Like a lot of you I’m sure, I was invited to an “ugly sweater” Christmas party this year. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a new-ish trend where everyone comes to the party with the ugliest holiday sweater they can find. I’m not quite sure how it started, but it’s pretty hilarious.

UglyChristmasSweaterOrdeal

I was invited to one last year and was accused of not having an ugly enough sweater. How dare they! I scoured the racks at Marshalls for just the right amount of ugly. And, let me tell you, the one I was wearing I would not have been caught dead in! Unfortunately, there are no photos from that party (since I wasn’t a blogger yet!) but trust me, it was hideous.

christmassweater3

I was determined to get the ugliest sweater I could dig up for this year’s party, to redeem myself. In case you didn’t know, the answer is yes, I’m competitive with everything. It’s exhausting.

I was given the tip last year that Marshall’s was too high brow for such ugliness in holiday knits.  It was suggested I go to a goodwill store. So, on a weekday afternoon in all of my SAHM bliss, I went straight to Starbucks. What? I needed to fuel up for this venture!

christmassweater2

First World Holiday Problems

The drive-thru line at Starbucks rivals that of Disney World on a holiday weekend. I sat in my SUV for a full 15 minutes waiting to pay seven dollars for my grande vanilla soy latte. The worst part was that, for some reason I had no internet on my phone! What the what? No FB, no Instagram, no email checking – nothing. And Sirius had the audacity to do a replay of a Howard Stern show I had already heard. It was a long 15 minutes and yes, these are my problems. So sad.

Are We All Jerks?

I finally made my way to the goodwill store that I’m accustomed to donating to. I admit, I don’t think I had been in one for many, many years. I sauntered up to the store with my warm coat, hot latte and designer hand bag. I was immediately struck by the smell in there. Oh.dear.Lord. It was like a truckload of moth balls and stale air. My eyes watered as I staggered over to the rack the employees had conveniently set up with all the holiday sweaters on them. There was some doozies.

christmassweater4

As I started holding up a few to see which one was ugliest, the older woman next to me looked at the sweater, then up at me and said “That’s a nice one.” Um, what? I mean, I know it’s people like that who wear these things and think they’re adorable but I immediately felt like a jerk. Here I was, at a donation center, buying a perfectly good sweater, to make fun of it for an entire night of partying.

I started to look around the store and noticed the moms who were obviously Christmas shopping, the older women picking out a “special” Christmas sweater from the same rack I was looking at, and the televisions lined up at the back of the store were ones I hadn’t seen in 10 years – not a flat screen in sight.

A Realization

I bought two of the ugliest pieces I could find (one for the hubs) and got out of there as fast as possible. At first I felt guilty for all that we have when people who live right near us have so little. Then I just felt sad. My husband and I donate a lot of time and money to charitable causes, but there’s nothing like being on the front lines.

IMG_4690

These are the prizes I came home with.

When I recounted the story to my husband later on, he suggested I double the number of hams we were giving to the food pantry for the holiday week. This was not exactly the solution I was looking for.

Two days later I got a text from the host of the party saying her daughter had 102 temp and they would have to postpone it. We already have another party for the rescheduled date so I had to tell her we can’t make it.

I then had a warm fuzzy feeling knowing I wouldn’t have to wear the sweater of shame.

Yeah right.

I was so pissed off because I went though all that shit and a roller coaster of emotions about a stupid sweater, and now I wasn’t even going to the damn party! Furthermore, what the hell am I supposed to do with the two despicable sweaters I bought? Re-donate them? Is that a thing?

Damn you cold and flu season!

Have you been to an ugly sweater party?

Do you donate time or money during the holidays or though out the year?

What’s the longest time you’ve waited for a coffee?