Ugly Christmas Sweaters, a long time tradition, have been bringing people together for decades. “My grandma, when she was young, had this sweater that she said was something very out of the ordinary back then,” junior Annie Masek said. “She said she almost got rid of it several times, but somehow it ended up in a box somewhere. Years down the road my mom found it while cleaning out my grandma’s attic and now my mom has passed it on to me. It might seem silly, but I find it so interesting that something like a Christmas sweater once belonged to my grandma, and I get to wear it every year.”
Bringing families and friends together, an ugly Christmas sweater party is a fun holiday tradition many take part in to get in the holiday spirit. “I love when I get to go to an ugly Christmas sweater-themed party. My whole family participates, and we each buy a new one every year,” sophomore Cecilia Regan said.
With all of the stress the holiday season can bring, it is nice to have those traditions that are light and fun. Making an ugly sweater with friends or family, whether it is painting on a blank sweater or knitting your own, are great DIYs to get in the spirit of the season. “My grandma knits Christmas sweaters for our family every year. When she was on her last one she ran out of supplies, so she ended up making one with all of the scraps she had left and it is always a fun topic of discussion during family get-togethers,” senior Grace Walsh said.
Ugly Christmas sweaters started making an appearance in the 1950s. Originally called “Jingle Bell Sweaters,” they became popular very fast with all of the Christmas advertisements. In the ’80s, “The Cosby Show” started the trend of wearing sweaters with more creative colors and designs. In the ’90s, there were fewer and fewer ugly Christmas sweaters, but the trend never completely died. Luckily in the early 2000s, the tradition of ugly Christmas sweaters made a big reappearance in the media and back in people’s homes.
At first in the ’50s, the intention was for the sweaters to be joyful and pretty instead of “ugly” but over the years the trend of buying ugly Christmas sweaters started to grow and is now a fun holiday tradition for many. With such a long history, many of the ugly Christmas sweaters people hold close to their heart come with an interesting back-story.