Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas Jumpers - where did this social phenomenon come from ?

Christmas Jumper Par Excellence !
Today I am sporting a brand new Christmas jumper.  I don't really wear jumpers, I am more a fleece and rugby shirt type of guy who flounces in a floral shirt when forced to be formal.  Both my sons had Christmas jumper days this year and the School of Management admin team have encouraged this jolly festive behaviour on campus, thanks to a guess John Snow's jumper competition charity poster.  (I went gingerbread and penguin, unsurprisingly).

It is the last, last day of winter term and I am wondering how many students will be present to see me resplendent in my 100% acrylic sweater that depicts cup cakes and candy sticks.  I guess Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood have a lot of answer for with the fashionable resurgence of baking and particularly over decorated fairy cakes. 

Save the Children John Snow charity campaign
Colleague Emma flagged the world record set for the most people wearing a Christmas jumper happened in Windsor last week. The media is littered with stories on Christmas jumpers, for example Claire Cohen in The Telegraph on a story angle that flags the un-sexy nature of these garments manages to find some pretty racy options that are probably quite rude.

Jo Ellison in the FT tracks back to Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone and John Candy as perhaps the popularising factors, whilst lamenting this ironic behaviour she recommends only for children and the retired (who are allowed to wear whatever they like !).  

I think that Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones Diary lies at the root of this tacky (but socially cohesive) festive celebration.  Rene Zellweger & Colin Firth lamenting the embarassing must wear now gift - tapping into a wider common shared experience of the unwanted present (or presents if you are particularly unlucky) - coaching consulting needed in heavy hint giving to friends and loved ones ? 

For the record, I want the next Apple thing.