It was only a few years ago that I realized there was a firm date for Festivus — the anti-holiday holiday popularized by Seinfeld in 1997. Previously, I thought Festivus floated around the Gregorian calendar, Hanukkah style, occasionally landing on my birthday, which is December 23 (today!). Checking the official Festivus website right now, I see there was a legitimate reason for my confusion. It says:
“According to the Seinfeld model, Festivus is celebrated on December 23rd. However many people celebrate it other times in December and even at other times throughout the year.”
But based on social media posts and the occasional Festivus party I’m invited to, December 23 is by far the most popular Festivus day. You’d think I’d remember that, considering the birthday connection, but I never do until someone wishes me a Happy Festivus. I think that’s because the Festivus customs include a plain pole, feats of strength, and the airing of grievances — an ordinary day for me.
On my 55th birthday (OMGWTF!), I embraced the pole and displayed feats of strength at Butchie Gamble‘s class at Body & Pole. I also wore my custom-made “No Country for Old Men” angry-uterus tank top to sneak in some grievance-airing during class.
But I really aired my grievances before class, when I called three New York state senators, New York’s governor Kathy Hochul, and assorted other elected officials. Hochul — a Democrat who promised to keep New York a pro-abortion state — is trying to promote the anti-abortion, anti-union, anti-everything Hector LaSalle to the highest judicial position in the state. She’s getting a lot of angry feedback, so if you’re a resident of New York State, I encourage you to add to the fury. I’ve got all the info you need right here. Don’t worry about it being the weekend and the multi-holiday season and so on. You can send your grievance-filled emails and leave your angry voice messages anytime tonight or this weekend.
If you want to celebrate my birthday instead of or in addition to Festivus, I have a “Spacenook” fundraiser for a Texas abortion fund going on (it’s my pinned post right now). Any contribution is appreciated and helps provide financial and emotional support to people who need help accessing an abortion in Texas.
If knowing who to call and where to donate appeals to you, sign up for my weekly activism newsletter. I’ve written it for five years, so I have a lot of information to share. I started out entirely New York-focused but, due to requests from all over the country, I now try to include national options for all listings. You can check out past issues and subscribe from the same page.
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You don’t have to do everything listed in the newsletter, of course. You don’t even have to do something every week (though I make it really easy to do that by constantly reminding people about Resistbot). Commit to doing just one action — which could easily be a two-minute email, or a walk by a local protest to take a photo to share online — and see how you feel after. I’ll wager you’ll get more satisfaction from airing your daily grievances to the people in power rather than to your friends, at your television screen, or to the Nazis on Elon Musk’s Twitter. Try it! You’ll like it!
Sheila (of Ephemera) says
Happy Birthday, Wendy and rock on with your badassery in all aspects of your life. I join you at 55 – I know, WTF!
Kudos for airing your grievances and making a difference! Happy Hanukkah!
Happy everything to you too!
And 55 … JUST HOW and WHEN?!? I remember when this was my grandmother’s age! OMG!