Christmas Sweaters: Light Up Your Holidays

No, that's not a typo. I do not mean do-it-yourself decorating. I mean decorating your body, your person, your entire festive self head to mistletoe in holiday gear. Specifically, the phenomenom of Christmas sweaters and vests, and why otherwise sensibly attired people bedeck themselves in clothing that screams, "Look at me, look at me, I'm a living Christmas tree!"

Come on baby, light my vest!
Come on baby, light my vest!
Nothing says old-fashioned Christmas quite like flamingos
Nothing says old-fashioned Christmas quite like flamingos

All is Shiny and Bright

You've seen the people I'm talking about. Heck, you may even be one of them. During the month of December they (or you) literally wear their (or your) holiday spirit on their (or your) sleeve by sporting holiday themed clothing -- in public, no less. Really gaudy, cutesy and/or glittery holiday-themed clothing. Embroidered sweaters. Knitted vests. Red, green, silver and gold; reindeer and Santas, candy canes and snowflakes; colors and patterns that shout, "I have holiday spirit ... but I have no taste!!"

Men are not immune to the lure of the Chrismas sweater
Men are not immune to the lure of the Chrismas sweater
Tie or vest. Not both, please!
Tie or vest. Not both, please!
I have a lot of friends who are Elfish -- not that there's anything wrong with that!!
I have a lot of friends who are Elfish -- not that there's anything wrong with that!!

A little glitter goes a long way

There's no way to make this sound anything but elitist, so I'll just put it out there and take my lumps of coal.

Why is it that the people who favor Christmas sweaters are inevitably ones who should not be calling extra attention to their bodies? Or maybe that's the whole point. If you've already got a shape like a figgy pudding, perhaps you believe that covering it with a size 2x red sweater takes the focus off the lumps and bumps and puts it on the baubles and appliques. I dunno, maybe it works.

When you subsume yourself into such a strong fashion statement, you attract attention. Like Christmas decorations that complement your home's architecture, you want people to look at you and say, "That looks really cool," not, "That looks like Clark Griswold's house. Turn it off before it blows a circuit."

Dressed for the Holidays

Lest you confuse me with that old Bah Humbug guy from the Dickens story, I want to be clear. I love Christmas. I enjoy decorating my house and putting a big tree in the living room. I go to see the Nutcracker every year and get a huge kick out of seeing all the little girls in their velvet and tafetta dresses. In other words, I'm all for decorating. I'm all for dressing festively.

But I am not a huge fan of wildly patterened theme clothing. Whatever vague interest I might once have felt has definitely been squelched by Stacey and Clinton of the show "What Not to Wear. " Unlike them, I fall short of deriding people with embroidered pineapples or martini glasses on their pants. However, I have come to agree there are subtler and quite lovely ways to attire oneself for the season.

For example, a nice tie, pin or pair of earrings is ample to give the impression of Christmas. Add a red or green scarf and you've made your point without losing your individuality. Let others follow mindlessly like sheep (or maybe more like reindeer) in their over-the-top, festooned knitwear. You'll make much more of a statement if you keep it simple and elegant.

And whatever you do, if you absolutely must choose the sweater, do not accessorize too. Pick one:. The 12-days-of-Christmas embroidered sweater or the Santa's sleigh pin or the snowflake light-up earrings.

On their way to a crafts fair, no doubt
On their way to a crafts fair, no doubt

Backlash

Apparently I am far from alone in my thinking on this. Sure enough, my research encountered several websites devoted exclusively to "Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties." There appears to be a growing underground of Americans -- across the country -- who gather during the Christmas season to mock the Christmas Sweater tradition. Some of UCS parties are even fundraisers for charitable causes!

Something tells me the revelers hosting or attending these parties would never be caught in public dressed that way. They see the Christmas sweater trend as kitcsch, not "kute."

Do you want to destroy my Christmas sweater?

What About You?

Do You like Christmas clothing?

  • Yes. I enjoy dressing up during the holidays
  • No. I think it's tacky
  • I don't mind it on other people but don't wear it myself
  • I wish there were sweaters for EVERY holiday!
See results without voting

More by this Author

  • Is it morbid to plan your own funeral?
    69

    I just attended a lovely funeral. This being my first Chinese-American funeral, I had quite a bit of time during the Cantonese language portion of the program to think about how intensely personal, yet universal...

