canada, chris boyd, competition, creativity, december, holidays, jingle bell, jordan birch, lights, lions pride, national ugly sweater day, parties, popular, presents, snow, themes, trees, trends, vancouver, winter
When you think about the holiday season, what comes to your mind? You might imagine twinkling lights, blankets of snow, lush evergreen trees, stacks of beautifully wrapped presents… or maybe obnoxious, ugly sweaters!
We can’t be the only ones who have noticed this unofficial holiday become part of the season. Friday, December 20, is National Ugly Sweater Day, but before you pull out that hideous sweater from the back of the closet, let’s find out where this obscure celebration got its start.
The original “ugly sweater” first made its appearance in the 1950s but was more fondly known as a “jingle bell sweater.” They were quite different from the sweaters we see nowadays; these pieces featured tasteful winter themes such as reindeer, snowflakes and other simple motifs. These sweaters were never intended to be ugly; rather they were creative and joyful. They remained modestly popular for the next three decades.
In the 1980s, Americans started seeing bold sweaters with outrageous patterns on TV. You may remember seeing examples of these sweaters on “The Cosby Show” and “Christmas Vacation.” This trend slowed down, but never completely disappeared. Many believe the sweaters’ turning point came when Colin Firth donned a tacky Rudolph sweater to a Christmas Party in his role as Mark Darcy in “Bridget Jones’ Diary” in 2001.
Then, one fateful night in Vancouver, Chris Boyd and Jordan Birch created the first Christmas Sweater Party. The idea caught on and spread across Canada, into the United States and eventually, around the world. Celebrities and politicians were being photographed out on the streets in their favorite Christmas sweaters. By 2010, designers started creating collections based on the ugly ones.
Today, it seems like everyone is hosting ugly sweater parties, which has encouraged retailers to sell sweaters of their own. Of course, with the increase in options comes an increase in competition at these parties. To win the title of the ugliest sweater, you need to get creative.
Will you be participating in Ugly Sweater Day tomorrow? If so, let us know where you found your creation in the comments below.
Whether you love or hate ugly Christmas sweaters, there’s no denying that they have made their mark on the holiday season. And it has certainly become another way to celebrate during the most wonderful time of the year.
Happy Holidays from Lions Pride!