When an item surfaces in the news and is deemed to be hideous in every sense of the word, our consumer culture dictates that it has to be disposed of immediately. So it's amusingly ironic that one piece of trash worship has managed to emerge from the dumpsters of social rejects.
What's more, it's something that flourishes around this time of year and despite its eyesore attributes even gets its own national holiday. Give up? We're talking about none other than the ugly Christmas sweater which is now commemorated every December 21st. There's even an anthem of sorts already picked out, namely "Ugly Christmas Sweater" by Aussie YouTube performer Wengie, who's already racked up five million pairs of eyeballs over her teenybop tribute.
Horror of horrors that some tacky seasonal apparel which has no useful purpose other than to stand in as a subject for a colourblindness test is now being worshipped annually. Still, for those who cherish those weird woollies, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is a testament to all things kitschy that goes hand in hand with the whole Santa Claus mythology.
Proponents of the those knitted nonsense items point out, however, that those Yuletide pullovers weren't initially planned to have such a loathsome legacy. They were initially made by hand, so the craft that went into them has to be considered, claims the pro-sweater contingent.
That's why a lot of them have some artistic merit, claims a fashion expert, Asta Skocir, who's an associate professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. As for popularity? Blame it in part on The Cosby Show, leading viewers to believe that what was good for the Huxtables was good enough for them, especially in winter. For added flair, some people decided to use Christmas card designs to inspire their own images and the rest is infamy.
"Were they attractive?" asks Skocir. "No, but people bought them and loved them."
Maybe it's a coincidence that Ugly Christmas Sweater Day takes place just before Festivus, that fake festival forever immortalized in the sitcom Seinfeld, which starts December 22nd. Oh, and for those who love all things Christmas, there's also Gingerbread House Day (December 12th), Wreaths Across America Day (December 15th), and National Eggnog Day (December 24th).
Also, make room on your calendar for December 25th. Rumor has it that the date celebrates some baby being born in a barn somewhere in the Middle East, slightly more than 2,000 years ago. Long before ugly Christmas sweaters.