I overheard a conversation with two women who appeared to be sisters in line at the store. Apparently, they were both attending an "Ugly Christmas Sweater Party," One said, "That's not an Ugly Christmas Sweater. That's just an ugly sweater. You have to have something on with Christmas colors in order for it to be ugly." The other woman said, "Who are you do define what ugly is? Your sweater could have been worn by the Who's down in Whoville. There's nothing remotely ugly about it."
I'm not kidding. Two women debating the appropriate ugliness of their sweaters at Christmas.
Somebody decided that this was a point of humor in an otherwise spiritually based and consumer driven holiday. And I'm all for that. I'll take humor and a lightness in the air whenever I can, and this has served that purpose for a while.
But I think we've run the course. When it comes to Christmas Sweaters, there's such a litany of cartoonish glee associated with it that I hate to mention how "blah" it's become.
I get it. You crash the fashion party. People laugh, even if it's for about four seconds. If you wear it out in public, children become disenchanted with the spirit of Christmas. If they see this as their future Christmas clothing options, they permanently opt for the season in their pajamas.
For adults, it's sixty seconds of Halloween all over again, only this time you don't get a prize for the best costume, your claim to fame is how many people are nauseated into convulsions by whatever you decided to put into a combination of red, green and sleeves. You're a little more like a billboard for "Look at us! Aren't we funny?" when, and I hate to break this to you, but you were marginally funny about ten years ago.
Christmas Sweaters just don't fit within the scheme and spirit of Christmas. Name the funniest thing you see or hear on TV? "How the Grinch Stole Christmas?" That's pathos. And joy. And a Grinch discovering his heart through the love of Christmas Spirit. Got another? Yeah, me neither.
Christmas just doesn't offer itself to funny all that much. Pleasant, joyful, happy, ease...but not a lot of laugh out loud humor here. Nothing wrong with that. Not a lot of hilarity in spirituality. We're not even sure if Jesus laughed. Kind of a somber sort. I'm sure he did, but he was a reflective guy. And the day that celebrates his birth tends to move in that direction.
We don't have to be serious. The whole preparation and celebration is an occasion for great joy. But leave the sweaters at home. We have antlers that you can wear on your head, earrings that look like flashing ornaments, and I've even seen a t-shirt in red and green letters that says, "Hey, Santa. I've got your present right here."
But there's no need for parties around these attempts at humor. People can just make that fake pasted on smile and move along. Kind of the same reaction when you see somebody in a sweater that looks like it was created by "The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come Sweater Makers, Inc."
Dump the sweaters. Meet the season with a little more class, just a little. It's Christmas.