By: Rachel Bimber
No matter what your age is, you most likely have run into one or more ugly Christmas sweaters around this time of year. Perhaps you’ve seen your aunt wearing one at a family Christmas party, or even you and your best friend have worn them together just for fun. However, where did the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” franchise begin, and why did it pick up so quickly?
Digging deep into history’s cluttered closet, it is close to impossible to find the true origin of the sweater. Luckily, finding two of the sweaters’ founders is not as difficult. Remembering him as Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby’s character was often seen wearing hideously fascinating Christmas sweaters. Another possible founder of the franchise is Chevy Chase from the priceless Christmas comedy, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. These two classic comedians could very well be responsible for the holiday trend that still lives on today.
But, why the crazed obsession with ugly Christmas sweaters? Why are we, as humans, obsessed with the thought of decorating ourselves with the most unflattering of holiday clothing? The answer could be due to nostalgia and society’s insane obsession with fashion trends. Nostalgia, or a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations, could be triggered within our brains unknowingly while gazing upon the fascinating patterns that decorate the sweaters. Details such as the pixelated designs could remind us of a simpler time when Christmas meant going to see the mall Santa, setting up milk and cookies on Christmas Eve, and waking up early the next day and seeing all of the presents underneath the tree. In other words, they remind us of a time when Christmas meant childish excitement and joy.
So whether you spend your Christmas at your grandparents, with your close family, or with your friends, be sure to wear your finest, ugliest sweater that you can find that will help you become the most dazzling and unique ornament on the family tree.