  • Oh Christmas Tree: a branch-by-branch guide
    22

    For those who celebrate the holiday, the Christmas tree ("tree") ranks right up there with gifts, eggnog, and sugar cookies as a must-have tradition. In fact, I would venture to say the Christmas tree is the...

  • How does an alcoholic ruin your life?
    134

    Alcoholism is a disease and the alcoholic's actions make no sense. The people around the alcholic become sick also as codependents.This hub helps anyone living with or loving an actively drinking alcoholic or using...


Comments 52 comments

lori763 profile image

lori763 7 years ago from SWFL

Hi Mighty Mom,

It seems that I agree with you! Pretty cool how you did the photo slideshow.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Lori, I really hope I don't offend people with this one. Some pretty normal people like Christmas sweaters and sweatshirts. I just happened to notice yesterday that an entire side of church was filled with women waaaayyy overkill with the holiday clothes and jewelry. And I went to a play yesterday and there was a busload of little old ladies. They, too, were all decked out in their ho ho holiday finest. Got me wondering -- am I in the minority here?

Thanks for commenting and agreeing. Hope all's well with you! Happy holidays. MM


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

Mighty Mom, I have seen plenty of people taking you up on your advice. Great hub love the sweaters just not on me, lol!! Thanks!!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks, Triplet Mom. I have pictures of me 6 months pregnant wearing a green silk dress with silk appliqued Christmas lights to my company party. My only explanation (rationalization) is that it was 1991 and everyone wore parrot colors with big hair. I agree. I like the sweaters (some of them), really like fun Xmas ties. Just exercise a bit of restraint:-). MM


pgrundy 7 years ago

ROTFL!! I SOOOOO want that flamingo sweater! I must have that, seriously. It's so hideous it approaches being some new self-referential art form. A postmodern statement on the dislocation of the Self in a fractured multicultural world...

I saw a website once that was all ugly living rooms. I wish I had that URL--It was so good. This would make a good website too. Really ugly theme clothing. I would check in on a regular basis.

Great hub--I'm with you on this one. Ho freakin' ho. (o:


NYLady profile image

NYLady 7 years ago from White Plains, NY

MM: I used to have a couple of Xmas themed sweaters but eventually got tired of them. Now I just wear pins --- a gingerbread man pin, a bell pin, and several tree pins. Clinton Kelly and Stacy London of "What Not to Wear" say it's a definite no-no!! I have to check out those ugly christmas sweater websites!


Ardie profile image

Ardie 7 years ago from Neverland

Haha! I agree with you on this one too. I was at my husband's company Christmas party last weekend and it was casual dress, but I still could not believe some of the Christmas-themed shirts and hats people were wearing! I just assumed that casual meant dressy-casual...silly me :)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

LOL. It took a lot of restraint from making this a completely pictorial hub. There was just sooo much to choose from. And I deliberately stayed away from the pet sweaters, too.

Hi NYL, How've you been? I have never owned an Xmas themed sweater but definitely have my share of Xmas themed earrings. And I always get compliments on my Xmas lights necklace, which is subtle. People ask me, "Does it light up?" and I say, "Only when I do..."

Pam -- ROFL! "dislocation of the self in a fractured multicultural world." By Kringle, I think you've nailed it, you sociology scion you! I feel like buying that sweater for my neighbors. For some reason known only to them, they have decorated their front yard with lighted PALM TREES. Penguins I can see. But palm trees??? I will have to investigate further. I don't believe there was a nativity scene included (but if so, then the palm trees make sense).

Ardie: I have an antler headband I'd be happy to send you for next year's party! Hope you didn't feel "underdressed" at your hubby's party!!


Barbie-Perkins profile image

Barbie-Perkins 7 years ago from Cincinnati, OH

MightyMom,

The wild Chirstmas sweaters and apparel looks OK on others, but it's not for me. 

Thanks for sharing. ~ Barbie Perkins


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks, Barbie. I've seen some that are actually quite pretty. People just tend to overdo it...


