As a knitter, I’ve well and truly had it with the ugly sweater discourse.
When donning a holiday sweater, there are rules one must follow. There is precedent. First, the sweater should be unique, preferably knitted by a maiden aunt. The sweater must be worn on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day, so as not to offend the aforementioned aunt. Most importantly, the sweater should be impossibly itchy, featuring bunch of weird brownish zig-zags and maybe, like, a pom-pom.
But like all other good things in life, the traditional holiday sweater has morphed into something commercialized. Nay, something grotesque. Something that depicts Chester Cheetah hanging loose in front of a red wreath and a geometric flame pattern.
I am, of course, referring to the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos holiday sweater available through BoxLunch, an online pop culture merch destination. The cursed garment costs $59.90, or four interest-free payments of $15. (Dig, if you will, the idea of financing a sweater emblazoned with Chester Cheetah.)
It’s the latest in BoxLunch’s line of stoner food-inspired apparel. You can also get a Taco Bell holiday sweater that proclaims “Jingle Bells, Taco Shells” or a Maruchan Instant Lunch holiday sweater which, upon second glance, actually whips ass.
Am I just grinchy about holiday sweaters because I know the painstaking, knuckle-busting, eye-squinting work that goes into cranking out a traditional jumper? Maybe. Or maybe I’m just unfairly prejudiced toward people who stroll down the sidewalk in flashy threads that scream, “I am wearing this ironically to be a goober!”
Maybe I need to retire my knitting needles and get with the program. After all, brotherly love is what the holiday season is all about. But if I find a pair of Flamin’ Hot crew socks in my stocking, I’ll launch myself into space.