Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Holiday Traditions: The Ugly Christmas Sweater


Christmas is a time for putting up pretty decorations, so why do we insist on wearing ugly Christmas sweaters? I have often wondered how this all started and that is typically how my ideas come for the tradition posts.

It used to be that our grandparents and older relatives were the ones sporting these loud, overly embellished tacky garments, but now the tradition of wearing these sweaters has picked up steam and we see more and more of the younger generations participating in this fun or should I say funny tradition.

These hideous holiday versions started to show up over the last several decades starting around 2001. It use to be that many of these sweaters were found at Vintage stores and Goodwill, but they are now popping up at major department stores in the States such as H&M and Nordstrom.

These sweaters have been themes for many holiday parties and I have even seen them as theme's on many of the on line challenges that we all participate in. It has even reached the entertainment industry where we have seen late night talk show hosts with segments around Ugly Christmas Sweaters.

The enthusiasm and tradition of these sweaters is not limited to the U.S. Christmas Jumpers, which is another word for sweaters in the U.K. are traditionally worn there as well.

So whether you participate in this tradition accidentally by just wearing one of those "festive" holiday sweaters to keep warm and join the holiday spirit, or wear them only on a special occasion, like a theme party, these Christmas sweaters are undeniably a tradition, albeit a new one, that adds to the warm and fuzzy feelings of not only childhood memories, but fun festivities as well.

Allison Berry. (2011). A Brief history of the Ugly Christmas Sweater.Available: Last accessed 09/22/2015.

Image courtesy of:


susan said...

Count me as one of the "oldies!" I LOVE the Christmas sweaters!

Megan J said...

Hi Monica, people in colder climates may wear ugly jumpers/sweaters in Australia some people wear our equivalent ugly Christmas t-shirts or singlet tops for similar occasions they are frequently seen at many of our outdoor Christmas carols by candlelight events. ...thank you for the fun tradition information. ...Megan