featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014


Awarding-winning author Liese Sherwood-Fabre knew she was destined to write when she got an A+ in the second grade for her story about Dick, Jane, and Sally’s ruined picnic. After obtaining her PhD she joined the federal government and had the opportunity to work and live internationally for more than fifteen years—in Africa, Latin America, and Russia. Learn more about Liese and her books at her website.

How to Make an Ugly Christmas Sweater
Ugly Christmas Sweater parties and other events have become all the rage in recent years. While my own informal research indicates these sweaters have a history back to the 1930s, it wasn’t until 2001 when three men in Vancouver, Canada created the first “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party,” the outrageous fad truly took off.

Now, every December, more and more people are faced with coming up with one for some holiday event. You can now even run 5K in one!

The thing is, where do you get one? No worries, I have instructions on how to “make” an ugly Christmas sweater:

1. Knit one. My grandmother knitted and tried to teach me. I could never tell my “knit” from my “purl,” so this is not option for me, but there are instructions available for those more talented than I. A word of caution: if you are reading this blog and haven’t started the sweater yet, aim for next year.

2. Make one from a kit. Yes, Virginia, ugly Christmas sweater kits do exist! I found a display in my local grocery store along with a completed example.

3. Decorate a regular sweater. Similar to the kit approach, but pick out your own items from a local hobby store. Don’t forget the glue gun!

4. Order online. Entire websites dedicated to ugly Christmas sweaters abound and offer a variety of sizes and styles to suit all tastes.

5. Purchase one. Department stores cater to the upscale crowd, but if you’re not willing to pay top dollar, hit the local thrift stores as soon as they put out the holiday items. These one-of-a-kind sweaters go fast. I found a pink one complete with a fake fur collar a few years ago.

6. Outbid everyone. After seeing a spot on a morning news show about a bidding war for one particular sweater, I imagined what would happen if two people headed to the same party unknowingly tried to beat out the other in an online auction. Thus, Reindeer Wars was born.

Regardless of how you make your sweater, the fun is in the kitsch: extra bling, tacky trim, and even battery-operated parts. So get your ugly on and have a happy holiday season!

Reindeer Wars
Tina has a tendency to go a little overboard when decorating for the holidays, but Brian decides her skills are just what he needs to get into the Christmas spirit. Can this budding relationship survive when they find themselves in a knock-down-drag-out competition to win the office’s “most outrageous holiday sweater?”

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Angela Adams said...

I think that "Frosty the Snowman" sweater is kind of cute! Happy Holidays!!

Liese said...

I think the fur collar really sets it off!