So, I love winter. I love the layered clothes, the knitted textures and, let’s face it, my peacoat needs to be shown off. But, ugly holiday sweaters?…YEP! Guilty as sin. Even this old queen loves to don the primary-colored, mismatch-adorned, dazzling brilliance of this popular holiday tradition.  I don’t recall my first one. I can’t tell you where I purchased my last one. But, I can tell you while it goes against every fashionable bone in my body, the ugly holiday sweater is a great way to bring new friends and old ones together.

The ugly holiday sweater gained popularity in the 1980s with television personalities flaunting them during holiday specials. Late night talk show hosts seemed to try to outdo one another during the season. Often appearing as a hand-made gift from your elderly, cat-loving Aunt Emily, the sweaters became more and more gaudy, thus, its resurgence in popularity in the 1990s as gag gifts and office re-gifting.

In the 2010s though, high-street and designer brands are making newer, brighter, and tackier designs than ever. Did I mention expensive? It seems as though even high-end designers love to show off their wares at holiday soirees and if they can make a dollar, so be it.

Yes, ugly holiday sweater parties are more popular than ever. I have seen them as fundraisers, company events, and even government office shindigs. Why so popular? Let’s face it; they’re an easy way to meet new people. The sweaters are a walking conversation piece. You don’t need to spend a bundle and you don’t need to spend hours in the closet trying to squeeze into a sexy outfit. At its core, the ugly holiday sweater is just plain ol’ holiday fun that I can’t resist. Pour yourself a 3000 calorie egg nog and brandy and relax under that tacky, snowman-adorned, knitted masterpiece.

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