Why do people wear Christmas jumpers?

Posted on December 23, 2013 by Rosie Murphy

I’ve always felt a little cold towards Christmas. Sub-zero temperatures, ‘Do they know it’s Christmas?’ fifteen times a day, and the heaving high streets – it’s too much for me. But last Christmas, everything changed. With one little purchase, I finally understood the warm, fuzzy feeling that the season brings.

Of course, this warm, fuzzy feeling is the festive embrace of the Christmas jumper. Once the shame of coerced grandkids and Bridget Jones' Mark Darcy, they’re now a December staple. Whether they've been picked up in Primark or knitted by elderly relatives, I'm calling it: Christmas jumpers are officially cool.

Man Bites Dog Christmas Jumpers

For me, this sudden popularisation of seasonal attire is ideal for my wintertime rebrand. For once, being an incessantly cold person allows me to be in vogue, but in the awesome way that allows me to wear a jumper featuring a Santa hat-wearing dinosaur for the majority of the month. You could even call it T-Rex-mas. But you shouldn't.

And I'm not alone in my weakness for wool. Save the Children have noticed this snowballing fashion statement with their annual Christmas Jumper Day, held this year on Friday 13th December. It's refreshing to see a campaign tie in with current trends, especially if it then allows me to rock a Santa shirt in The Doghouse.

Each year around this time, Cliff Richard is rolled out to remind us that Christmas is a time for giving. However, with research showing that this year's average Christmas spend will be £822 per household, it's difficult to put aside funds for giving outside your social circle. In the glutted market of charity, causes have to fight for coverage all year around, but in this busy season it takes a special campaign to lead the sleigh.

Physical representations of support are not a new phenomenon – think Oxfam wristbands, Jeans for Genes and poppies – but when before has it been this fun? Movember has been one of the stand-out campaigns in the past few years, raising awareness whilst making men look ridiculous. But where was my ridiculousness? Save the Children has created the moustache of the masses and tying in with a fad as popular as Christmas jumpers allows for a month-long awareness of their brand.

For any campaign to be successful, you need to engage with people. Christmas Jumper Day was a fixture in many offices around the country this year and could one day become as much a part of the season as mulled wine, Fairytale of New York and John Lewis adverts. Emotion is a crucial rallying point in creating two-way conversations, and in charity, a key way of getting people to notice your cause. In this season of high spirits, all things fun and festive get people talking, and Christmas jumpers have done just that.


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