Ugly Christmas sweaters return for another holiday season

Grace Clancy, Staff Writer

Each year National Ugly Sweater Day is celebrated on the third Friday of December. In 2020 the celebrations will take place on December 20. This is a day to increase holiday fun by wearing festive sweaters alongside family and friends. 

Ugly sweaters arose in the 1950s with the mass commercialization of Christmas. They were first known as “Jingle Bell Sweaters” and were decorated with discrete Christmas related designs. The original sweaters were never intended to be ugly but more artistic and joyful. However, beginning in the 1980s Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show wore oversized sweaters with odd patterns intended to be ugly, initially starting the popularization of the ugly sweater.

Later in 2002, the first Christmas sweater party was launched by Chris Boyd and Jordan Birch in Vancouver. This idea quickly spread all over Canada and eventually to the United States. Massive events formed from these Christmas sweater parties and often supported charity causes. By 2007 ugly Christmas sweater searches began to increase on Google as the trend made its way to the media. As the popularity of ugly Christmas sweaters went up, various fashion designers released Christmas sweater collections and retail stores picked up on the trend as well. Celebrities and other people in the public eye pushed the fame of ugly Christmas sweaters by wearing them and making the sweaters a common sight to see during the holidays.

Today, ugly Christmas sweaters still remain a highlight of the holidays as they are worn by people to celebrate the season of joy and festivities.They’re worn by kids and adults everywhere and shown off across the media with some even participating in friendly competitions. Christmastime can be overwhelming for many people and being able to wear something fun can take away some of the stress.