Festivus in NYC guide

Sick of crazed holiday shoppers? Head to these Festivus events or grab some merch in the spirit of Seinfeld’s anti-holiday.
EastVille Comedy Club
Photograph: Courtesy EastVille Comedy Club
By Annalise Mantz and Jennifer Picht |
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It’s a Festivus for the rest of us! Don’t suffer through the merriest time of the year alone. If you tire of unwanted Christmas caroling and find Christmas lights distracting, attend one or more of these antiholiday bashes in NYC that Frank Costanza would totally approve. Prefer to throw your own Festivus in the comfort of your home? We’ve sourced some of the best Festivus merchandise on the market. These items certainly make unique holiday gifts, y’know, if you’re feeling less Scroogey.

Festivus events in NYC

Things to do, Trivia

Seinfeld Trivia Extravaganza & Airing of Grievances

Think you know “The Strike” episode of Seinfeld better than anyone? Assemble a group of antiholiday people (a total of four) to test your Festivus knowledge during Trivia AD’s head-scratching quiz night. After many beers and some tough trivia rounds, you may have to host your own Festivus dinner where you gather your friends and tell them all the ways they have disappointed you this year.

Ro Fino
Photograph: Courtesy Barbara FG
Things to do

A Singlecut Festivus

Head to this Queens brewery and jam out with local musician and comedian Ro Fino as she performs her monthly “show of resistance.” Fino plays her fittingly titled single, “Airing of Grievances,” followed by a public ventfest. To make things extra ugly, visitors are encouraged to sport grotesque Christmas sweaters, which will conveniently hide your gut after stuffing your face with all those gratis muffin tops.

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EastVille Comedy Club
Photograph: Courtesy EastVille Comedy Club
Comedy, Stand-up

Festivus! A Sorta Holiday Comedy Show

The best way to soften your hatred for Christmas? Have a laugh! Luckily, Brad Stoll and Freddy G—two self-hating comedic Jews who can’t bear the line for the Rockefeller Christmas tree—can help. An ace group of funny folks (Mike Cannon, Ian Lara, Nathan Macintosh and more) dish their best jokes to provide a little anti-Christmas cheer.

Syndicated
Photograph: Zandy Mangold
Things to do

Black Christmas Screening

Some holiday movies are about a reindeer with a red nose; others focus on an elf from the North Pole. This 1974 Christmas flick is about a less jolly subject: murder. If this speaks to your Santa-hating heart, watch a bunch of sorority sisters try to claw their way out of their winter break from hell at a dine-in movie joint.

Everything you need to throw your own Festivus

Festivus Pole and Cards
Photograph: Courtesy Bed Bath and Beyond

A Festivus pole

Per George Costanza’s family Festivus traditions, the only decoration this holiday requires is one plain aluminum pole. This small version would be perfect for New York studio apartments too small for a Christmas tree. Plus, it comes with three greeting cards for the anti-holiday.

20-Inch Festivus Pole, $19.99 on bedbathandbeyond.com

Happy Festivus Cards
Photograph: Courtesy Red Bubble

Donations to the Human Fund

After a few of his coworkers make charitable donations in his name, George gets a great idea for a way to save a few bucks around the holidays. He gives out cards to his coworkers and tells them he made donations to the Human Fund in lieu of gifts. The only problem? The Human Fund doesn’t exist. Seinfeld fans will certainly appreciate getting these Festivus cards instead of traditional greeting cards this holiday season.

Happy Festivus Cards, $4 on redbubble.com

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World Heavyweight Championship Belt
Photograph: Courtesy Target

A prize worth fighting over

After the Festivus dinner and Airing of Grievances, it’s time for the Feats of Strength: the wrestling match between the head of the household and a guest of their choosing. Convince any unwilling participants to battle it out with this WWE-style championship belt that almost looks real.

World Heavyweight Championship Belt, $18.49 on target.com

Festivus T-Shirt
Photograph: Courtesy Red Bubble

Holiday attire

Leave the ugly Christmas sweaters and Santa hats at home: You need a different kind of holiday outfit for a Festivus party. This graphic tee featuring the rules of Festivus would certainly be appropriate.

Festivus T-Shirt, $19.50 on redbubble.com

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Festivus Drinking Glasses
Photograph: Courtesy Cafe Press

Decorative glasses

You might need something stronger than hot cocoa to get through your family’s Airing of Grievances. Sip your beverage of choice from these holiday-themed pint glasses.

Festivus Drinking Glasses, $14.99 on cafepress.com

No Soup for You! Spoon
Photograph: Courtesy Amazon

The only spoon you need

Though gifts aren’t a traditional part of the Festivus celebrations, this spoon inspired by the harsh words of the Soup Nazi would make a fun gift for a Seinfeld lover. The grouchy saying fits with the spirit of the holiday, too.

No Soup for You! Spoon, $14.99 on amazon.com

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The Connected Characters of Seinfeld
Photograph: Courtesy Pop Chart Lab

Proper decorations

Technically, the Festivus pole is the only traditional decoration for the holiday. Still, this poster connecting each and every character who appeared on Seinfeld would be particularly appropriate on December 23.

The Connected Characters of Seinfeld, $37 on popchartlab.com

The Airing of Grievances Journal
Photograph: Courtesy Amazon

The perfect gift

Not sure your family can handle the outpouring of complaints and frustrations during the Airing of Grievances? Just give everyone their own private journal for writing down their issues.

The Airing of Grievances Journal, $4.99 on amazon.com

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Festivus Board Game
Photograph: Courtesy Amazon

An alternate activity

If you’re celebrating Festivus for the first time, start the evening off by playing this board game. Since each challenge mirrors a key part of the celebration, the game would be ideal for Festivus newbies who aren’t super familiar with the holiday.

Festivus Board Game, $24.99 on amazon.com

Want to celebrate Christmas after all?

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