Hunting for a New Look

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Have you noticed that, besides Halloween, and an Irish pub on Saint Patty’s Day; the Christmas season is the only other time you can dress in strange, silly, and ridiculous attire – and get away with it? How many of you have ever attended, or hosted, what’s called an “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party?” Over the past few years, the popularity of these events has sky-rocketed, as young and old, have searched for the perfect ugly sweater online, as well as in vintage clothing stores, and local Salvation Army and Goodwill thrift shops. The objective is to procure a tacky and outrageous sweater, in bright red and green colors, with large depictions of reindeer, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves or Christmas trees, and any humorous, and often naughty, Christmas-themed saying.

We had an ugly sweater party and contest at my house, as part of last year’s holiday celebration; and guess who won the spectacular grand prize of a years of supply of tooth-breaking, decades old, candy canes? I not only won, but didn’t even buy an ugly sweater. I pulled a sweater out of the back of my closet, that my great-grandmother must have bought at a 1908-yard sale, and was passed down from generation to generation. The sweater was made of a thick and plush fabric, resembling the fur of a grizzly bear. My dog, Chase, was kind enough to loan me some of his large and varied collection of slightly chewed, stuffed toys. The ones I chose were small, life-like, and depicted a variety of animals, such as: a hedgehog, ground squirrel, cute chipmunk, rabbit, groundhog, and a black and white skunk. I spent hours, meticulously sewing the creatures onto my ancient sweater. The final result of my endeavor was, what looked like a scene from a horror film. Can you envision, a large, fur-covered man, engaged in a valiant fight for his very existence, as rabid creatures of the forest cover his upper body in a horrifying feeding frenzy. It was so cool.

This Christmas season, I was thinking of possibly opening an ugly sweater boutique. I certainly have enough unfashionable sweaters, stored away in multiple closets and cardboard boxes in my basement, to supply every ugly sweater party in the entire northeastern United States. I’ve been receiving not only ugly, but unbelievably hideous and often disturbing sweaters from my wife, kids, and in-laws for the past twenty years. I don’t think I’ve had a birthday, Father’s Day or Christmas, when I didn’t receive at least one sweater that invoked either shock or uncontrolled laughter from everyone who saw it. I once, as part of the Christmas spirit; cleaned out my closet and donated about a third of my collection of ugly sweaters to charity. Three days later a group of homeless men showed up at my doorstep and returned them to me.  One of them said, “Look mister. We may be down on our luck, it’s pretty cold outside, and we really appreciate the thought, but come on man – look at these things!” Who knows. Maybe ugly ties will become popular. I must have two hundred of them hanging in my closet.

Did you ever wonder who came up with the idea of turning a nightmarish conglomeration of incredibly ugly-looking, Father’s Day, Birthday, and Christmas gifts, into a cool holiday tradition. Was some poor, pitiful guy, clutching a club soda, as he picked at the buffet table at his Christmas office party? Was he also wearing a bright red cardigan, with a picture of Santa on the front, and lamenting his lonely and meaningless existence, when the idea popped into his head? Could there be a former accountant named, Charlie Dormwaltzer, who’s now a multi millionaire, after realizing that a sweater costing under twenty bucks at Walmart, could be sold for fifty dollars, by marketing it as a modern fashion statement? Do you think the Chinese have a national holiday dedicated to him, after more than doubling their profit margins on ugly sweaters produced by cheap labor, in bustling factories?

It’s not just ugly sweaters, which are worn as a unique fashion statement during the Christmas season. Have any of you seen the variety of hats, including the reindeer hat pictured at the beginning of this post? It resembles the hilarious cranium covering, my Uncle Bob wears on Christmas Eve, after five or six gin and tonics, as he hangs out all night under the mistletoe. I was wondering if any of you ladies out there think this is a new, exciting, and sexy fashion trend for the man in your life. If so, I may have to buy one and wear it around the office. To be honest; the male model doesn’t look too bad with a representation of a four-legged forest creature draped over his head. Do you know why? Because he’s a model! Try putting a reindeer hat on a slightly over-weight, middle-aged man with a big, red, bulbous nose from all the celebratory holiday drinks he’s been ingesting, and what have you got. Yes, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer in an ugly sweater.

Do you know my wife bought me a similar hat last year, right after Thanksgiving? She said it was an epic battle on “Black Friday,” to fend off six or seven women fighting over the last, deer-themed hat. The only difference is, the one she bought, was a more life-like depiction of one of my favorite woodland creatures. It had slightly taller and wider horns, more realistic coloring, and covered more of my face. Donning it upon my head. she told me it was cool looking, sexy, would put me in the Christmas spirit, and keep my head warm and toasty. Helping me into my insulated, light brown jacket, to beat back the autumn chill, she then sent me out into the woods to search for wild mistletoe and holly, to decorate for our Holiday celebration. I was also supposed to bring back some cedar boughs, and pine cones to make a wreath for our front door.

