Importance Ugly Sweaters

The Importance of Ugly Sweaters

For those who celebrate Christmas, it is a known fact that there are a vast number of people who overdo the decorating aspect of the holiday. For those who purchase an over-the-top Christmas tree to those who simply enjoy their Charlie Brown tree, the spirit of Christmas impacts society in huge ways. The newest phenomenon, however, has been the new love for ugly sweaters, or Christmas sweaters. The true question is, why have they become so popular?

Throughout the past few decades, ugly sweaters have been making their way to store fronts and into people’s lives. Many see it as a way to celebrate and create new traditions with their families.

Junior psychology student, Siobhan McLoughlin took the time to explain how her family utilizes their love for these holiday sweaters: “I love ugly sweaters because my family always does this tradition with white elephant where we switch gifts that are not labeled or anything. So, everybody goes and grabs a gift and every year we always regift these two ugly sweaters. If you get these two sweaters, you have to wear them to Christmas the next year. Right now, my cousin and his girlfriend have them and I cannot wait to see them in the sweaters!”

Mixing Christmas sweaters with other holiday traditions has become more and more accepted in American society, and it may have to do with them adding some refreshing fun to the boring, usual games people play on Christmas!

In the Condron household, ugly sweaters play an enormous role in the family’s Christmas celebration. Kathy Condron, the host of all Christmas festivities, allows anyone and everyone to come celebrate. Condron purchases the amazing Christmas tree that she goes and cuts down herself, she decorates inside and out of the house to make sure that all Christmas joy is spread, and she owns LOTS of Christmas sweaters. “They are not ugly sweaters, they are beautiful sweaters,” Condron says every year as she hears people call her sweaters ugly.

As family and friends walk through the door for Christmas, there are four garbage bags to the left that are filled to the rim of ugly sweaters. As you see them, you go through the bags to find the perfect sweater for you. Some choose the same as the previous year and some do not, but it is all in fate’s hands!

Usually, everyone that goes to the Condron household fights over getting the special ugly sweater: it has lights, it has ornaments, and this year it may even sing! Freshman health studies student, Shannon McGorty was able to see pictures and hear stories from past Christmas celebrations and her first comment was, “Can I come this year?”

Even with all of this amazing Christmas spirit, there are some of those who find ways to celebrate without the ugly sweaters. Instructor of History, Paula Burns-Riccardi was kind enough to give her comments on how she celebrates and said, “We don’t participate at all regarding ugly sweaters.” Just because Burns-Riccardi does not implicate the ugly sweater traditions does not mean her family does not have fun! There are a large number of people in the world who do not even know what an ugly sweater would be, and that is okay too!

Although there are some who may not agree with the ugly sweater traditions and some that believe ugly sweaters should be in everyone’s homes, the impact that these simple pieces of clothing have is significant. Families use these Christmas sweaters to embrace the holiday spirit and spread the happiness that comes along with the holiday spirit.

The ugly sweater parties that have come along with the season is also something that keeps the younger generations in the loop! So, this holiday season, even if you do not celebrate Christmas, make sure to remember to grab your beautiful, ugly sweater and take your festivities up to a whole new level.

PHOTO TAKEN by Emily Condron