The History of the Ugly Holiday Sweater

Holiday celebrations and parties are in full swing. Bluff Heights is experiencing that same sense of excitement, and that’s why it’s time for us to get dressed, get out, and get ugly! (Ugly holiday sweater, that is!) BHNA will host its first Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest and Food Drive on Thursday, December 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Gallagher’s. (See details in the Entertainment section.)


Here’s a quick history of the ugly holiday sweater:

It All Started in the 50s

Ugly holiday sweaters made an appearance in the 50s with the mass commercialization of Christmas. They were first known as “Jingle Bell Sweaters” and featured discrete Christmas-themed decorations. The original ugly sweaters were never intended to be “ugly”; they were actually pretty artistic and joyful. The trend had a modest presence in the media until the 80s, when it became popular on TV.

80s and 90s: Popularization and Deprecation

The character who popularized weird sweaters with strange patterns was Cliff Huxtable from The Cosby Show. By the end of the decade, it was common for conductors of Christmas specials to wear them.


During the 90s, the style wound down, but never died. The turning point was when the character Mark Darcy got shamed in the 2001 film Bridget Jones’ Diary with one of the most out-of-place designs to be seen on screen. Designers were hand-knitting one-of-a-kind sweaters!

After that, ugly jerseys stepped into the 21st century with renewed strength.

2000s: The Party Starts

In Vancouver, Canada, Chris Boyd and Jordan Birch launched the first Christmas Sweater Party. The idea soon spread all over Canada and the US, and later around the world. The parties turned into massive events, often in support of charity causes.

By 2007, ugly Christmas sweater searches started to soar on Google and the trend slowly trickled its way back into the media.

Celebrities and Haute Couture in the 2010s

Early in the decade, various fashion designers released holiday sweater collections based on the ugly ones. Soon, retail stores picked up on the trend, and now you can buy them new instead of scavenging thrift stores and inherited wardrobes. Celebrities, TV stars, and even politicians boarded the train and turned it into a common holiday sight.

Celebrate National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day!

Social media has had a huge impact on this trend, of course. Young people started buying vintage knits to see who got the ugliest one. The internet helped boost this fashion until it went global! So now we even have a National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day: the third Friday of December. Time to wear your holiday sweater loud and proud!



Make Your Own Ugly Holiday Sweater!

If you look on Google for the term “Ugly Holiday Sweater” you will likely find top retailers ads selling these very ugly designs! That’s right, ugly sweaters are a top trend for the holiday season on search terms! This fashion doesn’t stop at sweaters; you can also find “ugly” holiday earrings, socks, pajamas, cushions, and much more. So designing your Ugly Holiday Collection may be a smart move this season.


Stand out at any holiday party with a fun sweater that everyone will love and hate at the same time! From scavenging and buying new, getting a tacky sweater has evolved into a DIY specialty. That usually involves grabbing an old sweater and gluing on all kinds of additions.



It's All Coming Up Roses

By Donna Sievers

On Saturday, November 11, the Bluff Heights Neighborhood Association held their monthly Garden Club gathering. The topic was best practices for pruning, and we shared ideas about everything else gardeners care about. 


Our host, Donna, shared a variety of gardening tools and garden products for different tasks, and we gave away gardening magazines. The highlight of the event was our guest speaker, Linda Renner (pictured). Linda is a master rosarian and shared her vast knowledge in an understandable way. Roses really are not that hard to grow in our wonderful climate.


Linda also shared her Crocosmia bulbs, which are easy to grow and are free from disease. They rapidly reproduce and come in red, orange and yellow. They need to be planted 2 inches deep and 3 inches apart. If you would like some Crocosmia bulbs, please help yourself: they are in a bucket in front of 3020 E. Vista Street.


Please join us for the next Garden Club meeting on December 9 at 9:00 a.m. (at 3020 E. Vista Street) to water trees. The January meeting date is tentatively scheduled for January 13 and will focus on a seed exchange. Donna has tons of sweet pea seeds to share in January. More Garden Club details will follow.


We had a wonderful afternoon filled with information, lots of questions, and snacks and beverages. We hope you can join us next time. Gardeners make the greatest friends!

