Until 2013, I had never heard of an ugly Christmas-sweater party. Then, someone invited me to one and explained the concept to me – which at the time seemed fresh, ironic and somewhat humorous. I was mildly, though genuinely, excited to participate.
For about 30 seconds at my first ugly sweater party, I enjoyed looking at each of my friends’ ugly sweaters. I wouldn’t say it was HILARIOUS!!! – but it was kind of fun. Additionally, I derived 15-20 seconds of pleasure playfully mocking the 1 or 2 people who didn’t participate. (At the time it did not occur to me that I was likely adding to their already manifested social anxiety.) At that point, I loaded up a few plates of meat balls and made small talk until it was time to leave. Easy enough to participate, 45 total seconds of enjoyment. Done. I have not found the ugly sweater concept funny since.**
Nevertheless, the invites keep rolling in. 3 so far in the last year. Ugly. Sweater. Parties.
My concerns here are multiple:
- Are there going to be more of these parties next year?
- Do other people really find it funny?
- Is this going to be a “thing” that grows from here and gets all competitive and weird?
- Is it possible that this is a concept being pushed by clothing manufacturers?
- Am I too cynical?
- Am I a big asshole?
**Actually, on second thought I did get another 10-15 seconds of enjoyment today from a person wearing a non-holiday, tan sweater with chicken wings on it (not actual chicken wings – that would have been overwrought), but rather chicken wings as the featured sweater design. This person’s boss nonchalantly said, “that sweater is probably more appropriate for a Super Bowl party.” So that was a good moment. Nevertheless, I think it’s time to move on to another concept.