Can you top built-in Christmas lights that blink, and a Rudolph with a glowing red nose tangled up in them, his reindeer neck looping around your own neckline as garish snowflakes are woven into the background?
It was one ugly holiday sweater. It was over-the-top and worn by my friend at the first Ugly Christmas Sweater Party I was invited to years ago.
It was so obnoxious, with Rudolph's antlers actually popping off the sweater as a three-dimensional effect. On top of the blinking lights embedded in the fabric, it was the most wonderfully hideous thing I've seen in an increasingly offensive holiday season.
Celebrating the offensive, in the form of hideous holiday sweaters, has grown in popularity and comes to Connolly Station in Belmar this Christmas.
The popular Belmar night spot will host its own Ugly Holiday Sweater Party on Dec. 23. It's the second annual one for the Main Street bar.
How do you know you have an ugly holiday sweater worthy of donning? One: you'll know it by the feeling you get. The feeling might be a headache, it might be nauseau, it might be immediate contempt for all things Christmas-cutesy.
You could also look for designs that haven't stood the test of time. You might encounter jingle balls or mini ornaments beaded into the sweater. An elaborate scene embroidered or printed onto your sweater, such as a litter of kittens with Santa hats on scampering under a Christmas tree — this could be another option. What to wear if your sweater is a button-up cardigan? Lame patterned turtlenecks underneath complete the look.
Where do you even buy such a woven visage of holiday horror? Well, websites eBay and Etsy don't disappoint. You can also scour the "holiday" section of your favorite thrift shop for ugly sweater gold. You can also ask grandma or grandpa. You might have given her an ugly sweater decades ago and it's hanging up in her closet.
Where ever you manage to find it, wear it with pride and head over to Connolly Station. The fun starts at 9 p.m. Dec. 23, with Mug Club specials and no cover. Prizes for the ugliest of ugly sweaters, and a special appearance from Santa.