I moved away as fast as possible. The couple in the parking lot were having a loud argument over Christmas presents. They disagreed over the fluff while ignoring the fundamentals.
There seems to be a tendency for holidays to drift away from their anchorage. Memorial day is about hurrying to the beach, and Christmas is about consumption.
We seem to perpetuate hollow holidays – eventually stripping away the original meaning and adding in heaping doses of ordinary celebration.
If you think about it, that’s why the Puritans in Massachusetts did not celebrate Christmas. The day had ceased to be an observance of Christ’s birthday and had become a good excuse for a long party. Not that I think there is anything wrong with a good party.
Admittedly, the extended nocturnal portion of our twenty-four hours in the day tends to get us down this time of year. The Romans knew this and partied heartily at Saturnalia. Imagine the conservative among them complaining that Saturnalia just wasn’t what it used to be when they were a child. Well, why not?
So here is a holiday assignment for all of you. Make a hollow holiday out of an as yet uncorrupted winter holiday. I recommend Festivus.
To remind you that Festivus was designed to be a non-commercial holiday – and should provide lots of opportunity for corruption. Remember you will be graded on the originality of the ideas you bring to the holiday, and how far from the original intent you can get it to drift. This will be an open book exam, so have fun. I will not be marking on a curve, and the final will count towards one third of your grade.
Some points about Festivus:
- there is a Festivus dinner,
- a plain aluminum Festivus pole
- an Airing of Grievances
- Feats of Strength
- and the explaining of Festivus miracles
Remember Festivus was to be a ” Festivus for the rest of us.”
Okay, Festivus is December 23rd. So get out there and start corrupting. The winner becomes a Youtube influencer and wins the most toys before I die competition.