Licentiate Column 13/12/12: The Curse of the Christmas Jumper

This is me the last time I wore a Christmas jumper. Note 1) the lack of tinsel and 2) How drunk I am not.

Christmas is not a time for class and tact. Goodwill to all men perhaps, but a rough-hewn version of goodwill, all mince-pies and Twelve Pubs of Christmas, not cocktails and canapes and elongated vowels (“Merry Christmas, daaaahling!”).

Perhaps that’s why the Christmas Jumper has become so popular. It’s well on its way to becoming one of those festive staples that is done ironically at first, but after a few pints of mulled wine, becomes an excuse to act like a total and utter ass. How unrefined.

I may be biased. Last night I spent a much-anticipated few hours with a group of fellow female writers in Dublin. The company was great, the monster nachos I ate were also excellent and the two pubs were well-chosen hangouts. However, the last late bar we went into was typical of those often block-booked for office Christmas parties. You know the kind of party; peppered with Sexy Santas and men wearing well-pressed suit trousers and cheap Christmas jumpers from Penneys.

The Christmas jumper is a justification for acting like a complete and utter prat. A person looks ridiculous, so it is obviously becoming to act ridiculously as well. If it’s something as inoffensive as skanking like a loon, a person can be forgiven. If, however, you wish to project your Christmas cheer onto others in the form of vomit, word or otherwise, I’d advise you to get your act together. It’s a long way from here to New Year’s Eve and mass-produced holiday woollens, like a person’s liver, can burn out very quickly from overuse.

Clothing can be used to express many vital things – your job, your personality, your preferences in terms of almost everything. A Christmas Jumper in a pub, in my experience, expresses the following – “I will invade your personal space in the name of holiday fun, then I’ll get offended when you assert your boundaries by talking loudly to your friends about Mooncups and period pain. Finally, when I cop on that you don’t want to entertain me, I will tell you that you have undefined but incredibly serious ‘issues’, which will piss you off so much that you’ll just have to go away for a bit”.

Men of Ireland (just the obnoxious ones) – let not your Christmas Jumpers define you. You too can pop on a funny hat and a red pullover with a penguin on it without becoming a tiresome boor. I believe in you.

The Christmas Jumper needs to be rehabilitated. We need to go back to the days of unironic, begrudging jumper wearing. Think Colin Firth as Mark Darcy at the turkey curry buffet in Bridget Jones’ Diary, not Colin Firth in Fever Pitch.

Just in case you were wondering, I do own a Christmas Jumper. It has a picture of Garfield wearing a Santa hat, saying something very pessimistic. If the jumper fits, I say wear it.

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