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Monday, June 17, 2013

3 Steps to Creating Your Own "Festivus"

I love holidays. I enjoy spending time with my family, eating, getting time off from work, reminiscing, and remembering why we celebrate. Holidays are great.

However, Christmas is still sometime away. So are Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Year's. We do have the Fourth of July coming up but then after that there is a dearth of holidays until the end of October.

Never fear. I have an answer.

Festivus. Well, maybe not Festivus exactly but the idea of it. Back in the 1990's I would occasionally watch the television show Seinfeld. In one episode George (the short, bald guy) has to explain, and then endure, a holiday he claims his father invented. It is called Festivus. Here's a YouTube clip that explains.

While Festivus itself doesn't really solve the problem of this summer time lack of holidays the idea of creating a holiday unique to your marriage and your family is a great one. Think how fun it would be to create a brand new holiday for your family. You can designate whatever day you would like, you can even celebrate it more than once each year if you so desire!

The important thing is to create it with your spouse and family. It should be a group effort. Here are the steps:
  1. Pick the day. It really doesn't matter when unless you are tying your holiday to a special event in the family's past. Just find a day that works and fits your calendar.
  2. Determine how it is to be celebrated. Will there be a family meal? Maybe breakfast (I can't think of another holiday where the traditional meal is breakfast). Are you going to have a tree? What about exchanging gifts? Are friends invited? Are there special songs that will be sung? Have fun with this. You can make the holiday as elaborate or simple as your family decides. Just have fun!
  3. Name the holiday. Pick something creative and unique. Remember, it's your holiday. You can name it whatever you want. For my family we might name it something like "Super Duper Cooper Day" (yes, I realize that this is REALLY corny but hey, it's my holiday). Be creative.
WHAM! You now have a new holiday to celebrate as a family.

Here's an example to help get you started.

Cami and I have a friend that she has known since elementary school. This friend of ours, we call her Kip, has an awesome family and the best parents. At some point when Kip and her siblings were still young her mom decided she was tired of always telling them no. I guess she discussed this with her husband and a new family holiday was established. We don't know if they actually gave it a name but on one day a year their mom would stock the freezer with ice cream. TONS OF ICE CREAM. For that one day the kids could all the ice cream they wanted as long as they obeyed one rule. You had to ask mom for permission.

Why did they have to ask mom for permission? So that she could say YES.

That's all she wanted. She just wanted to say yes all day long instead of no. The kids would invite their friends over and everyone had a great day. Cami still talks about it fondly (she received an invitation to the "celebration" several times over the years) and would love to do something like it when our sons are older. I think it's a great idea. Awesome family holiday!

Just yesterday Cami and I were talking about creating our own family holiday and holding it sometime in July. I don't know what it will end up being but I'm looking forward to it. The other wonderful thing about creating your own holiday and celebrating it is the added closeness it brings to the family. The memories that are created tie family members closer together and strengthen the bonds of friendship.

What is your Festivus going to be? Does your family have a "Festivus" that it celebrates? I would love to hear about it. Please share it with me in the comments. :)

Also, I was able to dig up two more stories of family holidays that are pretty neat. I'll be sharing those with my newsletter subscribers later this week. If you haven't signed up for my free monthly newsletter yet you should totally do it now.


  1. That ice cream example is hilarious. I do like the sentiment but wonder how well (or not so well) they self-regulated? tummies could get upset quick!

  2. Great idea - especially with so much time during the summer!

  3. Such fun! I think I shall work on planning a Festivus for when my family will be together's been too long so there is reason to celebrate!

  4. We've never done this and I'm a Seinfeld fan, but don't remember this episode. But I think this is a GREAT idea, Tyson! I also don't think your name for the family holiday is corny at all! I'm going to talk to my hubby and see if we can slate a special day on our calendar too. Very creative and fun, my friend! Thanks for showing up over at my place with your link. I hope others join in this new-found tradition ... to Festivus!

  5. I love it! What a great idea to bring a family closer too! Thank you for spreading JOY and sharing at the Oh What a HAPPY Day party.

    Holly at Not Done Growing

  6. Oh my gosh! My family quotes that episode, it was ridiculous! I am going to declare Festivus this summer! I think it will involve swimming all day and night and ice cream- I love the ice cream idea! Great post!

  7. So funny:) I love Seinfeld...cute idea - thanks for sharing!

  8. I love the idea! It's so hard that during the hottest days and when parents REALLY need a break, there are no days to take off except July 4th. I will definitely have to run this by my husband. I'm sure we can do something fun!


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