Club Kramerica celebrates Festivus

Members of Club Kramerica watch a club-produced video during the Club Kramerica Festivus at Allen Hall on Friday evening. Austin Happel

Members of Club Kramerica watch a club-produced video during the Club Kramerica Festivus at Allen Hall on Friday evening. Austin Happel

By Christine Peluso

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a bare aluminum pole. None of that messy tinsel, shiny ornaments or lights. It’s all about minimalism – no gifts, no songs and certainly no yuletide cheer.

Forget the carols and the cookies. Let me air my grievances and dig into a fruitcake so hard I might lose a tooth, or two. Give me that good ole’ non-denominational fake holiday that originated from a television sitcom and somehow became part of the December holiday tradition. Give me a Festivus for the rest of us.

For those of you who do not know the grand history of Festivus, here is the tale. Festivus was invented by Frank Costanza on the TV hit “Seinfeld.” Costanza invented the holiday after coming to blows while fighting for a doll with another man. He felt Christmas had become too commercialized and thus created a holiday slightly more understated.

Instead of a tree, there is an aluminum pole. Where the Costanza family once sang carols, they now take part in the “airing of grievances” where they tell each other how family members disappointed them. Lastly, the family participates in the “feats of strength” where each member tests his or her strength. Festivus concludes with the final feat of strength when another family member pins the head of the household on the ground.

Somehow this strange, bizarre holiday has made it into the holiday lexicon of today’s culture. Bringing this holiday to the rest of us on campus is Club Kramerica.

On Friday, Club Kramerica held its third annual Festivus celebration at Allen Hall. The celebration kicked off with a video airing of grievances. Paul Holze, Club Kramerica President and senior in ACES, was featured walking around campus talking about what disappointed him in 2005. He also interview people around campus and asked them to air their grievances as well.

The final segment of the video, and probably the most entertaining, was when Holze and Alex Verticchio, Club Kramerica vice president and junior in LAS, interviewed students about their knowledge of Festivus and other December holidays.

“The idea was that people know more about Festivus and entertainment than they do legit holidays,” Verticchio said.

Verticchio said the hardest part of filming the video was trying not to laugh at the ridiculous answers they received.

After the airing of grievances, Holze raffled off “Seinfeld” DVD’s. In traditional manner, Festivus concluded when Club Kramerica member and freshman in Engineering Carl Westerby wrestled Holze in hopes of pinning him.

“I had to pull out stunts to get him but I did it,” Westerby said.

After the conclusion of Festivus, attendees were invited to view the “Seinfeld” episode of “The Strike,” where Festivus was first introduced.

While the room was filled, Holze was not concerned with attendance. He used to get upset by the lack of participation, Holze said, but by not coming to events, members are doing more of what the club is about.

“The ideology of nothing really hits home,” he said.

While Holze and Club Kramerica may seem apathetic, Holze is proud of the club’s achievements. He is particularly proud of the Adopt-a-Campus Pathway program the club started. That really made a difference, Holze said.

Like Kramer, they do like to give back every once in awhile, he said.

Club Kramerica also participates in other clubs’ events. Holze said he likes to take events going on and put the “Seinfeld” touch on it. Mooching is key, he said.

“That’s the trick to being successful.”