December 24th, 2013
04:32 AM ET

The Origins of Festivus

"Seinfeld" writer Dan O'Keefe says his father, an editor at "Reader's Digest," created the Festivus holiday nearly fifty years.

O'Keefe says, for his dad, the appeal of the holiday was that it wasn't beholden to anything political or religious, but the writer says he never wanted it to be on the show in the first place.

O'Keefe, speaking with "New Day" Tuesday, said: "Actually I didn't want to put it on TV. It was sort of a family disgrace, and then my younger brother let it slip that this went on, so the other writers and Jerry said, yeah, 'we'd like to give this to America.' I said I don't think America wants it at all or should have it, but they prevailed upon me and now the chicken's have come home to roost."

To hear more about the differences between Seinfeld's version of Festivus and what happened in real life, watch the video above.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. chaz11222

    And I suppose that you'll want the WHOLE day off this Christmas, 
dear members Festivus celebrants?
As a confirmed (and baptized) non-believer,
 someone that is trying to free himself from the 
social, cultural, and personal chains & shackles of religion, 
I paraphrase (and corrupt) the poet William Wordsworth
as follows: 
Christmas is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; 
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
 We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
 This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
 The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, 
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
 It moves us not. –Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
 So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
 Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
 Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
 Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.
    P..S. On a more mundane note: 
I walked into my local RiteAid store last week, and got bombarded with song after song on their loudspeakers –songs that included the word "Christ", over and over again. 
Don't these people realize that NYC is the most diverse city in the world–with people of all faiths, and plenty of non-believers- good people who don't recognize anyone named Christ as their so-called "savior". 
That's not "hateful" – it's just a fact.
 Jungle Bells yes, ....somebody else's religion stuffed down my throat, no, no, no.

    December 26, 2013 at 12:07 am | Reply
  2. caryl

    Nothing wrong with a pole BUT when a self admitted alcoholic with an arrest record for disobeying a court ordered restraining order makes the pole out of beer cans that kids can see, I have a problem with that. This misfit is exactly that: A MISFIT.

    December 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  3. Brenda Nero

    Only in America

    December 24, 2013 at 8:58 am | Reply

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