Forget boring old cardigans, the holiday season is all about embracing the glorious mess that is the Ugly Christmas sweater. Clashing colors like a toddler let loose with crayons, enough tinsel to deck a whole forest, and reindeer that look like they’ve seen things. Sequins? Pile ’em on! Bonus points for puns so cheesy they’d make Santa groan, pop culture references your grandma won’t get, and 3D Rudolph noses that practically poke your eye out.
Have you ever wondered where it all started?
It was 2002. As the holiday season neared, the seniors at a retirement home in Greater Vancouver (Canada) showcased their most flamboyant Christmas sweaters. Chris Boyd, an employee, couldn’t help but admire them. “I’d praise them, saying, ‘Wow, that sweater is incredible,‘” he shared. “Somewhere in my thoughts, I toyed with the idea of finding one for myself.“
Motivated by this whimsy, Chris and his friend Jordan Birch, whose own elderly family members favored similar sweaters, decided to host a quirky Christmas bash at their friend’s residence. “Our aim was to throw the most over-the-top, delightfully nostalgic party,” explained Boyd. Guests indulged in eggnog, sang carols, adorned a tree, and, most importantly, sported the flashiest, most extravagant sweaters they could find.
That first party grew into bigger and bigger parties and now the Ugly Christmas Sweater is pretty much main stream.
Today, there are all sorts of functions featuring the Ugly Christmas Sweater from casual office parties, to organized pub crawls, to hockey games, to fun runs.
The Ugly Christmas Sweater can be something you create or something you purchase. They can range from the simple to the most extravagant, over the top creations. They can convey a theme, a pun or even a meme.
You might even argue that they don’t have to be a sweater at all, they can be an entire costume. You can even make or buy an Ugly Christmas Sweater for your pets!
We’re going to point out that the word UGLY might have been accurate for the first of these when they started but the Ugly Christmas Sweater has evolved and we contend that they should be now called the FUN Christmas Sweater instead.
BONUS POINTS: Tag us in Instagram with you, modelling your favorite FUN (ugly) Christmas Sweater – and you might win a FresYes Beanie!