Where’s me (Xmas) Jumper?!

By Louise Whelan

Once upon a time anyone with relatively good common sense and a real panache for style shunned the idea of a woolly hand-knitted ugly Christmas jumper, so much so, that they would rather cut off their toenails with a pliers than wear this garish, offensive item.

Remember the scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary where poor old Mark Darcy looked less than impressed at himself having to wear a reindeer jumper at a family party, picked out by a relative. Cringe!

Fast forward to 2022 and the popularity of these go-to garments has set new trends, where actually if you don’t own one or have never worn one, it’s frowned upon in today’s society. And you’re mocked as a Grinch!

The history of said jumper originated from Scandinavian countries in the 1980s where they were hand knitted to keep cosy in the winter. These heavy warm sweaters featured different patterns from different communities showcasing their vibrant geometric designs. Television presenters around the world also wore them back in the 70s for their Christmas specials.

Since its first presentation in 1975, the Late Late Toy Show has become a cultural institution in Ireland. Gay Byrne started off the tradition by wearing the winterstyle design geansai back in 1975 and that has continued throughout the years, although Pat Kenny opted for the more conservative boring basic grey and navy jumpers with checked shirts which just didn’t quite hit the Xmas factor, whereas Ryan Tubridy unleashes his zippy inner child to the maximum every single year.

Ryan Tubridy’s Christmas
jumper (Photo: Andres Poveda

And why not be silly during the silly season? These novelty themed jumpers are making a fortune over the festive period, being bought in their millions every year, with matching accessories like hats and glasses to really up your game. And there’s something for everyone, for any age. Zero limits. You can even make your own unique style. Obsessed with fairy lights? Stick them on your jumper! Love tinsel? Glitter? The more, the merrier!

Businesses and workplaces have used this as an incentive to run fundraisers for charities based on Christmas jumpers, raising funds by having a day where you dress up and donate to worthy causes locally and around the world. They use it to raise awareness and get these resources to struggling people and families so this harmless tradition brings people together to help those in need.

Focus Ireland secure such funds each year by having a Christmas Jumper day for those experiencing homelessness in Ireland. They will be asking people to come together with their classmates, colleagues and friends and family to organise a Christmas Jumper Day at work, school or at your club. You can host a day in schools, colleges, offices and community groups and wear your creations to support the cause. You can also contribute online. The campaign runs from November through December. For more information and to get a fundraising pack, contact events@focusireland.ie.

The Bath Pub has put a different spin on the Christmas jumper-themed party they do. As well as having the regulars in as a thank you for the year gone, they also celebrate our local superhero, Mr Tilly who every year raises staggering amounts for Our Lady’s Hospice and Care Services in Harold’s Cross. Mr Tilly is such a kind hearted, wonderful human being, so it’s a lovely idea for his local pub to organise, giving a little back to a man who gives his all to everyone. If you want to get involved and please do, just wear your Christmas jumper to The Bath Pub on December 17th. Buy some raffle tickets and enjoy a fun-filled evening.

From the editor and all the staff at NewsFour (suitably attired) we would like to wish you a very Happy, Peaceful, and fun-filled Christmas.

As with yearly traditions though, the only downside of this fast fashion trend is that they are usually only worn once or twice and then get dumped in the bin. This causes a huge amount of waste and as most of the jumpers are made of plastic fibres, it doesn’t bode well for pollution. So instead of throwing it away, recycle. Let someone else get the wear out of it. If you have more than one, swap them with your friends, give them away to family members, or donate to charity shops. There’s lots of ways to be smart savvy and do your bit for the environment.

Make this December a month of embracing the Christmas jumper, the world has enough doom and gloom. Why not allow yourself to feel fabulously festive? They are just a bit of craic, a few slaggings are expected (actually loads!), but lots of laughs too, especially the tagged Instagram and Facebook pics (the best part).

Bring the gift of jolly into your life and catch all the Xmassy feels while also staying warm and cosy. So wear your pullover with pride, even the Grinch softened up in the end..

Send in your photos of your cheerful ensembles to louisenewsfour@gmail.com and we’ll get them up on the Facebook page.