Festivus for the rest of us

by Trey Nosrac

Serious fans of the television show Seinfeld are familiar with Festivus, a holiday for the rest of us.

For anyone unfamiliar with the show, the origin of the Festivus celebration occurred when Frank Costanza, the zany and neurotic father of Jerry’s zany and neurotic pal George, creates a holiday season to counter the increased commercialism and consumerism that saturates Christmas. During a shopping trip searching for a Christmas gift for his son, Frank realized that there should be a new holiday:

Trey doesn’t follow all the Festivus traditions, like setting up an aluminum pole instead of a real tree, engaging in feats of strength, or sharing grievances with friends and family members (unless they are political nutcases). However, Trey believes in Frank’s slant on the stress of shopping and Festivus Miracles.

Holiday gifting is a chore for many of us. The expense, lack of finances, never knowing what to buy, never knowing anyone’s size, the deadline, crowds of strangers, repetitive music, pretending you love green socks, returns, malls, masks, no masks, and Amazon are on the shortlist of aggravation.

For many years, Trey’s go-to Christmas gift was a bottle of inexpensive wine wrapped in a brown paper grocery bag tied with a ribbon on the top of the paper bag. I keep a dozen of these “wine in the bag packages” in my trunk as gifts and as an emergency stash to reciprocate lest somebody pops up and “gifts” me. For any unclaimed gifts, I start drinking them after the Super Bowl. No harm, no foul.

In recent years, the wow factor of my annual brown bag Christmas gift has been fading. Plus, I’m getting vibes neither the little kids nor their parents seem to appreciate it. This Christmas, I am going to try something new. Each person requiring a holiday gift will receive a t-shirt and an envelope. Printed on the t-shirts will be the name and the image of a young horse. Inside the envelope will be a card. When they open the card, they will read these words:

The above is a brilliant plan that I co-opted (full story here).

Consider the implications and the efficiency. After all, I already bought the yearling and changed the name to Festivus Miracle. The cost of staking for Miracle will be minimal. The whole ride will be approximately $20,000. Gifting or not, I am on the hook for this amount. My bottom line does not change.

This gifting plan is beautiful on many levels.

First, and most obvious, if the horse is a dud, the gifts do not cost me a dime. Second, if the horse is excellent, I will be thrilled to hand over money to the giftees, and I will actually have the purse money to turn over to the one percent giftees. Third, no shopping. Fourth, the gift serves as a potential recruiting entrée to our sport. And fifth, no more Super Bowl wine hangovers for me.

No wrapping. No returns. No malls. No bottles of wine in my trunk. The Festivus Miracle gift brings the allusion of being very valuable and has a longer shelf life than a fruitcake.

Frank Costanza would be proud.