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Wacky Wednesday - Origin of National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

Wacky Wednesday - Origin of National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
On the third Friday of December each year, people all over the U.S. decide to don hilariously hideous Xmas sweaters and inflict this sight on everyone around them. From garish green and red colors to pom-poms and nonsensical designs, there seems to be no end to the dreadfully silly designs on display. You’ll see these knit monstrosities at the office, out on the street, and especially at holiday parties. This isn’t happening by accident. The fashion-savvy and playful hearted participants in this trend are celebrating National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.
When Did Ugly Sweaters First Enter Public Consciousness?
How did National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day get it start? Like many trends, this one began in fits and starts and has waxed and waned in popularity over the decades. The ugly sweater first became a household meme in the 1980s with The Cosby Show’s, Bill Huxtable leading the way. Chevy Chase’s character in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation added the holiday twist to this look. These well-known leading actors were playing decidedly unhip characters, who had no fashion sense at all. But for some reason, the idea of wearing awful sweaters as an ironic statement, somehow caught on. For a while, ugly holiday sweaters for women and men were easy to find. Then things kind of petered out in the nineties. Perhaps the trend was no match for a decade that was having a love affair with drab emo apparel?
The First Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Revives the Trend
In the early 2000s, the first ugly holiday sweater party was held in Vancouver, Canada. All the guests were instructed to wear a hideous sweater, and interest in ugly sweaters was reborn. Today, the party is still an annual hit and the event routinely sells out the Commodore Ballroom. Not surprisingly, the U.S. picked up on the idea and now there are thousands of ugly sweater parties held all over the nation each year. They can be fundraisers, office holiday parties, community events, pub crawls, or private affairs. The only rule is that they take place in mid-December and everyone MUST wear a tacky sweater.
Why Is There More Than One Ugly Christmas Sweater Day?
Having a day set aside to celebrate the season of silliness makes it easier to get folks excited about this fun and festive event. Somewhere along the way, a specific date was designated as National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Sources state that this is the third Friday of December (which is ideal for party planning purposes). So for the year of 2021, this falls on Friday, December 17th. In the end, it doesn’t matter which date you choose, since ugly sweaters can and should be worn more than once!
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  • Carole Zellers