As I trudged across open fields, and into nearby woodlands, thick with vegetation, I noticed how my beige pants, light brown jacket, and hat, blended in with the fall foliage. I could almost imagine myself as one of the animals of the forest, silently and majestically moving amidst towering trees. I marveled at how quiet and peaceful the forest was, until a nearby rifle shot interrupted my reverie, and bullets began to ricochet off the bark of nearby trees. Soon, a large, burly man in bright orange clothing, began yelling, “I think I got him. I think I hit that crazy looking deer, with the enormous, trophy-sized rack.” It was only then, as I hastily discarded my reindeer hat, and made a mad dash for the cover of nearby thickets, that I remembered something. Hey, today is the start of hunting season!

About Patrick Dykie

I'm a simple, middle class family man, living a quiet life in eastern Pennsylvania. As you can see from my picture, I just became a first-time grandfather. I love to write, not only to make people laugh, but also to make them think, and ponder their life and existence. I was trying to be a full-time writer, but have recently returned to work to fend off those pesky bill collectors. I've faced some things over the past few years, including health problems that have slowed me down in my dreams, but I'm back, healthy, and writing again. I will be self-publishing a book titled, "Simple Observations," in the next few months. It is similar to my blog , except the stories are a bit longer. I'll keep you updated on its status. I've recently started a new blog called, "A Love of Writing." You can access it from my "Simple Observations of Everyday Life" blog, along with my "Authors Site." Thank you for visiting my sites. It's greatly appreciated. I hope you enjoy your visit.
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24 Responses to Hunting for a New Look

  1. Annette Rey says:

    I’d love to read your new blog. Suggestion: in your About paragraph, make a live link on the entry “A Love of Writing.” That way, someone like me can just click on it and go straight to your new blog without searching how to get there. Congrats on book! 🙂

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    • Sorry for the late response. I’m trying to get my first book out before Christmas, and I’m not around as much as I’d like. I appreciate your visits. I’ve been very busy, and haven’t posted for three weeks on my new site. The picture I posted for my new site should get you there by clicking on it. Thanks for stopping by, and take care.

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  2. Lisa says:

    Great post, as usual! I’d be wondering if my spouse had recently taken out a life insurance policy with regards to that hat…my goal is to be an old lady who dresses outrageously so I can embarrass my son in public.

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    • Thanks for visiting. I always appreciate it. My wife has had life insurance on me for over twenty years. I just accept it as a part of a happy marriage. Good for you with embarrassing your son. I’ve done it for years with my two sons, and I’ve enjoyed it tremendously.

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  3. Shonnie says:

    You needed to include pictures … thats all I’m sayin’ … Dude!

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  4. Ha ha, Patrick, you are an incorrigible comic. Thank you for this fantastic post.

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    • Thank you for the compliment. Sorry I’m late with the response. I finished the final edit on my book, and, I have a consultation on Friday for the cover design. Hopefully all goes well. Thanks again, and take care.

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  5. utesmile says:

    You surely learnt your lesson, not to wear a deer hat in the forest…… Glad that hunter was a rubbish shooter…..

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  6. nrhatch says:

    In Florida, we have ugly flip flop contests at Christmas . . . not a sweater in sight!

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    • Thanks again for visiting my blog. I always enjoy hearing about what’s gone on in the sunshine state. What happens when you get a rare cold spell, and the oranges are freezing? Do you have hidden, ugly sweaters you pull out of storage?

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  7. Garfield Hug says:

    And scary that you almost got shot – mistaken for an animal in the wild! Please do not try it again LOL!

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  8. Garfield Hug says:

    Though my lil red dot does not have the luxury of seasons…I do watch the Christmas movies and laugh at the merry little sweaters you call ugly! I hope you will post some of the photos of the sweaters soon! Keep warm my friend 🙂

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  9. Yes. it’s quite cold here for Christmas, all the leaves are already falling off the trees, and in a few weeks, hunting season for deer will begin. I’ll be sure not to wander off. I think, I like your idea of shorts, and beer, and a barbecue. Thanks for visiting Ivor. P.S I saw your doppelganger again. The tall, lovely woman with him does have blond hair. I guess, both Ivor’s; one on each side of the world, have good taste.

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  10. Jennie says:

    Hysterical, Patrick!

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  11. ivors20 says:

    Gosh Patrick, you nearly got shot, and the Christmas door wreath could’ve been used on your casket !! Here in Australia we don’t dress-up that much for Xmas, It’s usually too darn hot, around 100 F. and we’re more likely to be wearing shorts, a big straw sun-hat, and pair of sun-glasses, standing around the barbecue, with a cold beer in a stubbie holder !!

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