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At a Hanukkah party, Elaine tries avoiding a man in a denim vest as Jerry pursues a date with Gwen. While George complains about Tim Whatley's making a donation in his name to a local charity, Kramer learns that a twelve-year-long strike at the bagel shop where he once worked is over. So, as Kramer returns to work at H and H Bagels, Elaine discovers that a card she gave Denim Vest with a fake phone number on it was one she needed for a free submarine sandwich.
At the betting parlor whose number she's been giving out to undesirable men for years, Elaine asks that they have Denim Vest call her at H and H Bagels. And as Jerry wonders why Gwen seems to alternate between being beautiful one day and ugly the next, George gives his co-workers Christmas cards claiming he's made a donation on their behalf to a charity whose name he's made up. Meanwhile, when he inspires Frank to revive Festivus, a holiday he created as an alternative to Christmas, Kramer can't convince his boss at H and H to give him the day off, forcing him to go out on strike again. So, as Kramer pickets H and H, Elaine waits inside for Denim Vest's call.
When Denim Vest arrives to see Elaine, her mussed up look causes him to give her a fake phone number and leaves before she can get her sandwich card back. And after donating $20,000 to the Human Fund, Mr. Kruger learns it's all a ruse, forcing George to invite him to celebrate Festivus with his family and friends. Finally, as Kruger is attracted to the fake holiday, George unwillingly participates in the family's Festivus traditions.
Elaine's fake phone number spells out "No-Elaine." This number, we learn, is also that of an off-track betting parlor.
Kramer's past and present employer, H and H Bagels, is an actual Manhattan company. Not coincidentally, the Seinfeld writers had bagels shipped from Manhattan to their offices every week.
Some facts about Festivus: It occurs on December 23rd. Frank Costanza made up Festivus after having to shop for a doll for George and having another customer take it. While Frank was beating the hell out of him, he realized that there should be another way to celebrate. Festivus involves a Festivus dinner. This begins with the airing of grievances and the sharing of ways others have disappointed everyone. Instead of a tinsel-covered Christmas tree, there is only a metal pole.
Festivus is based on an actual holiday invented by Dan O'Keefe, one of this episode's co-writers. According to O'Keefe, only the metal Festivus pole was an invention of the show's writers. The rest is based on fact.
This was the final episode of Seinfeld to air before Jerry announced the show was ending on December 25th.
For the first time, we learn that the food at Monk's is not particularly good. In fact, a rubber band is found in George's soup. The name of one of Monk's cooks is revealed to be Paco.
George's made-up charity is called The Human Fund. Its slogan: "money for people."
Soon after this episode aired, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream released a new flavor called "Festivus," named after the fictional holiday.
In this episode, we learn that Kramer reads his VCR Guide for recreational reading.
"Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reach for the last one they hadóbut so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way."
"What happened to the doll?"
"It was destroyed. But out of that, a new holiday was born. 'A Festivus for the rest of us!'"