chrismukkah festivus Festivus vs. Chrismukkah: Battle of the pop culture holidays

“Seinfeld” and “The O.C.” gave so much to the world of TV and pop culture, including made-up holidays that are still part of our cultural vernacular: Festivus and Chrismukkah, respectively. While both are stellar celebrations no doubt, there can only be one winner in this made-up showdown between made-up holidays. Let’s do this thing, shall we?

]]>Origins: Festivus: Festivus is celebrated on Dec. 23, as a way to celebrate the holiday season without giving into its pressure and commercialization. While “Seinfeld” made the holiday iconic, it was actually introduced in 1966 by “Seinfeld” writer Daniel O’Keefe’s dad, Dan O’Keefe, who was also a writer. The original Festivus took place in February of that year to celebrate Dan’s first date with his future wife, Deborah. It was introduced on “Seinfeld” in a 1997 episode named “The Strike.” When Kramer (Michael Richards) returns to work at H&H Bagels, Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) tells him how he created the alternate holiday.

Chrismukkah:
Because he had a Jewish father and Protestant mother, a young Seth Cohen (Adam Brody) decided the best way to celebrate the holidays was to merge the two and create Chrismukkah when he was just six years old. Described as “eight days of presents, followed by one day of many presents,” the show featured a Chrismukkah episode during each of its four seasons. In season 3, Seth decides to throw Ryan (Ben McKenzie) a Chrismukkah Bar mitzvahkkah. To quote Cohen, “Spell that, dude!” How its celebrated: Festivus: Wrestling matches and complaints! Here’s how it goes down: Festivus features a celebratory dinner prior to the Feats of Strength (Head of the household selects one person and challenges that person to a wrestling match) and during the Airing of Grievances (“And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!”). The original holiday dinner in the O’Keefe how featured turkey or ham and a Pepperidge Farm cake decorated with M&M’s. On the show, they ate meatloaf.
Chrismukkah: We don’t learn much about the actual rules of Chrismukkah, besides the many, many presents that are given, but The Cohens do spend Christmas Day eating Chinese food while watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” Also, it is usually celebrated with lots o’ drama, like shoplifting, getting drunk and being sent to therapy, being pulled over by the cops, finding out you have a half-sister, falling off a ladder and going into a coma, you know, the usual holiday activities. Fun with accessories: Festivus: The Festivus pole. The basics of the aluminum pole are explained by Costanza: “It requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting, and “It’s made from aluminum. Very high strength-to-weight ratio.” When its not being used, the pole is stored in his crawl space. Chrismukkah: “The O.C.” had many great fashion statements, but none were greater than the “yamaclaus,” It’s a red yarmulke with a white fluffy ball on top. Genius. Best Line:  Festivus: “Festivus for the rest of us!” Chrismukkah: “You can’t ruin Chrismukkah. It’s got twice the resistance of any normal holiday.”

Winner:

Draw! Come on, It’s Christmas! You really didn’t expect us to choose now, did you? “Seinfeld” is one of the greatest TV shows ever, while “The O.C.” has Jesus and Moses on its side.