Unraveling the history of the ugly holiday sweater Are you wearing a tacky holiday sweater this year? (TheUglySweaterShop/Cooking Cinderella/Flickr)
Unraveling the history of the ugly holiday sweater
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Spending quality time with family and drinking cider by the fire. Playing Secret Santa. All of these activities encourage getting into the festive holiday mood. So does taking out your ugly Christmas sweaters. You might be really lucky. You might get to show off your tackiest at an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. 

Ugly Christmas sweaters have emerged with newfound public acceptance. They're no longer creations made by craft store-obsessed grandmas. They aren't foisted upon family members only to wind up at a thrift store. They've become a cultural meme. They're filled to the brim with an eggnog-sized cup of irony. Even celebrities are in on the action. To capitalize on the sweaters' popularity, a market has sprung up around this wintertime phenomenon. There are ugly sweater books. There's a 5K race and trophies. All of these celebrate the Santa face plastered across your chest.

The gaudy sweaters are harder to come by due to their increasing popularity. This is especially true in thrift stores. It was once typically easy to purchase the best (I mean, worst) option at thrift stores. And who really wants to buy a full-priced light-up snowman sweater that'll be worn only once a year?

One option is to shop eBay's collection of ugly Christmas sweaters. You may find yourself bidding on a pre-worn gaudy pullover.

Another option is to make a sweater from scratch. This DIY approach is a labor of love. It embraces a time when the off-the-rack, last minute tactic wasn't an option.

Men, women and children have been channeling the holiday spirit through sweaters for decades. They are adorned with snowflakes. They feature reindeer and Christmas trees. The garishness reached new heights in the '80s and '90s. 

Back in the '40s and '50s, a touch of graphic flashiness was essential to a genuine holiday pullover. Grab your vintage holiday sweater-knitting patterns from Etsy, and they Ugly Christmas Sweater Party invitation on your refrigerator. Now is just the right time to pull out your knitting needles and make something wonderfully ugly.

Any holiday sweaters catch your eye this season?

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why do you think the tradition of the ugly holiday sweater made a comeback?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (38)
  • 26kadubo
    12/17/2019 - 10:30 a.m.

    I think the ugly holiday sweater made a comeback because some sweaters are really cool like ones that light up and they can also have some funny quote on it too.

  • 26acanan
    12/17/2019 - 10:32 a.m.

    I think the ugly sweeter keeps making a comeback because it is so popular on social media,and a trend every Xmas to be shown in Holiday gifted cards to be funny.

  • 26ymberr
    12/18/2019 - 10:40 a.m.

    I think its such a comeback because it's a fun and silly tradtion. I think it's neat to see the different ways people make there ugly sweaters.

  • 26sgbock
    12/18/2019 - 10:41 a.m.

    I think it made a comeback because they were very popular a while ago.They are also cute and funny.Its a tradition for some families and fun to do.

  • 26grkino
    12/18/2019 - 10:44 a.m.

    It has become a meme and a funny joke. This is an idea of a joke and they have become more popular. This lead to more and more and some funnier than others. This has made people try to win the ugliest sweater contest and the winner might get something. Children sweaters might have not been funny but in fact cute and I personally think these sweaters a a personal torcher chamber for kids. What do you think.

  • 26gmnels
    12/18/2019 - 10:45 a.m.

    People still love the ugly sweater tradition! It gives another thing for someone to look forward to towards Christmas.

  • 26amtess
    12/18/2019 - 10:45 a.m.

    I think they made a comeback because they are fun to give to people as a funny type of gift or because they came out with new more interesting designs for the sweaters

  • 26alcham
    12/18/2019 - 10:45 a.m.

    I think the tradition of ugly holiday sweaters has made a comeback, there very festive. It would be something fun to do on Christmas eve. You could make your own ugly sweater and be creative. It was a trend and everyone wants to be up to the trend.

  • 26nalee
    12/18/2019 - 10:51 a.m.

    I think it made a comeback because the tradition was passed down for so long it got funny and common, so people turned it into a joke or meme. In 2010-2019 memes are all over the internet. So some people might have made it a comeback my making memes and making it popular on social media. That's what I think.

  • 26jpquin
    12/18/2019 - 11:06 a.m.

    Because, as a tradition we are wearing them because we want to show off or act funny. I think it will blowup on the news because of how widespread it is. Like here in Michigan I did it with my family, they also did a contest or some random bar. I think it should come back to Christmas because of how cool it is to do.

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