What expectations did you have going into the holidays, and how were they shattered? Do you feel that the wonder and mystery of Christmas no longer hold any allure for you now that you’re an adult? Friends, have no fear. Ugly sweaters are here to save the day on National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.
On National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, you can let loose and be the real you, rather than the buttoned-down, corporate version of yourself you’ve come to despise. First and foremost, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day was created to restore the joy to the holidays.
Therefore, on National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, you should not wear the following: a school uniform, a preppy office blouse, or a suit. It’s National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, so all you need is your tackiest holiday sweater to celebrate the day.
History Of National Ugly Sweater Day
There have been ugly sweaters for as long as there has been a concept of fashion. Sometimes they were the result of an accident, such as when a knitter made a mistake or when an artist tried out a new technique with disappointing results.
It didn’t take long, though, before grandmas all over the world were knitting “ugly Christmas sweaters” for their grandchildren, complete with tinsel and “I love Grandma” lettering. These people were experts in their field. Your grandmas are keeping an eye on you.
But the 1980s were the first decade in which ugly sweaters were marketed to the masses for the sake of being ugly. Bill Huxtable, a popular character on The Cosby Show, would regularly stun fashionistas by entering the scene wearing an outrageously garish, ugly, yet endearing sweater. In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, released in 1989, Chevy Chase gave the story a new spin as Clark Griswold.
It seemed like the nineties were eager to put an end to the ugly sweater trend, but here we are in the twenty-first century, and Canadians are once again wearing them. Two men in Vancouver had the idea to host the first-ever “official” tacky holiday sweater party to benefit a friend’s cancer treatment. Successful as it was, the party paved the way for others of its kind to spring up all over the northern hemisphere.
Large-scale, often charitable, ugly sweater parties have evolved from intimate holiday celebrations. One of the most anticipated events of the holiday season now involves finding the ugliest sweater possible to wear to a party or competition. They used to be accidentally tacky, but now they’re deliberately shameless. The only thing that could make this party more extravagant is if it were a national holiday… oh, wait! You bet!
Activities To Do On National Ugly Sweater Day
Repurpose a drab sweater into something fabulous.
Get inspired by the pioneers of the ugly sweater movement and visit your neighbourhood thrift store in search of an ugly sweater that deserves a second chance at fame. Sweaters come in all shapes and sizes, colours, and decorations, so there’s always a chance to find something special.
Knit an unflattering sweater for yourself.
Gather your pals and design your own hideous sweaters. A couple of plain sweaters and some adhesives like tape or hot glue will get you started. Grab all the gaudy trimmings you can find, such as tinsel, lights, or even googly eyes, and get to work. As in, who can come up with the ugliest one?
Hold an ugly sweater party to help those in need.
Why not help others while commemorating Ugly Sweater Day? Put on an ugly-sweater party, jog in your sweater, or bake sale to raise money for a cause you care about.
Facts About National Ugly Sweater Day
- One could say that it all began as a joke.
A thrift shop has seen an excessive influx of ugly sweaters knitted by aunts and uncles or ridiculously embellished with holiday trimmings. That’s why they’re selling them cheap—as a joke.
- The hipsters probably had a hand in it.
According to popular belief, hipsters, who are known for making cultural outliers into mainstream phenomena, are to blame for the “ugly sweater” craze.
- The economy is thriving.
The market for ugly Christmas sweaters increased by 200% between 2012 and 2015.
- Everyone would like to share in the bounty.
Since the surge, shops are producing their own take on the ugly sweater, and secondhand shops are capitalising on the fad by advertising their holiday finds.
- In fact, you can even buy tacky sweaters featuring famous people’s faces.
The likes of Beyoncé and Bill Murray are among the celebrities who have joined the ugly sweater craze by having their likenesses embroidered on the garments.
If it weren’t for National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, many people’s colourful, brash, and (in most cases) highly embarrassing novelty Christmas sweaters would never see the light of day.
Who would have guessed that something so hideous could also be so adored? Cute little pooches with squashed faces or a bunch of idiocy? Fine! Shoes that are absolutely repulsive to look at but are amazingly cosy? Dandy! However, tacky sweaters for the holidays…
There is no specialised term in English to describe something that is both unsightly and highly valued, but this is not the case in other languages. Busakawa is the Japanese word for it. Pretty lady in French. Also, the point is that some things in life are so repulsive that they’re actually stunning in their ugliness.
We celebrate the ugly but beloved with National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.