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The season for funny pictures with Santa and ugly Christmas sweaters is fast approaching…

C’mon – we’ve all worn them. (Kindergarten teachers still do.)

Mom probably bought your first one, but I’ll bet you’ve paid for at least one more: One of the most popular holiday parties thrown in college is the “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party.” Students don their tackiest and funniest holiday sweaters (usually purchased at thrift stores) and some even wear holiday hats, shoes, and accessories. During the party, guests to vote for the best holiday sweater, and winners receive a prize.

In recent years, hideous holiday attire has practically been elevated to an art form: Mario Batali and Jimmy Fallon cooked some wine-stained garganelli in “ugly holiday sweaters” on ABC’s “The Chew” last year. Who could forget the one worn by actor Colin Firth (“Mark Darcy”) in “Bridget Jones’ Diary?”

Killington, Vermont, resident Anne Marie Blackman even based a business on the trend. “My Ugly Christmas Sweater,” incorporated in 2010, offers customers a vast selection of tacky sweaters in collections ranging from retro 80s embroidered items, to embellished over-the-top sweaters with lights. Blackman’s website received over 2 million page views last holiday season.

Not surprisingly, employers have come to appreciate low-key alternatives to expensive, energy-consuming office parties. This year – perhaps well on its way to becoming an annual tradition – many corporations will designate a day for employees to wear and enjoy their favorite glittery, holiday-only, ugly sweaters. Selected and loved with poor taste and abandon, the ugliest holiday sweater contest should spark fun and laughter all day long.

I can’t wait to see the pictures.