Warrior Words: The ugly Christmas sweater

They say that everything comes back into style eventually. High-waisted jeans and skin-tight miniskirts are among the most recent fashion trends to fall into this category (and, frankly, are styles that I wish would have stayed in the past). In most cases, people try to revive old styles because they are seen as ”retro” and “vintage,” two traits essential to the all-too-sought-after “hipster” image. There is, however, an exception to this rule. One trend comes to mind that has actually been revived for its tackiness: the ugly Christmas sweater.

Recently, the halls of Wilton High School have been overtaken by holiday spirit. The parking lot is full of cars decorated with wreaths and garland, people are constantly singing Christmas carols, and ugly Christmas sweaters are the style of choice. This is the one case in which it’s not only accepted, but also encouraged, to wear the most hideous articles of clothing possible. Christmas trees, snowmen, and reindeer are among the most common images adorning the torsos of boys and girls alike. The most envied of all sweaters are those with built-in battery powered lights — that’s how you know someone spent big bucks in a bidding war on eBay.

The day that you don’t want to be caught without a Christmas sweater on is Dec. 21, the last day before winter break. Because this is right before Christmas, most teachers abandon all hope of productivity. For most students, the day is spent watching movies, making paper snowflakes, and, for chemistry students, caroling from classroom to classroom. At the end of the day is a concert in which all of the school’s musical groups team up to play and sing Christmas carols and holiday favorites. For people who do not perform in the concert, the assembly is basically an excuse to show off the tackiness of his or her sweater to the rest of the student body.

I’m probably one of the worst offenders when it comes to ugly Christmas sweaters, with 12 in my collection. Some may see this as a little excessive, but in my opinion there’s no such thing as too much Christmas spirit. I have compiled this wardrobe over the years with help from my mom’s closet, eBay, and thrift stores. Some of them are indeed hideous (one particular sweater vest that depicts a snowy village scene comes to mind). Others, which I stole from my mom’s closet, could actually pass as presentable holiday attire, much to my mother’s embarrassment. Most people stick to the rule that the uglier and more audacious the sweater, the better.

As the holidays approach and snowmen and Santa Claus start making their ways into style, take a minute to appreciate the beauty of the ugly Christmas sweater. And as you find yourself out running your holiday errands, or sharing in some festivities with friends, I hope you will take the plunge and rummage through your closet to find that holiday sweater that is certainly in there somewhere. You know you have one!

Jillian Finkelstein is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with four classmates.