Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent Calendar: Ugly Christmas Sweaters

It's the annual Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories!  I've participated the past three years (2009, 2010, and 2011), and rather than simply re-post, I'm going to link to the older posts, and - when applicable - post about something else that's somewhat related.

I'm running a day behind, but I have another good reason.

The prompt for yesterday was:  December 17 – Grab Bag
Author’s choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!

In past years, I wrote about my dad's memories of Christmas growing up in Evanston, Illinois (also my birthplace) in the 1930s and 1940s.  This year, I'm going to write about (ugly) Christmas sweaters.

I've spent much of my working life in schools and libraries, where one MUST have one or more (preferably pretty) Christmas sweaters (or sweatshirts, or vests).  I could never see the point in spending a lot of money to pick up a really nice sweater I'd only wear a few weeks out of the year - even when I lived in a climate (Washington state) where one could actually WEAR a sweater around Christmas time.  One day a few years ago, though, I found one at a thrift shop (at left):
I think this sweater was given away because the red thread used for outlining trees and making their trunks had begun to run, and the stitching around the sleeves was frayed (see detail, inset top above).  Not to mention it's got lots of stains.  However, it's a lightweight sweater, which means I can actually wear it around Christmas - sometimes - here in Texas.

My other ugly Christmas sweater is one I got just last year, from my aunt (above right).   I almost turned her down, as she is much shorter than me, and the sweater is SO ugly - I mean, what are these (inset bottom, above)  supposed to be, penguins, or snowmen?

Today at work we had an ugly Christmas sweater contest.  The runner-up (below left in red) embellished a (pretty ugly to start with) sweatshirt with flashing lights, and pom-poms around the neck.  The winning sweater (below right) was completely homemade, with tinsel around the cuffs, tinsel and pom-poms at the neckline and hem (and on the tree, and all over), and little tiny presents under the tree and on one shoulder, and a gift decoration as the star of the tree.  I don't think this sweater is ugly - I think it's quite beautiful!  I would wear it!
A pretty sweater with the runner-up ugly sweater

The winner!

My sweaters were so ugly, no one wanted to take a picture of them.  I took the pictures of my sweaters using the mirror in the restroom.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories (ACCM) allows you to share your family’s holiday history 24 different ways during 24 days in December! Learn more at http://adventcalendar.geneabloggers.com.


  1. I took pictures after gifts. Sorry to have missed you. I like your the first sweater! Cute.

  2. I would call them festive, not ugly.