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A New Perspective on Ugliest Christmas Sweaters

December 23, 2021
By Tara Lee

Christmas has come to CHESS! Sitting in my office surrounded by gifts, cards, hedgehogs, chocolate candy, and Starbucks gift cards, my heart feels like it could burst. If it weren’t such a busy day, I could sit on the floor and weep. The outpouring of love and encouragement from students, parents, teachers, and administration is overwhelming.

In addition to celebrating Christ’s birth through gifts and encouragement, to me, Christmas is also about…Ugly Christmas Sweaters! A few years ago, my family and I were invited to an Ugly Christmas Sweater party. Only hours before the party was to begin, Jeff and I were frantically scouring every local Goodwill, thrift store, and discount store to find the prized ugly Christmas sweater that would secure for us the WIN. Running out of time and options, I surrendered to the fact that my family would not win the ugliest sweater contest! I returned home empty-handed, disillusioned, and running late! Entering my closet, I pulled off the hangars anything that remotely resembled Christmas and threw it over the heads of my children.

Arriving slightly late to the party, we were greeted with roars of laughter as we walked single file into the house. “Ha Ha Ha Ha! Those are the ugliest sweaters I have ever seen! Where did you get those?” At that moment I wanted desperately to say we found the ugliest sweaters at the local Goodwill. Or the thrift store. Or some discount store. Longing to crawl into the entryway corner, it took all of my emotional strength to respond, “Oh these old things?” Immediately I shot a look to my family that was universally understood to say, “Do. Not. Utter. A. Single. Word.”

That night, the award for the Ugliest Sweater was given to my son, Caleb.   Like a faithful friend, that sweater accompanied me to various Christmas gatherings for many years. It was festive. It was comfortable. It screamed that Christmas was here! However, that night, I felt betrayed by the “old faithful”. Through the eyes of others, my old Christmas sweater was actually ugly! The veil was lifted, and I was able to see the sweater from the eyes of others! It was true. It was ugly. In fact, it was the ugliest Christmas sweater at the party!

Driving home from the party, my emotions were mixed with thankfulness that our family WON the award, and humiliation that the sweater was still in my closet. Like me, perhaps you see something from a new perspective and the veil is lifted.

I pray that this Christmas, you enjoy times of rest while centering your thoughts on the amazing incarnation of Christ from a fresh, unveiled perspective. I look forward to seeing you in 2022!

Love & blessings,


Posted in Tara Talks