#10 - Dangers of Christmas - Ugly Christmas Sweaters


A few years ago the Huffington Post featured an article on the 12 dangers of Christmas.  The article focused on fire safety during the holiday season.  They covered everything from your Christmas tree drying out and catching the drapes on fire to burning down your home while preparing your roast beast. The article had me thinking, what if there were other dangers during Christmas?  What if, aside from falling off your roof while working on your light display and over roasting your chestnuts, there were hidden dangers during the season of advent that most of us overlook. So I decided to write about the dangers of Christmas we often ignore.

Now, a few years later, I want look at a few more dangers of Christmas we might ignore or be unaware of. So here we go, another 12 Dangers of Christmas

Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Are ugly Christmas sweaters really ugly?

There was a time when suburban women would get all done up with a sweet snowman sweater, enhancing their shoulders with needed shoulder pads, for the annual neighborhood party. Everyone knows that special someone in their life who had an awesome collection of Christmas sweaters.

These sweaters were once a piece of family lore. Children would shutter and try to hide as mom got ready for a the local holiday soiree while husbands would pretend they didn't know their wives.

Speaking of husbands, they're not off the hook either. From ties that make noise to socks that light up, the world of men's fashion isn't helping the cause either.

And this is where the problem lies. Last Sunday evening my youth group had an ugly Christmas sweater party. The goal was for students to either find a gem their grandmother or mother was hiding in the back of the closet or to make the ugliest of the ugly. But there was another option I always forget about: Satan's playground.

There is a booming business for everything Christmas. Some people argue that this is just one more battle as Christianity is losing the culture wars. I think this is just a step towards our new found laziness and lack of creativity.

Satan's playground (Walmart), Target, and every other retail chain is offering pre-made Christmas. We can go in, pick out a Christmas theme that matches our personality, swipe a card, and we're off. It is becoming increasingly the case that we are outsourcing the things which brought our families together during Christmas: being with one another and doing things together.

We purchase cookies that look and taste better than anything we could make. We do not make cards for one another, and we even outsource the preparing of our holiday meals. All of these activities were once something we did together, as a gatherings of families and friends.

Family gatherings are opportunities for the beauty and ugliness that comes with family. We see our nieces and nephews we don't see often enough but it's like we haven't missed a step or we say the wrong political statement and uncle Phil loses his eggnog.

The ugliness of our own Christmases mimics the ugliness that existed in the midst of the beauty that was Christ's birth. There was fear, angst, and worry all the while a beautiful child was born. The ugliness of what could be was stomped out by the light of Christ.

So this Christmas, don't purchase your ugliness (or beauty) in a pre-packaged sweater. Let the ugliness around you be stomped out by the beauty we create this Advent season.