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Happy Festivus! Air Those Grievances

I love Festivus because it frees the part of my personality that I am told I should suppress–the gripey, complainy part.

(What’s Festivus? Watch the video here.)

Perhaps I shouldn’t admit to having anything in common with Frank Costanza. And I’d rather skip the Feats of Strength part of the holiday. And I haven’t put up a Festivus pole this year.

But the Airing of the Grievances? I’m all over it.

I’m not good at being a little ray of sunshine. I’m a pessimist and enjoy what I call recreational bitching and moaning. And I have found some good that can come of negative conversation—I wrote about it here.

Plus, there’s some evidence that seeing all the happy updates from Facebook friends makes people unhappy.

So to air a grievance, I have to admit that I do get a little weary of people whose Facebook updates are relentlessly upbeat. And this is especially true during holidays.

I know…that’s churlish of me. But from time to time, I have to hide people whose holidays always appear so Hallmark card cozy they make me feel like a sad loser. Not that my holidays are unhappy–they are always filled with love and friends and sometimes family (of which I have very little, though lots of wonderful in-laws)–but the photos of family homecomings and Christmas cookie-baking get-togethers and posts of sentimental gratitude wear me down after a while and I find myself thinking shameful thoughts, like “Well, bully for you.”

I wish all my friends joy and happiness. Really. I do. And I am glad for them and their loved ones.

But before we coast into the chestnut roasting and carol singing of this weekend, I am glad to take a moment to celebrate Festivus, the Festival for the Rest of Us. I have grievances.

This doesn’t mean anyone has to do anything about them. I’m just airing them to celebrate. Please feel free to do the same in the comments. Go ahead, get it out of your system. ‘Tis the season! (The overuse of that phrase is also among my grievances.)

Happy Festivus!

Happy Festivus! Air Those Grievances

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APA Reference
Dembling, S. (2011). Happy Festivus! Air Those Grievances. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 8, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Dec 2011
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