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We’ve had our turkey, and we’ve fought the lines on Black Friday, now it’s time to add the icing on our holiday tradition cake—the ugly Christmas sweater. That’s right. That itchy, bright red and green mess with Rudolf’s nose sticking right out of the front, is now a fashion do, but why?

In the 80s, Bill Cosby, better known then as Cliff Huxtable, was an everyday-wearer of the ugly sweater. Then, as years passed, the ugly Christmas sweater picked up popularity in the 2000s when ugly Christmas sweater parties became a thing in Canada.

According to the book Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On, authors Brian Miller, Adam Paulson, and Kevin Wool write that the only thing you need to do to have an awesome party is to ask guests to “wear ugly holiday sweaters.”

Other reasons for the rise of ugly Christmas sweater popularity, according to The Wire, include: nostalgia, ironic humor, Google, the underlying psychology of the parties, and adults trying to imitate young people.

According to, ugly Christmas sweaters even have links to runway fashion.

The sweaters’ current popularity can also be linked to trends on the runway. Fair Isle knits have been popular this season, as well as tribal prints; both feature bold graphic patterns in the same vein as some of the holiday pullovers – those on the tamer side, at least.

But honestly, let’s face it. The sweater is a symbol of family, cheer, food, and presents. So, this year join in on the fun and purchase an ugly Christmas sweater you’ll be proud of, or make one yourself!

Ugly Christmas Sweater