A Rant On Ugly Christmas Sweaters

I know it's unseemly to rant during this season of "peace on earth, good will toward men" but I really have to get something off my chest about ugly Christmas sweaters.

I'm not sure when the trend of buying and wearing ugly Christmas sweaters became a thing, but it seems to have been around for a quite a few years now. And I want to register a strong objection.

To be clear, I'm not opposed to the wearing of an ugly Christmas sweater. My issue is what constitutes a legitimate ugly Christmas sweater.

My problem is how you can go into a store nowadays and buy an intentionally designed ugly Christmas sweater. I'm sure you've seen this in stores, sections of sweaters that were made intentionally ugly so that you can purchase your "ugly Christmas sweater" to wear to a Christmas party. This is such a thing that at many parties there will be an "ugly Christmas sweater" contest, a prize going to the most hideous entry.

I object to all of this. And here is why: It's not all that hard or interesting to intentionally make something ugly. And even more importantly, to make a sweater intentionally ugly goes against the whole idea of the ugly Christmas sweater.

Ugly Christmas sweaters became a thing because people looked back at old Christmas photos and noticed the ugly sweaters from decades past. Those sweaters are absolutely hilarious. But this is the key and critical part: Those sweaters are hilarious because the people wearing them thought they looked good! Those sweaters weren't intentionally worn to be ugly. It's only in hindsight that we find them so hilarious.

Today's ugly Christmas sweater craze is totally different. It's purposeful ugliness. And I find nothing interesting about that. How hard is it to make something ugly? And why is it funny that someone purposefully bought something purposefully designed to be ugly? I just don't get it.

And let me add this. Not sure if you noticed this, but a lot of what passes for "ugly Christmas sweaters" are actually ugly Christmas sweatshirts. Why does no one point this out? That your ugly Christmas sweater isn't actually a sweater?

All that to say this. Here is my rule about ugly Christmas sweaters. The only sweaters that are legitimate ugly Christmas sweaters are vintage and used Christmas sweaters. If you find an ugly Christmas sweater at Goodwill or a thrift store, or in your grandfather's closet, you probably have yourself a legitimate ugly Christmas sweater.

But if you're buying your ugly Christmas sweater off the rack at a retail store? Please. What you bought is ugly, and it might be a sweater, but it's not an ugly Christmas sweater.

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