What you didn’t know about ugly Christmas sweater week

Grayce Lillpop, Staff Writer

With the holiday season in full swing, JHS students continue a long lived tradition of wearing ugly holiday sweaters to celebrate their holiday spirit and to alleviate some stress before finals week. Each day students wear a different ugly Christmas sweater of their choosing and show their holiday spirit! The man behind this JHS tradition doesn’t have a beard as white as snow or a magic sleigh, but he does rock the occasional corduroy and that is Mr. Chelvig, a social studies teacher at Jacksonville High School. Mr. Chelsvig decided to start this quirky tradition because of his very own love for funky sweaters. “I just enjoy the ridiculous nature of these sweaters – and the fact that each one was purchased at some time – by a person that said – ‘Yes, this works.  Yes, this is my look.’”

This tradition didn’t  actually start as the “Ugly Christmas Sweater Week” as we know it so well to be now. It originated in Chelsvig’s world history classes dating back to 2005-2006 which was when he thought it would be fun to start wearing sweaters from the 1980’s. This fun idea started in his classroom, but as the years progressed and announcements were made, the whole school was joining in! Since its debut during the winter season, people have felt it only necessary to add to the tradition and make it “Christmas sweater week” with a flare of 80’s inspiration which is where it gets the name “ugly.” One of Chelsvig’s fondest memories from this tradition thus far has been when both of his daughters attended JHS at the same time, and they all got to match with their coordinating sweaters! This tradition is one that many alumni have enjoyed and current students look forward to as a way of ringing in the holiday season each year.