I confess, I was never much of a Seinfeld watcher, so I never knew anything about Festivus. Turns out the show's writers didn't completely make it up.
The actual inventor of Festivus is Dan O'Keefe, 76, whose son Daniel, a writer on Seinfeld, appropriated a family tradition for the episode. The elder O'Keefe was stunned to hear that the holiday, which he minted in 1966, is catching on. "Have we accidentally invented a cult?" he wondered.
To postulate grandly, the rise of Festivus, a bare-bones affair in which even tinsel is forbidden, may mean that Americans are fed up with the commercialism of the December holidays and are yearning for something simpler. Or it could be that Festivus is the perfect secular theme for an all-inclusive December gathering (even better than Chrismukkah, popularized by the television show The O.C.).
Or maybe, postulating smally, it's just irresistibly silly.