Festivus is one of the newer winter holidays, joining the ranks of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. While these more established holidays revolve around religious and cultural celebration, Festivus started as one family’s tradition. In a relatively short amount of time, the Festivus (usually held on December 23rd) has become a niche part of Western culture. I can tell you more about how the holiday started in a minute, but for now let’s focus on how to mix this wonderful cocktail, the Festivus.
- 2 oz citrus infused vodka
- 1 oz gingerbread liqueur
- 2 oz cranberry juice
- Garnish of maraschino cherry
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and maybe even an orange wheel for good measure.
The Festivus cocktail is an uncomplicated drink; it should take you only abouttwo minutes to put together.Although Festivus is a newer winter holiday, the Festivus drink is wildly popular on and around the 23rd of December. There is a good balance between the cranberry, citrus, and gingerbread flavors that earn this cocktail a spot among the pantheon of holiday favorites.
The History of Festivus
Many people think that Festivus started as the storyline of a Seinfeld episode, in which George’s father establishes his own holiday. Few people know that sitcom writer Daniel O’Keefe actually experienced this and more growing up. The events in the ninth season episode, “The Strike”, were inspired by Daniel O’Keefe’s father, who created Festivus after reading a 1966 book on obscure holidays. The O’Keefe Festivus was celebrated anytime between December and May, although the very first Festivus took place in February 1966. This original date was chosen in celebration of the first date between the elder Dan O’Keefe and his future wife.
During the Festivus celebration as depicted on Seinfeld, a plain aluminum pole is utilized in place of a Christmas tree. This is due to the ease of maintenance as well as the anti-commercialism aspect of the holiday. During the Festivus dinner, an Airing of Grievances is held. This is in sharp contrast to the tradition of Thanksgiving; perhaps honesty is more cathartic? “Festivus miracles” are attributed to everyday, explainable events. The meal may be whatever the family chooses, although it seems that no alcohol is traditionally served. The Festivus celebration cannot end until Feats of Strength are performed. This usually means that the male head of the household must be pinned in a wrestling match, although this practice may differ from family to family. Real world Festivus revelers do not usually enforce the more radical elements of the holiday. Feats of Strength are not frequently observed, although the aluminum pole and Airing of Grievances are common.
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