Like many of you, I’m sure, wearing an ugly Christmas sweater was a right of passage of sorts for me growing up. It meant, in some mysterious fashion, that, even before I could vote, I was somehow an upstanding member of society: I brandished my participation in its most marketed holiday across my chest and somehow felt that I counted more as a result. But I also looked downright silly. I know that now, but there was nothing ugly about my ugly Christmas sweater at the time. Only blessed hindsight has revealed the sartorial garishness for what it was, and we can all have a good laugh about it now.
Which brings me to the dare-I-say-it otherworldly splendor of ugly Christmas sweater parties. I haven’t actually been to one (I know, I know—and I call myself an American), but I’m so fond of the idea that I’ve visited more than a reasonable number of ugly sweater sites. Ironically, many of the people wearing the sweaters are not ugly and probably never wore them when they were (cringe) in style. Suffice it to say that handsome young lads in made-for-grandmother stitchery will, well, put you in stitches. (Please, I have an obligation to be corny here.)
And I’m delighted to say that pint-sized and sizable pooches alike have not been left out of the fabric-happy fun. Petfinder has sponsored an ugly Christmas sweater contest for pets. The deadline for entries was Nov. 23, so it’s too late to enter your furry bundle of joy in the contest this year. Christmas itself is still 23 days away, though, so there’s no reason your Snuggles or Sparky or Socks can’t still revel in the joy that is ugly sweaterness for its own sake.
So get out that Santa sweater from 1989, outfit another one from a thrift store for Fifi, and go ugly together. Whether it’s to an actual ugly Christmas sweater party or just a quiet, nostalgic evening at home, you’ll be participating in the new great holiday tradition that’s fast becoming its own right of passage.