No matter which religion you subscribe to, late December is a time for coming together with loved ones and wearing silly Christmas sweaters. The upcoming holiday comedy film "The Night Before" starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie celebrates this sacred tradition and pushes the boundaries for what counts as an ugly Christmas sweater.
The Night Before and Ugly Hanukkah Sweaters
Anyone who has seen the trailer for "The Night Before" likely has the image of Seth Rogen's Star of David sweater forever embossed on their retinas. It's an instantly classic ironic image: a Jewish Christmas sweater. There are endless possibilities for jokes, and Rogen and company will surely take advantage of them; however, ugly Hanukkah sweaters have already been available on the Internet for years.
You obviously don't have to be a Christian to celebrate Christmas or enjoy wearing ugly sweaters. In fact, many of the symbols that adorn Christmas sweaters such as pine trees and elves are actually rooted in ancient northern European mythology. Long before the birth of Jesus, ancient tribes celebrated the winter solstice much like we celebrate Christmas today by giving gifts and eating large meals with their loved ones. Winter Solstice is the darkest day of the year, which means that the sun will start staying out longer and the road to spring has begun. What better time to stay inside and wear a cozy sweater?
The Evolution of The American Christmas Tradition
Christmas as we know it today is a hodgepodge of traditions all centered around good times with family and friends. When did ugly sweaters enter the picture? The trend has been credited to Bill Cosby, who had a love for showcasing tacky sweaters on "The Cosby Show." The ugly Christmas sweater tradition has always been about making people laugh, and "The Night Before" represents the latest chapter in the legacy of knitted snowmen and now Stars of David.