Happy Festivus for the rest of us!

We commemorate this day with the traditional Festivus customs:

  • We have our Festivus Pole, an aluminum flagpole once used in the Roosevelt’s Hyde Park home, Springwood.
  • For Festivus Dinner we have a Soya meatloaf. This WWII era poster claims that if you use Soya you use up to 25% less beef. Yum!
  • Of course we have the Airing of Grievances. Not every American was a fan of the Roosevelts and they often wrote to the President and First Lady to make their feelings known. The first letter from Miss Todd of New York makes it clear that no one wants to hear about Fala’s love life. In the second from Mr. Phipps of Milwaukee, he calls FDR a “smiling, wasteful, and fickle Prima Donna politician.” Ouch.
  • Festivus is not over until the head of the household has been bested in a Feat of Strength! In this photo from July 1925, Anna Roosevelt has her mother Eleanor pinned on the lawn of Val-Kill.

We hope you have a great Festivus! Come to the Roosevelt Library and see our temporary exhibit The Spirit of the Gift: Gifts of State and Affection. The exhibit has been extended through January 3, 2016. It’s a Festivus Miracle!


Rand Paul’s HAPPY FESTIVUS tweets go after rivals

He’s got a lot problems with these people, and now you’re going to hear about it!

It may not help him rise in the polls – maybe he should have used a Festivus pole, right? – but Sen. Rand Paul certainly gets a nod for creativity for using the tradition that began as a hilarious “Seinfeld” episode to take shots at his political rivals. 

Read and see more at MSNBC.com.

It’s Festivus!  Have you put up your metal pole yet?

Man-Made Christmas Tree, 1946: Ship-fitter Third Class James M. West of South Carolina, is shown “trimming” the “tree.”

(While a true Festivus Pole should be unadorned, this could be from an early proto-Festivus celebration.)

Next up: some airing of grievances.


Cannot wait for the 23rd!

Holidays & Days of Note for December 23

*   Noche de Rábanos “Night of the Radishes” (Oaxaca, Mexico) While it lasts only a few hours a very popular festival that attracts thousands of people to the plaza. It consists of an exhibition of sculptures made from a type of large red radish which can weigh up to 3 kilos in weight, (over 6 pounds,) and 50 cm (over a foot and a half) in length, especially grown for this event and left in the ground for months after the normal harvests to let them attain their giant size and unusual shapes. 

*   Larentalia (Roman) Seventh and Last day of Saturnalia, on this day offerings were made to household spirits known as lares and the dead, especially at the shrine of Acca Larentia, the nurse of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. A sacrifice was offered on the spot where Acca Larentia was said to have disappeared. 

*   Festivus (made famous on an episode of Sinfield, but around before that and actually followed by a few people, more or less.) “A festivus for the rest of us”.