Don't Miss These Holiday Events

December 14: Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest and Food Drive

Wear your loudest holiday sweater for a chance to win great prizes at Bluff Heights Neighborhood Association’s first annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest and Food Drive. Please bring canned food (soups, tuna, green beans, etc.) to drop into our Bluff Heights Pantry Box located inside Gallagher’s Pub on the night of the event to benefit Long Beach residents in need. Contest participants will receive a complimentary mocktail and snacks! Go here for rules and details. A big thank you to the Port of Long Beach.


Gallagher’s Pub and Grill

2751 E. Broadway

6 to 9 p.m.


December 15: Caroling with the Camerata Singers

Celebrate the holiday spirit with the Vice Mayor as we showcase the Long Beach Camerata Singers, our very own local choir, spreading joy through caroling across Council District 2. The festivities will unfold on Friday, December 15 at various enchanting locations:


2828 E. 1st St. at 5:30 p.m.


3060 E. Second St. at 6 p.m.


This stop is in Bluff Heights: 3020 E. Vista St. at 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Please feel free to bring a beverage of your choice.


To conclude the night on a high note, join us at the Art Theatre at 7:30 pm. We warmly invite you to partake in this festive occasion at a time and location that suits you best.


December 16: Winter Wonderland

Join the Vice Mayor in presenting the enchanting Winter Wonderland at Orizaba Park (1435 Orizaba Ave) on December 16th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Immerse yourself in the magic as real snow blankets the park, creating a whimsical atmosphere. Vendors, games, and complimentary delights await, making this a celebration for all to cherish. Come out and meet Trustee Sunny Zia, and learn about Long Beach City College and all the resources Long Beach has to offer.

Each month we will publish a photograph from our neighborhood. The cloud photos above were taken Rick Schank on a morning walk through peaceful Bluff Heights.

If you have photos that highlight the beauty and uniqueness of our neighborhood, please send them to

Tree-age Event

The BHNA Garden Club is asking for volunteers to help with maintenance of the new trees in the neighborhood. Meet at Donna Sievers' house at 3020 E. Vista Street. We need help with watering, removing old support poles, etc.

Saturday, December 9, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Backyard Bounty

The second Sunday of the month is Backyard Bounty day in Bluff Heights. Share the bounty from your backyard by placing it in front of your house. Take a walk through the neighborhood, get a little exercise, and enjoy the bounty. Find the label HERE.

Sunday, December 10, starting at 9:00 AM

Fresh Produce at Local Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets and farm stands are great places to browse, sample, and buy fresh produce and handmade products. Visit the market at Bixby Park (130 Cherry Avenue) every Tuesday starting at 3:00 PM and every Saturday starting at 9:00 AM 

Find more details HERE.

Saving Water Is the Long Beach Way 

As we face unprecedented drought across California, we all need to do our part to conserve water. HERE is a flyer from the Long Beach Water Department outlining the new rules. Find more information on water conservation HERE.

Is it Time to Trim your Waste-Line? 

It's really simple to trim your "Waste-Line!" All you need to do is collect your e-waste, hazardous waste, and/or old tire waste and bring it to one of three local collection centers under the conditions set by the City of Long Beach on this flyer.

You will feel much lighter now that you took care of those extra notches on your Waste-Line! Doesn't being a loser feel good?


District 2 - Councilwoman Cindy Allen
(562) 570-2222 or
Connor Lock, Chief of Staff

LBPD Blotter
On March 17 2022, the Long Beach Police Department debuted a new tool for the Long Beach community to access information about police activity and investigations.
To view this new community resource, and other Police Department information, please visit the LBPD Homepage and LBPD News.

Jeff Anderson
Anderson Real Estate Group
Keller Williams Pacific Estates
2883 E Spring Street STE #100, Long Beach, CA 90806
Toll Free: 800 784 2616
Mikle W. Norton
Kohr Group Realty
5222 E Los Altos Plaza, Long Beach, Ca 90815
Cell 562-577-5021

Ms. Theresa Marino
Theresa on 3rd
Neighborhood Advocate & A Neighbor Who Cares

Office of the Vice Mayor

Phone: (562) 570-2222 |

Coastal Real Estate Experts

Stephen W. Sutton |

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