); Susan Lucci, daytime icon (66); Ronnie Schell, comic (81); Harry Shearer, Springfieldian(s) (69); Reinhold Weege, scribe (d. 2012). 

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