I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog The sad story of Christmas sweaters

Christmas is a time of joy. It is a time for generosity and reaching out to those who don’t have as much as we might have. Most of all, it is the celebration of the coming to earth of the Savior who brought life and love to all who follow Him. This is the foundation of the celebration even with the addition of Santa Claus and other fun traditions.

New clothes were often part of Christmas for church and school Christmas programs and more. As Winter was part of the celebration for most, sweaters were an essential part of a person’s wardrobe. In the spirit of the season, many made or bought sweaters in Christmas colors of red and green. As time passed, many sweaters became more elaborate with stars and glitter, Christmas trees or ornaments—some facet of the season.

Individuals enjoyed these sweaters. The Christmas sweaters not only added practical warmth but also enhanced their enjoyment of the season. Wearing these sweaters made the wearer happy, even those sweaters that were a bit over-the-top with decorations. But then some decided to turn this fun tradition on its head. Instead of focusing on the fun and enjoyment of the sweaters, there were those, including celebrities, who began to make fun of Christmas sweaters, pointing out how ugly many of them really were. There were even ugly sweater parties and prizes for the ugliest sweater at other events and parties.

Many got into the “fun” of finding and wearing “Ugly” sweaters. But in a season and a holiday meant to lift up and bring joy, this trend has had another less-than-joyful result. Those who used to feel joy in their Christmas sweaters now need to be ready to be teased or insulted when wearing what once made them happy. They can take the teasing, pretending it doesn’t bother them, or they can leave that sweater in the closet.

How we approach something does matter. Why are we so quick to get on the bandwagon for the trend that can be long-term hurtful and creates fission in a holiday that should welcome fun sweaters, without making fun? Too many are ashamed or, at least, uncomfortable wearing Christmas sweaters these days, even ones that are fairly mild in coloring and decoration.

Maybe we all need to think about getting decked out in our sweaters, be joyful as we celebrate the season, and begin a new trend—feeling good about a warm sweater in Christmas colors that makes us happy.

© 2022 Carolyn R Scheidies
Published as Hub Column: Sad story about sweaters
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