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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

The Christmas jumper dilemma

We’ve all got a Christmas jumper, haven’t we? Go on, Scrooge, admit it, you’ve got one somewhere. Even the bah-humbugs among us tend to have one lurking in the depths of a cupboard and can bring it out when strong-armed into joining in the festive fun.

It’s become quite a thing in the UK over the past few years, this wearing of a Christmas jumper on a specific day (who decides when it’s going to be Christmas Jumper Day, I wonder…?), and I suppose the trick is to find one you really like and stick with it, rather than buying a new one every year. You can call it a tradition, in the same way you might bring out the same table decoration year after year or hang the same baubles on the tree.

However, this is one tradition I have yet to come to grips with. I’m still searching for that perfect mix of wearabilty – not too knitted, else I might melt; not too scratchy (some of them make you itch like you have a severe dose of fleas, and there’s nothing that kills the Christmas spirit quite so much as when you’re scratching like mad every few seconds); fashion (i.e., I don’t look like a poorly wrapped present when I’m wearing it); and exclusivity (I don’t want to turn up for work in the same jumper as twelve other people, else we look like we’re some kind of synchronised jumper wearing team). Let’s face it, it’s the vast variety of jumpers which makes the day so much fun, and I don’t know about you, but my workmates are quite ferocious in trying to outdo one another.

I started my Christmas jumper-wearing days a few years ago with a thick, itchy number, which sported a reindeer’s head with a pair of antlers spreading out across the top of it. I really, really should have tried it on in the shop before I bought it. I really, really should have checked myself in the mirror before I went out in the morning, because the reindeer’s head was roughly in the area of my tummy (not an issue), and the antlers were across the top of my chest (definitely a problem). It took a couple of double-takes from my colleagues and a fair bit of tittering (excuse the pun) before I understood what they were laughing at. Unless you looked carefully, it appeared that a pair of hands had been placed strategically over a certain part of my anatomy. Those antlers didn’t look like antlers at all.

The following year saw me wearing a jumper dress which looked like the body of an elf. Not at all itchy, and vaguely flattering as long as I pulled it in with a belt. Teamed with thick, black leggings and some knee-high boots, I thought I looked fairly merry and rather cool. But when it started to unravel due to an incident with one of those little contraptions that you use to remove staples from paper, I was forced to go home to change before the whole thing fell apart.

Last year, I settled on more of a long-sleeved, T-shirt than a jumper. It was a sort of dove-grey with the darker grey stylised outline of a reindeer. Subtle, I thought, understated. Maybe not as festive as some and certainly not as colourful as most, but I thought it elegant and comfortable. It was meant to be comfortable, I realised, when someone pointed out that it had ‘Sleepwear’ embroidered on the back. Ah, well, I suppose it saved me from changing into my PJs for bed. There’s always a silver lining, eh?

This one is available from Amazon.

I’ve yet to pluck up the courage to make a purchase for this forthcoming Christmas Jumper event. I might just buy some deely boppers and a length of tinsel and call it a day!

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