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 7 years ago from St. Louis

Man, I feel left out. I don't have one single christmas themed sweater. OK. I used to put jingle bell collars on the dogs, but that's about it. Then on Christmas eve, the dogs and Me would go jogging down the street jingling all the way. I figured the kids would hear it in bed and think it was Santa. No one ever complained, which surprised me. Thanks for planting the seed in my head. Now I'll be looking for one!


ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

well all I can say is that it is Summer here - so no bejewelled, colourful, be-flamingoed ties or sweaters are actually available here to buy and place deliberately upon one's body - big or small - so it's all good!!!! ..just joking - we do have earrings and necklaces etc just not anything in wool...I do put great red bows on the dogs - I really did enjoy your confession of wearing "at 6 months pregnant a green silk dress with silk appliqued Christmas lights to my company party" that would have been so illuminating .....cheers and a ho ho ho to you and yours Mighty Mom....a good hub I enjoyed it.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Well hello there CR. Good to hear from you. I believe it is a crime to impersonate Santa Claus, but very hard to prove (as evidenced by Miracle on 34th Street which we watched last night). I love the story of you and your dogs jogging down the street on Xmas Eve. The dogs may not fly, but I'm a guessin' their master was a few feet off the ground (eggnog anyone?).

Perhaps since we've never actually had our group shower at your place we can make it a holiday themed party. Each guest can come dressed in an Ugly Christmas Sweater!

Ajcor -- Being so Amero-centric as I am, I totally forgot that the seasons are backward down under. I hope you are enjoying a lovely not too hot summer! And for the record, the green silk dress was very tasteful and 6 months pregnant is (or was) not like 9 months pregnant. It wasn't even a maternity dress! But the best part, in looking back at the pics, was that big, big 1991 HAIR and red lipstick. Oh boy, was I a holiday delight... NOT!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope we can get some comment threads going one of these nights. I miss everyone!!!


Leta S 7 years ago

MM-I hate to say it, but my mother just adores these awful Christmas sweaters! Aghh!

And there ARE sweaters/sweatshirts fer every season, didn't ya know? Pumpkin Halloween sweaters, etc., etc.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Oh Lita, I can't even imagine YOUR mom wearing sweaters like that. I would just assume she is the tree from which your tart and tangy apple fell:-). Well, you know that old French saying, a chaqu'un son gout...

And you're right. There ARE sweaters and jewelry for every season. Hey -- maybe I can make this hub into a series. Valentines attire, Easter attire, St. Patrick's Day attire, 4th of July attire and of course Halloween (which I understand is the 2nd most decorated holiday of the year). We could do an entire Ugly Sweater Calendar... Can you imagine? No. Neither can I. Gag.

Thanks for stopping by and taking time out from discussing serious topics like reaching population critical mass (I was so late getting over there I just decided not to comment). MM


ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

Mighty Mom if you are in the Christmas Spirit or indeed the Christmas Spirit has come upon you, maybe you could be prevailed upon to put your Christmas '91 photo just up for fun -it's too busy raining here for the Summer to actually arrive in all its' heat - altho I am not that much a fan of the really hot weather - it even looks as tho. we may have a damp Christmas - better for the cook !

it would be good to get a thread going but I guess everyone - at this time of year - is off on a frolic of their own.....cheers dears


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Well Ms. Ajcor/Annie, I'm working on getting the holiday spirit lit within myself. I'd love to comply and post that old photo -- but it would require digging through a bunch of old pics and I don't really have time now (not shopping and baking -- client work and deadlines). So .. I do hope you will accept this as a reasonable substitute. MM wearing a red suit and holding my little bundle of joy.

Hope you have a damp Christmas or any kind of Christmas that is best for you. Cheers!


tourmaline2777 profile image

tourmaline2777 7 years ago from Chicago

Great Hub! I am not a fan Christmas sweaters but a Christmas sweater party sounds hilarious! I would definitely go to one-and I would try to find the most ridiculous sweater to wear! I won't forget the ornament earrings either.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

When I was younger I decorated a Christmas shirt with puffy paints. No a days I still use iron on transfers to decorate shirts, which is easy and fun. Just thought maybe that is an idea you might want to add to this great hub.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Tourmaline, I have suggested to Christoph Reilly that we have a virtual Ugly Sweater Party some night on HubPages. Hopefully we can get that going! And yes, please wear your ornament earrings. And socks -- I do like decorative socks!

