On the evening of Dec. 23, equal parts strangers and friends gathered for a dinner party known as Festivus. The holiday “for the rest of us” is a “Seinfeld” creation that involves a metal pole instead of a Christmas tree, 9 beast stew (usually cioppino; this year Mia switched it up with delicious rigatoni), feats of strength (a game of liar’s dice instead of wrestling, for us), the airing of grievances from the year and a wacky white elephant gift exchange.
Several times throughout the night I overheard people say, “What happens at Festivus, stays at Festivus.” I think that’s best, but here is a little peak at what I’m pretty sure is OK to share of one of my favorite holiday traditions with friends.
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With this group of hunters, fishermen-and-women and winemakers, I’m never surprised at the amazing food, like this wild-caught duck and pheasant (Monica also brought deer sausage and cranberry mustard – wow):
There was a massive-sized bottle of Cabernet, but everyone wanted Anu’s homemade wine:
People makin’ friends:
And getting their grub and 49ers game on:
Like one big dysfunctional family:
My favorite newlyweds:
The grievances commenced. Mia got rowdy about nickels and their creepy soft edges. Others ranted about audits, menopause, women and Starbucks customers.
And later, we heard the Festivus story before the white elephant gift exchange:
Only random was expected: A wire dress form, a Twinkie maker, a Don Quixote statue, a whip.
And then we sang Kristy’s praises as we dove into her homemade chocolate cake with caramel and sea salt made by her husband’s family in the Phillipines. Pure amazingness — the cake and Festivus.