Ugly Sweater

by Published: Dec 4, 2013

Ugly-Sweater-Amy-Bardell-CutoutJingle bells, col­or­ful rib­bons, a uniquely designed hol­i­day pat­tern and even some pom poms and felt added on — that’s me.

I sound beau­ti­ful, don’t I? I am the won­der­fully col­or­ful Christmas Sweater. Many of you would prob­a­bly call me an “ugly Christmas sweater,” some­thing you’d get all dolled up in before a hol­i­day party. I was once someone’s trea­sure, you know. They wore me proudly.

Now I am a joke.

I used to be con­sid­ered the hit of the party. I still am, but only because I am the ugliest.

It’s a friv­o­lous tale of riches to rags. I was once neatly folded with care. Then I was shoved into a shabby card­board box with raggedy jeans that didn’t fit right, all before being uncer­e­mo­ni­ously hung up in a con­sign­ment shop with a bunch of sweaters that were… well, ugly.

I heard from Elizabeth DePew, a vol­un­teer at Big Rapids con­sign­ment shop Everything Under the Sun, that they do not even accept people’s old, ugly sweaters. Most go right into the dona­tion bins. Apparently the ugly sweater trend hasn’t spread to all the resale stores. Well, I bet some­one will love my breed, and not just because it’s free.

There is this one woman, Amy Bardell, a senior in the pub­lic rela­tions pro­gram, who absolutely loves to show off my kind. Once again, though, it’s only for this new trend of ugly sweater Christmas par­ties. She always finds some gor­geous sweaters at the Salvation Army.

“There is a lot that goes into find­ing the per­fect ugly sweater. Is it some awful color? What kind of ugly design is on it? Are there exces­sive frills, like shoul­der pads, or in my case, feath­ers?” Bardell said.

DePew sum­ma­rized, “They’re look­ing for a base. Something they can dress up even more.”

Bardell goes into stores look­ing for the best my kind can offer. Normally she finds it — but then she destroys it. It’s just disheartening.

“My mother was the mas­ter­mind behind this year’s ugly sweater. She told me last year’s wasn’t ugly enough, so she looked for one and added some ugly to it,” Bardell explained.

“Added more ugly to it,” can you believe that? People these days have such a lack of appre­ci­a­tion for fine Christmas attire. I’m a beau­ti­fully crafted, knit sweater with a Christmas pat­tern sewn in. There is no ugly here to add to.

Icons such as Bill Cosby were wear­ing sweaters uniron­i­cally back in the good old days, when sweaters were truly appre­ci­ated. Now the noble sweater is naught but a trend. It is used as a way for peo­ple to outdo each other as the ugliest.

Despite the dis­may, I’ve decided to embrace the pos­i­tive. At least I’m not hung up in a musty Goodwill any­more. I must not be quite so worth­less if peo­ple are going out of their way to find me.