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Here’s How Ugly Christmas Sweaters Can Beautifully Support the Disability Community

Holiday-themed appeal has evolved to include the good, the bad and the ugly. In regards to the latter look: Are you a festive fashionista that boldly dons ugly sweaters, aka brightly-colored knit tops bedazzled with bells, tinsel, garland and glitter galore? Well, I am! I typically prefer much more understated garments, but I sure hope the tacky trend of ugly, over-the-top seasonal attire never retires. Let me explain why…

Making a Meaningful Fashion Statement 

Big box retailers now sell a pretty wide assortment of ugly holiday sweaters. But when this outrageous outfit choice first began several years back, shoppers hunting for kooky Christmas clothing (self-included) headed straight to Goodwill, an international chain thrift store that sells gently-used clothing, furniture and household items at discounted prices.

Four ugly Christmas sweater wearers
photo credit: Goodwill

To this day, Goodwill sells ugly Christmas sweaters and hilarious holiday pieces in every shape, size and degree of tackiness. And if you can’t find the daring, ready-to-wear pullover of your dreams, you could easily snag a basic sweater at this second-hand shop and go the DIY route to achieve a merry masterpiece like none other. In fact, Goodwill stores often sell ugly sweater crafting materials — like fuzzy balls, ribbon, felt, etc. — to eliminate a second shopping trip in search of craft supplies.

How Ugly Christmas Sweaters Provide Beautiful Support 

As a cheerful customer exploring Goodwill’s racks filled with secondhand garments, you may not realize that your ugly Christmas sweater pursuit also engages your beautiful purchasing power in support of our disability community and other underserved communities. You see, giving to and/or shopping at the company’s 3,000+ retail stores and online auction ( empowers persons with disabilities and persons overcoming life challenges through job training, employment placement, career counseling, financial education and other related services. Goodwill has a longstanding commitment to operating an inclusive workplace staffed by employees with and without disabilities. And that’s why I never second-guess shopping at this secondhand store, especially during ugly sweater season.

Six holiday sweaters
Photo credit: (via Facebook)

When to Dress the Part

Whether you’re attending an ugly sweater party, visiting Santa Claus with the kids or tackling holiday shopping, ugly Christmas sweaters magically work for all occasions during the holiday season. Plus, there’s actually an official day of recognition for this beloved seasonal style. National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is celebrated annually on the third Friday of December (which, this year, falls on December 16, 2022). So go ahead and dress ugly! Because this funny fashion statement is equal parts silly (igniting Christmas joy) and serious (supporting our disability community via purchasing power).

Happy holidays!

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Nancy DeVault
Nancy is the managing editor of AmeriDisability. She is an award-winning storyteller passionate about health and happiness.

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