Nobody’s going to label the Seinfeld crew as being full of the Christmas spirit. Sure, they’re not total Scrooges, but they definitely don’t give off a peace and goodwill towards men kinda vibe. Really, they’re just not any good at celebrating Christmas, New Year’s, or even Festivus for that matter. There are lessons to be learned from their holiday blunders though — mostly don’t do what they do — it’s all in how you approach the season.
Should you be in need of a jolt of the holiday spirit, let this Seinfeld holiday guide steer you towards merriment and joy this December.
Celebrate New And Old Traditions
While most holiday traditions seem commonplace now, there was most definitely a time in history when decorating a pine tree seemed a little odd. George Costanza doesn’t see it when his father Frank (Jerry Stiller) creates Festivus, but there’s probably nothing like the excitement of participating in a new holiday tradition.
Entirely separate from Christmas and basically a family embarrassment for George, it’s a welcomed change of pace for Kramer. Should you get invited to partake in holiday festivity you haven’t done before — an ugly sweater party or feats of strength competition, perhaps — try to follow Kramer’s example and jump in with an open mind.
Spend Time With Family And Friends
Yes, it’s basically the theme of every holiday movie ever, but spending time with those closest to you is a big part of the season. Holidays at the Costanza house aren’t exactly Norman Rockwell picturesque, though. There’s yelling, wrestling, and random creepy dudes aplenty.
Rather than telling everyone at the dinner table how much they mean to him, Frank Costanza uses it as an opportunity to lash out at his guests. This approach probably won’t make for a joyous holiday dinner, so if you can’t say something nice to that relative sitting across from you at dinner, maybe save the airing of grievances for January.
Avoid Mixing In Politics If Possible
Listen, if you made it through Thanksgiving without unloading your political opinion on others, you can make it until New Year’s. Let Kramer’s mistake be a lesson: you want to be careful of where and when you engage in political discussions. Kramer had landed himself a pretty sweet gig as a department store Santa with his buddy Mickey, but then he had to screw it up by pushing his Communist propaganda on unsuspecting children. And no kid likes a stingy Santa.
Don’t Overdue It At The Office Christmas Party
Free booze, free food, and the liberty to roll into the office the next day a couple of hours late — what’s not to like about the office holiday party? How about the pressure if you’re new to the company or recently promoted to management? Truth is, unlike a lot of carefree attendees, you’ve gotta take it easy on the booze and steer clear of the dance floor lest you make the wrong kind of impression.
Elaine was lucky in that she was seen dancing like she was having a seizure in a time before cell phone cameras and YouTube. You’re not so fortunate.
Spread The Holiday Spirit
Everybody loves getting a card in the mail, just make sure you give those pictures a thorough examination to make sure there are no stray nips or downed zippers. Better yet, just don’t hire somebody like Kramer to take the picture.
Avoid The Perils Of Re-Gifting
While re-gifting might not have the greatest reputation, it’s still better than tossing that unwanted gift in the garbage. The key is to be careful of how you re-gift a present. For one, you’re going to want to avoid the George Costanza pattern of trying to unload a defective gift — in his case a stained cashmere sweater — on numerous people.
Remember To Think Of Others
It’s important to point out that in no way should George Costanza be a role model for giving to others. After all, this is a man who pushed over children and old women to escape a fire. Making a donation to a charitable cause in lieu of a gift, is certainly a nice thing to do, but might rub some people the wrong way. Especially, if it’s a charity they’re totally unfamiliar with. George, of course, feels he’s been slighted with this donation made in his name, but then takes it upon himself to skip out on giving gifts by setting up his own phony charity — The Human Fund. Part of what makes the holidays special is the generosity of giving to others less fortunate. Just make sure that any “money for people” you give or ask others to give to, is going to an actual cause and not a Costanza-type scam so you can avoid spending next Christmas in prison.
Plan Your New Year’s Celebration Accordingly
The idea of going all out with a bang to mark the end of the year and beginning of a new one can be a lot of pressure. Especially if you’re placed in the position of Kramer who’s forced to choose between celebrating with either Newman or Jerry. Newman had been planning his Newmanium party since 1976 and wasn’t about to begin a new year, let alone a new century with Jerry present. Newman’s downfall was ultimately poor planning and booking his party spot for New Year’s Eve 2001. Take note, if you want to avoid an evening that’s a total failure and “thus, quite lame” don’t wait until 9 p.m. on December 31st to figure out where you want to get your party on.
With any luck, your holidays will go a little smoother than they have for the Seinfeld gang. Who knows, maybe you’ll even witness a Festivus miracle.