In 1997, an episode of “Seinfeld” introduced the world to a then-fictional non-denominational holiday known as Festivus. This year, fans are using the holiday as an opportunity to pay tribute to “Seinfeld” star Jerry Stiller, who died on May 11 at the age of 92.
In the “Seinfeld” episode “The Strike,” it’s Stiller’s character, Frank Costanza, who introduced the world to the elements of Festivus, which has since been adopted as a real holiday by those who want to enjoy the season without the commercialism or religious undertones.
Festivus, celebrated on Dec. 23, involves putting up a bare aluminum pole (instead of a decorated tree), and includes a family dinner and traditional practices including “feats of strength” and “the airing of grievances.”
This year, however, most people have had nothing but grievances for months, and series star and creator Jerry Seinfeld took to Twitter to share a suggestion for those celebrating Festivus in 2020.
“Maybe just this once, just for this Festivus 2020, we take pass on the ‘Airing of Grievances,'” Seinfeld wrote on Wednesday.
Maybe just this once, just for this Festivus 2020, we take pass on the “Airing of Grievances”..
— Jerry Seinfeld (@JerrySeinfeld) December 23, 2020
That being said, one way in which many fans paid tribute to Stiller, for the first Festivus since his death, was to embrace the airing of grievances and the act of sharing how this year disappointed them.
One of the biggest disappointments seems to be the passing of Stiller himself, and fans honored his memory all day.
— Andy Hilger (@ahilger1) December 23, 2020
— James Humphreys (@ActuallyJCH) December 23, 2020
— Mark J. Richardson (@mjrichardson_to) December 22, 2020
— Escobar Furious Sr. 🌐 (@EscobarFurious) December 23, 2020
— Zach Brendza (@imxzb) December 23, 2020
— KILLINGspree37 (@KS37PSN) December 23, 2020
Stiller’s death in May was announced by his son, Ben Stiller, who shared the news on Instagram with a heartfelt tribute.
“I’m sad to say that my father, Jerry Stiller, passed away from natural causes. He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years,” he wrote. “He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad.”
See more on the comedy legend’s life and legacy in the video below.