Festivus founder Frank Costanza

Photo courtesy Sony Pictures

­­Ah, the holidays. In Hallmark cards, it's a time when family and friends gather together a­round the fireplace to relax and reflect on all the great things that have happened in the previous year. Every nook and cranny is decorated to perfection with elaborate ornamentation and every gift is exactly what you always wanted. There's plenty of milk and cookies, and Grandpa tells magical tales of how he saved the '43 Christmas with only a chicken drumstick, an old sled, and a hacksaw.

­Unfortunately, real life is no Hallmark card. For many folks, the holidays are filled with visits from people they are glad to see only once a year, gifts that you wouldn't give to your worst enemy, and unsightly decorations that have been known to cause blindness in lab animals. And let's not forget the gargantuan lines at the mall, the inevitable traffic delays on the road, and the mind-numbing, ear-piercing music that is so bad it has been relegated to December airplay only.

Yes, the holidays can be a stressful and near-maddening time. If only there was an alternative to all the caroling, wreath-hanging, consumerism, and yuletiding. Wait a minute ... there is! Any fan of the future TV Hall of Fame sitcom "Seinfeld" knows that there exists a celebration which refuses to comply with the outdated traditions and spectacles of holidays past.

This celebration's name is Festivus. And, in order to complete what HowStuffWorks started with Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa­, HowStuffWorks feels it's only right to give you How Festivus Works.

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