A necessary defense of the ugly holiday sweater

It’s almost ugly holiday sweater season, and we’ve got something to say.

It’s time to give ugly holiday sweaters some respect. They’ve done nothing to you, after all. They’ve never done anything really but keep you warm and remind you that the holidays are inching closer. What’s so bad about them, other than maybe their designs aren’t to your taste level?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know they’ve had a bad rap for a while. There’s that scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary where Bridget, rather horrifically, first approaches Mark Darcy at a holiday party.

Maybe this is Mr. Right, she thinks, before gazing down at his holiday sweater, which features a very large Rudolph the reindeer face complete with a red nose.


“Maybe not,” she then says, inside her head.

And yeah, it’s true that Darcy’s sweater was really bad. It’s very true. But it’s really not the worst thing you can put on your body. That would be a Make America Great Again hat.

Anyway, people still love to poke fun at these sweaters. Like, “Oh look, dude, you’ve got a reindeer on your sweater, you must be really weird.” Chances are, yeah man, that dude is really weird, but he’s also expressing his love for the holiday season while being totally inoffensive and fun. What’s the harm in that?


To all this teasing, we tell you this: Stop hating.

There is no reason for this hate, or mocking. Ugly holiday sweaters rule. Here’s why.

They are comfortable. Embrace it.

On many a holiday, we are forced to wear stuff that is annoying and uncomfortable. New Year’s Eve comes with a pressure to wear sequins. Valentine’s Day comes with a pressure to wear red, which isn’t flattering on everyone. Saint Patrick’s Day comes with a pressure to wear green, which is flattering on almost no one. With Easter, it’s pastels and summer dresses, which isn’t everyone’s thing.

But this time of year, between Thanksgiving and the December holidays, all that’s expected of you to wear is something absolutely gigantic that shields your entire body, and is cozy as hell.

What, we ask you, is so bad about that?

De Repente/Shutterstock

Don’t you want to wear something that covers every inch of the top half of your body in thick yarn that makes you feel warmer while also magically making every pound you’ve gained this holiday season invisible?

We sure as hell do.

Are they hurting anyone? No.

Another very annoying aspect of all this continued hatred toward ugly holiday sweaters is that it’s unnecessary.

Are ugly holiday sweaters hurting anyone? No, no they aren’t.

They exist to bring joy to people and excite people about the holidays. Just ask Whoopi Goldberg, who designs her own collections of holiday sweaters, covering everything from Kwanzaa to Hanukkah to Christmas.


Whoopi would never steer you wrong.

The designs rule, actually.

Just to make absolutely sure that you understand something: Ugly holiday sweaters rule. Some are better than others, of course. Some are, you know, like really unattractive. But others are actually very creative.

Like, don’t you want this light-up Hanukkah sweater?


And this Christmas sweater, with a light-up fireplace?


Don’t you want this sweater with Santa riding a unicorn?


Like, these rule. They just do.

The year is 2017 and it’s time to give ugly holiday sweaters the respect they’ve long deserved. At least do it for Whoopi.