A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater Sunday Controversy

As we approach our church's 2nd annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Sunday (the Sunday after Christmas) a controversy is brewing. There seems to be some discussion over what title to give this new Sunday on the church calendar.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Sunday 
Christmas Sweater Sunday?

We certainly do not want anyone to feel left out of Christmas sweater fun if they honestly believe that their sweater is tasteful rather than ugly. Let me just say that as United Methodists, we embrace inclusiveness. We have a big tent where many sweaters are welcomed into God's house.

Having said that, there are particular sweaters that are noticeably tackier than others. Examples include a very dainty Christmas sweater that a burly man steals from his wife's dresser drawar and wears on Ugly Christmas Sweater Sunday.

There is also what I would classify as the Perry Como Christmas sweater that is several decades out of style.

And let's not forget the homemade Christmas sweater complete with a string of lights, puffy snowmen, and sad looking Christmas trees.

If any of these above Christmas sweater styles falls outside of your definition of ugly, I apologize. I'm just say'n that if a poll was conducted, most regular church attendees would probably agree with me on this distinction.

So all of this leads me to want to keep the word, "ugly" in the title. Some have suggested we change the title to "tacky." I can live with that but the word ugly is a little more head turning for me. We need that little extra oomph for a Sunday that is typically not all that well attended.

UCS also provides a nice acronym for this new liturgical Sunday. CS feels a little too short for my liking.

We will continue to pray about the title of this important Sunday during the Christmas Season. Whatever you want to call it, during the Christmas Season, let's celebrate the birth of our Lord for all its worth! After a long penitential Season of Advent, we are called to rejoice, celebrate, and have some fun together! Christ is born! The Savior has come!

The good news of Christmas is meant for everyone, even those of us who have very little fashion sense.

Happy Ugly Christmas Sweater Sunday!

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