Who You Callin’ Ugly? Ugly Christmas Sweaters & Weird Holiday Traditions
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but our Christmas sweatshirts are so delight — er wait — these are frightful too! That can only mean one thing...it’s Ugly Christmas Sweater season! If you can’t wait to wear the ugliest outfit hanging in your closet, then you’ve come to the right place! The more cats and tinsel the better.
Design By Humans is excited to embrace the uglier side of the holidays with the Ugly Christmas Sweater Collection! Whether you want a funny ugly Christmas sweater or just something plain weird like a shark ugly Christmas sweatshirt, we can promise you that they’ll all be perfectly ugly! In fact, in honor of the “uglier” side of the holidays, we’re going to share some of the strangest, darkest, and just plain weirdest holiday traditions from around the world.
1) Evil Santa 2.0: Krampus
Move over Santa Claus, Krampus just got to town! If you were naughty this year, then you can forget about getting coal in your stockings because Krampus is here to throw you in a sack and take you home for dinner (as in you’ll be dinner) instead.
Germany, Austria, Croatia, and several other surrounding European countries celebrate the world’s most terrifying goat-like figure, or the anti-Santa named Krampus. He’s like a goat...if goats were terrifying and what nightmares are made of.
2) Meowy Christmas: Yule Cat
If you’ve always wished that Santa had more helpers, then you’ll love the Icelandic tradition of the 13 Yule Lads! In the days leading up to Christmas, Icelandic children are visited by 13 jolly pranksters who leave gifts or old potatoes behind for children.
We’ll admit that we’re a little nervous about meeting the Yule Lad named Window Peeper alone at night, but his brothers Bowl Licker and Sausage Swiper sound just like our kind of guys! We love sausages and just about anything worth licking out of a bowl. Brownie batter for the win.
However, it’s Gryla — the Yule Lads’ terrifying mother — and her evil giant black cat, the Yule Cat, who you really need to worry about. Gryla and her cat are known to eat naughty children or — even worse — eat children who don’t get a new item of clothing for Christmas! GASP.
3) Eye of Reindeer, Toe of Elf: Holiday Witch
Italians celebrate the holidays with a kindly old lady named La Befana, who is known to bring gifts and candy to all of the good boys and girls across town. Even with her “ugly” crooked nose, broomstick, and magical powers, children cannot help but love the old witch.
In fact, she may bring coal to all of the naughty children out there, but she is also known to sweep up the house after she drops off the coal!
That seems like a pretty good trade off to us. It can be hard to keep up with house chores during the holidays; sometimes all we need is a friendly Halloween — er — Christmas witch to help out around the house.
4) Is that a Horse Head in Your Bed or Is It Just Mari Lwyd?
We all learned from The Godfather that you’ll get a horse’s head in your bed if you refuse the Corleone family... But what does it mean if your doorbell rings and there’s a horse head at your front door? It must be the Welsh tradition of Mari Lwyd, or Grey Mare!
The quaint (yet nightmarish) custom is believed to have started from an ancient Celtic ritual and has since evolved into a tradition similar to Christmas caroling. However — instead of just singing and bringing good cheer door to door — Mari Lwyd participants parade around town, following a person carrying a horse skull on a pole (nowadays it’s usually a fake one, thank goodness). The merry party-goers tell jokes and have singing contests in the hopes of being invited inside people’s homes and the local pubs to enjoy holiday food and drinks.
5) Beat a Stick with a Stick: Christmas Log
The Catalan custom from Spain encourages children to care for the Tio De Nadal (Christmas Log) — affectionally known as the Caga Tio or "the pooping log" — in the days leading up to Christmas.
A small hollow log with an adorable red hat and red nose is “fed” and kept warm at night so that — come Christmas — children can beat it with sticks and make it “poop” candy and treats.
It seems wrong to nurture the Christmas Log, learn to love it, and then finally beat it to death with a stick. Then again, many countries also celebrate the holidays by baking and then eating gingerbread men cookies, which seems pretty barbaric too...
Whatever other delightfully odd holiday traditions you celebrate — whether it’s one with a dead horse parade or a cleaning witch — the Ugly Christmas Sweater tradition might just be the strangest one out there. Why search for the ugliest Christmas outfit, just so you can win the title of ugliest person in the room? You win! You’re the ugliest. Yay?
Then again, it’s not as bad as eating children or beating your pet log to death. So — now that we think of it — we’re totally on board with the Ugly Christmas sweater party idea! In fact, get a (horse) head start on all of the DBH Ugly Christmas sweaters today and be sure to get voted the “ugliest” (aka best) this holiday season! Here’s to you being the ugliest! Cheers.