It's that time of year again!
Time to break out the eggnog, hang up the mistletoe, and dust off your ugliest Christmas sweater.
That's right, it's once again time for the annual forced office party or ugly Christmas sweater party with friends where you have to pretend to enjoy yourself while wearing something that would normally get you laughed out of any respectable establishment.
But why do we do it?
Why do we continue to subject ourselves to this torture year after year? Let's take a closer look at the ugly truth about ugly Christmas sweaters.
The History of Ugly Christmas Sweaters
Contrary to popular belief, ugly Christmas sweaters are not a recent invention.
In fact, they have been around for centuries - yes, it's true.
The first ugly Christmas sweaters were hand-knit by Scandinavian grandmothers who believed that the more garish and gaudier the sweater, the more luck their grandkids would have in finding a spouse.
Of course, these sweaters were nothing like the ones we wear today.
They didn't have flashing lights or obnoxious holiday sayings emblazoned across the chest.
No, these sweaters were simply, well... ugly. They were often made from itchy wool materials and featured Puritan-esque designs such as reindeer or holly berries.
In other words, they weren't exactly what you would call "fashionable."
It wasn't until the 1980s that ugly Christmas sweaters really started to catch on in popular culture.
This was due in large part to two movies that featured characters wearing hideous holiday sweaters: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Bad Santa.
In both films, the characters who wore these unsightly garments were portrayed as being somewhat out of touch with reality - which only made them more relatable to the general public.
As a result of this exposure, ugly Christmas sweaters became increasingly popular over the next few years, culminating in the creation of the first-ever Ugly Sweater Party in 2002.
Why Do We Wear Them?
So why do people continue to wear ugly Christmas sweaters year after year, despite their obvious discomfort?
Well, there are a few reasons.
First and foremost, they're just plain fun.
There's something about donning an outlandish outfit that makes people feel silly and carefree - especially during all the holiday stress.
Secondly, they help us bond with others.
Wearing an ugly sweater is sort of like wearing a sign that says, "I'm in on the joke."
It shows that you're willing to let down your guard and have a good time - even if it means looking ridiculous in the process.
Last but not least, they give us a much-needed dose of nostalgia during what can often be a hectic and chaotic time of year.
Whether it's remembering childhood Christmases spent with family or recalling that one embarrassing office party from years past, ugly Christmas sweaters remind us of simpler times when all we had to worry about was how many gifts we were going to get under the tree.
So, there you have it - the ugly truth about ugly Christmas sweaters!
Though they may not be fashionable (or even comfortable), there's no denying that these garish garments bring people together and help create lasting memories.
So, whether you're attending an office party or getting together with friends, make sure you break out your ugliest sweater and enjoy all this festive season has to offer in some very cray-cray styles!