Open Letter: Ugly Sweater Parties / by LD

Dear Ugly Sweater (You of the Ugly Sweater Contests and Parties, esquire) - 

Hey, you. How are you doing? Feeling scratchy? Feeling like the life of the party? Lost your detachable reindeer antler shoulder pads again? Bummer, dude. Where's the eggnog, you know what I'm sayin'? Gimme a pint, and hold the nog. Because looking at you is making my head hurt. 

Seriously, guys, what is up? I need to understand why you're so profoundly whacked out. 

No, really.  I try to understand. I do. I've been on God's green earth for 25 years now and if there's anything I've learned, it's that there are two sides to every story; one man's trash is another man's ugly sweater; walk a mile in that guy's shoes; you know, to achieve more perfect clarity, and so on. I really, truly try to understand all sorts of confounding paradoxes, and typically I'm malleable enough to at least comprehend - if not always agree with - the other side's point of view. 

But Ugly Sweaters, I just don't get you.

Are we having fun yet?

You're an unholy alchemy of discordant colors and textures. You're very often purchased for a handful of change at a smelly thrift store. You're knit with the kind of Brillo wool that causes my skin to chafe at the mere thought of you. Don't get me wrong, Ugly Sweater - I certainly don't think of you often. But 'tis the season, as they say, so your proliferation is far more ubiquitous than usual and it seems no matter where I look, be it at work or play, I see cheery invitations writ in Lucida trumpeting your presence at said event. If I'm being honest, knowing you're going to be at the party makes me want to stay at home, don something slinky just because it's the antithesis of you, and allow my mind to thaw out to an all-weekend Gossip Girl bender. 

Not even one of Chuck Bass's scarves could redeem this look.

In fact, can I be frank? I could drink my body weight in bad eggnog, followed by some yuletide cheer in the form of an MGD 40, cram a fruitcake down my maw, puke it all up in the shape of a reindeer and leave it out in the pale December sun for three days, and Sweater? That pile of detritus would be more attractive than 90% of the drivel that you bring to the party when you inevitably show up sheathing a howling arbiter of terribly obnoxious Holiday spirit. 

If it seems like I'm being harsh, it's because I am. But no harsher than the bad color choices you repeatedly make. No worse than an embroidered Santa Claus pooping out a cornucopia of elves and candy corn. No worse than a garment with a complicated lighting system installed within the scratchy bones of its infrastructure. 

Good fugly we bring to you and your kin! 

And you can snivel and pout and accuse me of being some kind of modern day Scrooge all you want, Ugly Sweater. It's not going to help your case that a fleet of scowling, whiny reindeer look any better than a dozen smiling ones. So turn that frown upside down, hang some icicle lights from it, and flash your way to the goody table, Sweater. Because if we're ever at a party together, you can bet I will ignore you. And not only that, I'll probably spread ugly rumors about your illicit after-hours partying with Embroidered Jumpers, and be they true or be they false, no one will question my authority, Sweater. Because it's your word against mine and who's going to believe an entity whose sole purpose is to give its wearers a nasty Christmas rash? 

I didn't think so. 

Better stay home this year, Ugly Sweater. 

Bah Humbug,
Laurel