SweetiePie, you are so creative. I haven't attempted iron on transfers since the early 1970s. I'd probably burn myself and the garment! But I do like the idea!


ajcor profile image

ajcor 7 years ago from NSW. Australia

This is a lovely photo of you Mighty Mom - really it was a silly suggestion on my part I certainly wouldn't want you to have to sift and sort and waste time particularly now when the lunacy is in the process of descending upon us all.....I hope that you and yours have a really great Christmas and don't get snowed or do get snowed in if you so wish....Have a Good One....cheers


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

LOL, Ajcor! I'd happily waste 5 hours sifting through old photos. My fear is that after all that sifting I wouldn't be able to find the photo after all:-) -- even though I can picture it in my mind. The bigger problem is that the photo includes my ex-husband (father of Kevin, shown with me above at about 4 -- and he's now almost 17, so you can imagine how outdated that is of ME, too!). Anyway, I have to have my current hubby scan photos for me. I don't want to open up a can of worms with him asking why I am suddenly interested in an old photo like that:-). Maybe I will make a New Years resolution to learn to scan, and to FIND MY OLD PHOTOS!

Merry Christmas to you, too. I'll settle for some rain. Cheers, MM


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

MM- Those are great sweaters now I want to buy one. I am sure I will feel warm in them since just reading your hub gives me such a "warm welcome" to read again and again your hubs when outside the weather is giving me a "cold shoulder"...hehe


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

CW -- You go right ahead. A bright warm sweater is a good way to stay warm in this Arctic storm that I know is keeping things even colder where you are than here -- and it's pretty cold (for us) down here!

Hey, if you're really interested in some cool fashions, go see the hub by izztl (I hope I have her user name right). It's pretty shocking what passes for haute couture!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Hi Mighty Mom, I personally am way too cool to dress so outlandishly at Christmas but I could probalbly point at someone who might!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Yes, I've always known you were super cool, Ag! I like your fox, is that your alter ego, perchance? BTW, I was shopping in Costco (big, all=purpose box store) yesterday. Something called "Genuine Aussie Treats" caught my eye. I had to stop my cart and take a look at the ingredients. To my horror (and thus proving they could not be genuine at all) "sultanas" was not among them. Nor was Vegemite (thank God). Anyway, now that you're all dressed up, I hope you have somewhere to go that's festive and fun. Happy holidays, friend! MM


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

MM, (ahem) the alter-ego is the one wearing the hat! He does the typing and sometimes I let him out . You know how it is with people? He is always making typos. and I have to watch him like a fox. (note from a-e, Ag just could not bring himself to say "hawk", and he only thinks I'm the a-e, I'm really the brains of the partnership).

So MM what was in this "Genuine Aussie Treats" that was so good they could not include "sultanas" and "Vegemite" . Was there any "Tim Tams" or "Monte Carlos"

On a more serious note we both hope that you and your loved ones are able to put aside the sadnesses of 2008 long enough to have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Hoo Roo for now, your friend Ag. oh and him!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thank you both! I wish you and your human a happy Christmas also. MM


Joan  7 years ago

I just want a pretty Nativity woman's cardigan, size L or 14. Preferably with some black in it on a red background... or on a black background! I found one last year in a store but I passed it up because of finances and now kick myself.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Joan! Well, with the sales that are going on this year I hope you are able to find it again -- or something like it -- and at a great bargain price. Wishing you a lovely Christmas. MM


moonlake profile image

moonlake 7 years ago from America

I love Christmas sweaters. I don't wear them anymore but I did at one time I wore them for my grand-babies they loved them. I also use to wear a fuzzy Cookie Monster t-shirt. As soon as a grand-baby saw it they came crawling to me just so they could touch Cookie Monster or the sparkle on Christmas sweaters. Now my grand-babies would so embarrassed if I wore one. Their to grown-up for that now.

I think Christmas sweaters are all in good fun and nothing wrong with it.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hi Moonlake, I love your story of your grandbabies crawling to touch your sweaters and t-shirt! That is precious! I agree, holiday sweaters make the wearer feel festive and they seem to do that very well. I'm sitting here writing this in my Santa Claus hat...


