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Pack up the ugly Christmas sweaters

One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season, is to don the old Christmas sweaters and shirts. I love the festive ones, the gaudy ones, the blingy ones, the crazy ones, the red ones, the green ones, the multi-colored ones, and the classy ones. I like the ones with Santa, Rudolph, Christmas trees, snowmen, the Grinch, as well as those that signify my faith, such as angels, and the nativity.

Beginning in December, and not before, I wear my inventory of Christmas attire. I make sure I have enough of them to last the 25 days needed for the display. Since I have been an adult well more than 50 years, I have had enough time to accumulate quite a few lovely (and ugly) Christmas sweaters. They rarely wear out, since they only get a “wear” one day every year at the most, then washed and packed away for the next year. At church this month, I was admiring the sweater of one of the ladies, and she said, “It’s 30 years old.” It looked like it was brand new.

I replied, “Everything in my closet is 30 years old.” This is not actually true, but pretty close to it. For sure, most of my great and beloved Christmas sweaters are more than 20 years old. My absolute favorite one was made by my late sister-in-law, Vivian, who died of breast cancer in 2004. In 1992, she decorated sweatshirts with a green appliquéd Christmas tree with jewels for ornaments. She made one for herself, her two small daughters, my sister, my mother, and me. We were all together that Christmas, and she took a picture of all of us wearing our shirts, then put the picture on Christmas mugs. It was so special. That was 30 years ago, and I still wear that beloved shirt every December.

This is one of the many Christmas season traditions I cherish. I have always loved wearing Christmassy shirts each year. I never heard the term “ugly Christmas sweater” until recent years, when the sweaters became really outlandish, and folks wore them for fun and entertainment, but I love the crazy ones. It makes us all enjoy the holiday season, as we laugh and gather for festive get-togethers.

And now it is time to pack up the ugly Christmas sweaters, until next year. The season seems to get shorter and shorter each year as the years seem to pass faster. Now, we look forward to a new year, with hopes and dreams for the future. With the New Year comes another tradition for me regarding attire. When I lived in Haiti many years ago, I learned they had a tradition (sort of a superstition) to wear yellow or gold on New Year’s Day, to bring good fortune and prosperity. So, the only day of the year I allow myself to be dressed in yellow is New Year’s Day. Call it a respect for the beloved friends I knew in Haiti.

I would like to wish all of you a Happy New Year. Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and blessed 2023!

— My love to all,


• • •

The Lord your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing.

— Zephaniah 3:17


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