PICKENS COUNTY — We’ve all done it: You’re gathered with friends, family and loved ones, flipping through old photos of past holiday seasons and it hits you like a yule log. What in the world was I wearing?
As fashion trends come and go, at one time or another we’ve all fallen victim to certain clothing styles and fads — whether it be bell bottoms, “poodle bangs,” shoulder pads (shudder) or tightly rolled acid-washed jeans.
It’s a rite of passage and serves as a constant photographic reminder of what decade you came of age in.
But there’s one, very specific article of clothing that can’t be explained away as “the fashion of the times” — the dreaded Christmas sweater.
For years, these unwanted gifts were bestowed upon the younger generations by, let’s be honest, our grandmothers.
The recipients were then forced to pose for a picture in said garment to show their gratitude and “how much they loved it” to be mailed back to Grandma and forever pinned upon a pea-green or almond colored refrigerator.
Thanks, Grandma …
As the years went by, more and more people fell victim to this most heinous of holiday traditions — until, at last, we began to fight back.
“Ugly Sweater Parties” began to catch on several years ago with the now-adults digging their old moth-eaten, knitted holiday wear to gatherings with friends, each competing to see who truly had the ugliest Christmas sweater.
It caught on.
Department stores now sell “ugly sweaters” on purpose and the apparel has transitioned from the bane of our childhood to the highlight of our holiday season.
Local businesses Uncle Sam’s Antiques, Midtown Music & Fine Arts Center, Sealevel Inc., Horton Farms, Very Merry Local Market, On Q Financial, JS Miller Construction, McDonald’s, Baptist Easley and Buddy’s Chainsaw banded together and recognized the trend as well.
Wanting to take part in a fun way to connect with the community, these businesses have decided to team up and sponsor a … wait for it … county-wide “Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.”
Now, like any contest, you have to have some rules …
We here at The S.P. were inclined to just turn Pickens County residents loose and accepts any photo — be it man, woman, child or family pet — as an entry. However, cooler heads prevailed and reminded us that any contest needs to have some guidelines lest chaos (or hilarity) ensue.
For those reasons, the contest will have two divisions, a children’s contest (0-17) and adult (18+).
Submissions for the contest will begin on Friday, Nov. 17 and will end on Saturday, Dec. 2. To submit your photos, just go to www.sentinelprogress.com/contests.
It’s that easy.
Now, you can only submit one photo of yourself, so make sure to pick out the most horrifying, hideous, can’t-believe-it-was-ever-knitted one. We will not accept multiple submissions of a single person — because we’re jerks like that.
Hey, rules are rules.
Submissions should also just be of a single person, no couples … that’s cheating.
After the submission period ends, the fun part starts: voting!
Anytime between Sunday, Dec. 3 and and Saturday, Dec. 9. go ahead and use the same link to vote for the the person wearing the most appalling holiday sweater.
Winners will be revealed in the Dec. 16 edition of The Sentinel-Progress, which falls the day after National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day — yes, that’s a thing.
In addition to having your photo published in the paper, the winners get cool prizes too! So enter, tell your friends and don’t forget to vote.