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I know it has been awhile since I visited, but I just submitted this article to digg. Getting ready to think of Christmas hubs again too :).


wsp2469 profile image

wsp2469 7 years ago from Alta Loma, Ca

Babe, ya know what you need to add to this? A video of Ren And Stimpy doing a song called "Decorate Yourself"! It's funny as hell and totally appropriate. It's even reminiscent of The Beatles!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

As you know I am a slave to your fashion advice. Also an avid R&S fan. Will check out the video and if deemed appropriate to decorate my hub, will duly credit you! MM


Adam 7 years ago

I attended an Ugly Christmas sweater party last year and it was one of the best parties I've ever been too! Ebay and Goodwill have a large selection of Ugly Christmas Sweaters. Also I found a cool site that has a large selection of ugly Christmas Sweaters...

http://www.UglyChristmasSweaters.info


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Thanks, Adam! The only problem with these sweaters is too many people wear them for real and not as a joke.


wsp2469 profile image

wsp2469 7 years ago from Alta Loma, Ca

Yes! Isn't that song so cool? I just love it! I wrote a Christmas program for a montessori school a few years ago but lost the job before we could put on the show the following year. I was going to use that song in the program! It's appropriate and funny!

Personally, I DID wear sweaters like that when I was still married. However, NOW I favor a red t-shirt that says (in green script): Merry Freaking Christmas or a white button-down shirt with one of several Christmas ties.

By the way, I paid tribute to two of my favorite hub-loves here! (Not sure if Mr. Mighty Mom is accurately represented but I tried!)

http://hubpages.com/entertainment/SHIT-Some-Hip-In...

http://hubpages.com/relationships/Rules-For-Guys-I


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

wsp2469. I am sorry but I simply cannot picture you in sweaters like that. It does not match my image of you working in the adult entertainment industry. Or the persona you reflect in you SHIT hubs either! Perhaps you have evolved. Yeah, that must be it!


Drew Breezzy profile image

Drew Breezzy 7 years ago from somewhere in my mind

Light up vest? WOAH!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Drew -- The way you wrote "woah" I am reminded of the e-trade baby as he croaks "woah" and spits up. Yep, that's my reaction, too!


xunlei profile image

xunlei 6 years ago

oh,it is great ! hit


Albertttt profile image

Albertttt 6 years ago

Nice one. Very interesting.

Can I get you to look at my hub? (humor)

http://hubpages.com/literature/Seinfield

Albert


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 6 years ago from australia

LMAO I was hoping to see you don the first one MM. If I don't see you have a super duper Xmas. I send my love. xoxo


Adam 6 years ago

I'm looking forward to this year's Ugly Christmas Sweater parties. I usually attend 2 or 3 ugly sweater parties each year. They are a big deal in Wisconsin and most of the Midwest I assume. Anyway, if you have not yet attended an ugly Christmas sweater party I highly recommend it. The uglier the sweater the better!

http://www.UglyChristmasSweaters.info/


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello Adam,

Do the men wear ugly sweaters or just the women?

Those parties sound like a blast.

Perhaps I will have to host one myself, as I have never been invited to one (although when I lived in Boston we wore those sweaters for reals!)


Xmas Jumpers 5 years ago

Looking forward to what funky designs will come out this year.

http://www.crappychristmasjumpers.ie/


islandnurse profile image

islandnurse 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

We are hosting an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party this year, I'll have to find a way to modify mine to light up! Loved the hub, and have put a link to it on mine, "Easy Ways to Create the Spirit of Christmas". Thanks:)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Love the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party idea! Please take and post photos!

Thanks for the link between hubs, too.

Good Hub Karma,islandnurse!

MM


Maddie 5 years ago

I was looking for a silly holiday vest Mighty Mom and I really want to find that blue light up one on your slideshow! Where can i find it!!???


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 5 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA Author

Hello Maddie,

I wish I could simply say, "Oh, you can order it right on Amazon.com." Alas, I just pulled photos off a photo site. So it's not an actual "for sale" item.

However, I'm sure with a little investigation you can find something fetching to light up your holiday mood!

Enjoy. Thanks for visiting. MM


Maggie 5 years ago

Would luv for you to add it in our linking party, so our readers will discover this awesome project at http://www.passionatelyartistic.com/2011/11/5-fabu...

Have a great week,

Maggie

http://passionatelyartistic.com

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working