We're not exactly certain that something so intrinsically awful and falsely ironic can jump the shark, but if so, ugly Christmas sweaters have succeeded masterfully.
Unless it's something your grandmother physically knit for you with her arthritic fingers, and unless you're sitting in front of her, eating a pie she baked while waiting for Santa by the fire, there's just no reason anybody should ever wear ugly Christmas sweaters. They are by definition unappealing, so they don't look good on anybody, and no longer carry the same novelty after that college party four years ago when some guy (probably named Brad) ruined ugly sweaters for everyone. Now it's a tired trend that needs an intervention.
Yet somehow the gaudy holiday industry is thriving like never before. When once you could simply reach back into the recesses of dad's dingy closet, now there's a market for high-end sweaters specifically meant to annoy your friends. And if you can't afford one, just rent it.
It's a weird thing when you consider it's an industry based upon something we used to make fun of, and in a few years our kids will see photos of us wearing these new-old looking ugly sweaters and feel nothing but shame. Remember all the jokes you used to make about your father hideous fuzzy red pullover with Santa's fat, creepy face just staring out into nothingness? How did we go from that that to the 4,070,000 results in 0.28 seconds from typing "Ugly Christmas sweater" into Google, including a prompt from Urban Outfitters to "Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater" and a link to UglyChristmassweater.com? Clicking on any of the links leads you down a wormhole to all kinds of fashion abominations from Home Alone quotes to sweater vests that the 1980s wouldn't even touch. And as if it couldn't get any worse, now you have Christmas suits. The ugly madness must end!
Thankfully, there are some options out there so you can don a sweater that only makes sense between the day after Thanksgiving and the morning when you open all the presents.
Something like a York Street by J. Press Reverse Fair Isle V-neck made of 100% Shetland Wool could do the trick, and really looks great even after the holidays. But if you really need a Christmas sweater to call your own, you can maybe get away with candy canes dancing around your favorite hockey team's name on an ugly sweater, or a classic punk band's logo re-imagined for the season to wear to your company party. A good rule of thumb is if you think Garth and Kat could rock it, it's better to leave it on the rack, and kick the ugly Christmas sweater trend to the curb along with the dried out tree once covered in lights and ornaments.