The holiday season offers us an abundance of treasured memories and traditions. Some are sacred; some are silly, such as the ugly Christmas sweater.  Did you know that Friday, December 21, is National Ugly Sweater Day?

In a new advertisement for Facebook’s Portal face-to-face communication device, an adult daughter surveys her parents’ choice of clothing and assumes they’re preparing for an ugly sweater competition. Oops! She’s wrong. Their sweaters were simply festive, at least in their eyes!

Christmas sweaters – ugly or “festive” – can help us discover and spread holiday cheer! In fact, I’d like to share a few observations about this silly tradition. They are:

  • ‘Tis the season for fun. Whether you’re shopping for a sweater at a vintage store or a stylish boutique, I think it’s hard not to smile when looking for a sweater to mark the occasion.
  • ‘Tis the season. That’s right – it’s a season. You have an opportunity to break from your routine and see your world with fresh, crazy eyes!
  • ‘Tis the season to make a new friend. Ironically, in this day of connectivity, reports of depression due to isolation continue to increase. “Tell me about your sweater” might be a safe way to start a conversation at a business or neighborhood gathering.
  • ‘Tis the season to keep it humble. The notion of taking too much pride in your ugly Christmas sweater is unlikely!
  • ‘Tis the season for joy and laughter. Mark Twain wrote, “Humanity has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

About that assault of laughter, we have a favor to ask. Will you take a picture of your ugly (or festive) sweater and post it on our Facebook page or tag us on Twitter (@etc-easy)? Our fave 5 photos will receive a gift of cheerful office supplies – colorful sticky notes and mini flag tags – perfect for a fresh start in the new year!