It’s one of those things that goes from crazy idea to national sensation.
Once a garment that announced the festivities of the winter season, the Christmas sweater is crafted with various scenes of holiday mirth – but for many, the scratchy, woolen pullovers represent torturous moments spent wearing uncomfortable and unfashionable attire that leaves most wearers hot and itchy.
However, during the past decade, the ‘lemons-into-lemonade” mentality stepped in – it was most-likely back in 2001, according to the “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On.” Although those who actually devised the concept remain a mystery, the authors (Brian Miller, Adam Paulson, Kevin Wool) have decided that through their research the first Ugly Christmas Sweater Party took place 10 years ago in Vancouver, British Columbia. Regardless of its origin, the theme has blossomed into a yearly contest and gathering that several bars and clubs throw – and Long Island has joined the craze.
So, for all those in possession of the often-gaudy, occasionally-garish cold-weather jumpers (or are buying one or more for party purposes), here are some bashes where Long Islanders will compete to see whose spirited gear takes top honors:
First Annual Ugly Sweater Soiree
WHERE: McFadden's Rockville Centre: 210 Merrick Rd., Rockville Centre, 516-442-2600
WHEN: Wed., Dec. 21 after 8 p.m.
PRIZE: cash and awards equaling $250
EXTRAS: drink specials, music from DJ Neil C
COVER: to be announced (expect $5-$10)
Ugly Sweater Holiday Celebration and Mystic Ugly Christmas Sweater Extravaganza
WHERE: Sugar Dining Den and Social Club: 246 Voice Rd., Carle Place, 516-248-7600, sugarli.com
WHEN: Thursday, December 22 and Friday, December 23 after 5 p.m.
PRIZES: Everyone wearing a Christmas sweater gets a $25 gift card for future use at Sugar in 2012, plus a chance to win either free tickets for Sugar’s New Year’s Eve party or $500 for the ugliest sweater. (two different contests, one each night)
EXTRAS: Thursday: music from celebrity DJ Jus Ske. Friday: live music from cover band Mystic (who will also be dressed in purposely-terrible holiday garb)
Fourth Annual Ugly Sweater Party
WHERE: Declan Quinn's: 227 Fourth Ave., Bay Shore, 631-206-2006
WHEN: Sun., Dec. 25 at 9 p.m.
EXTRAS: gift certificates for top choices -- not to mention that finding a bar open on Christmas Day for some is sort of a prize in itself, and only steps from the Bay Shore LIRR station.
Picture: Too embarrassed to wear your Christmas sweater in public? We found places where you'll fit right in.