Is it Christmas yet? The festive season has taken an unexpected turn and all my reserves of jolly have broken in my bag, making the bottom soggier than a reject cake from the Great British Bake Off. Less ho, ho, ho. More boo hoo hoo. This former lover of bedecked halls is having yet another allergic reaction to the Christmas Jumper.
I’ve written about the Christmas Jumper and my hard-to-place distaste for them before. Predictably, that column was written last Christmas and not during a particularly blazing day in July, though that would give me another reason not to like them. Woolly knits don’t go down well at the beach. You’ll be all hot and itchy and sand will get stuck in the wool, scratching the living daylights out of you. We’re just so lucky that the existence of a warm summer isn’t usually a problem for Irish residents. Truly, we are blessed as a nation. Truly, truly blessed.
Last year I went for a few drinks with some colleagues at a women’s website. It might be the fact that we’re all screeching, hardcore, dungaree-wearing, card-carrying feminists (read this sentence with a touch of irony, if you will) but the men out en masse in the festive jumpers were bothering us, in many senses of the word.
I went home that night, drunk and angry, with a sore bottom from most definitely unwanted pinches. I hated Christmas jumpers. Hated them. They were evil. They made the people in them do terrible, terrible things. Christmas Jumpers were sexism in a garment. I had cracked it!
The resulting column was terrifically angry. It was also very, very wrong. If men in jumpers acted like drunken festive idiots, then surely it was the jumpers that made them so, right? If my argument was correct, it could also be argued that wearing a nice pair of running shoes makes the wearer an Olympic athlete.
I am fantastically ashamed of my old argument, and even more so now that Christmas Jumpers are getting such a bad rep. I still don’t like them, but I no longer think that they are endemic and an indicator of everything that is wrong with Christmas excess. I just think that they are kinda crap.
Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. I needed to wake up and see that the Christmas Jumper wasn’t the disease. It was only a symptom. The real disease is the craziness that people go through when festivities and free booze are forced upon them.
Don’t get me wrong; I still hate Christmas Jumpers with a deep and abiding passion. At least now I know that, like my hatred of flying, this particular dislike is almost totally illogical. It might make me feel uncomfortable, but I know it won’t kill me.
If only I could say the same for everything else I hate.