Day 11: Ho Ho Ho!



After nixing the ideas of several very complex sweaters, today’s sweater is simple, but nonetheless festive.




While I am a little disappointed that Day 11 isn’t my finest sweater, it did complement the sweaters my sisters wore today. (Both of which were skillfully crafted by me.)


The sweater also complimented the green Christmas lights that happened to fall around Miss Mocha Jo and me.


Little Miss Mocha also sported some Christmas attire of her own. She was, however, very disappointed when I told her she wasn’t a real reindeer.



Day 10: Festivus


Happy Festivus!




If you don’t know what Festivus is, then we probably shouldn’t be friends. Given that it’s the holiday season, though, I’ll enlighten you before we part ways. As described by Wikipedia, Festivus is “a well-celebrated parody, has become a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 which serves as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas holiday season.

We can credit the ’90s sitcom Seinfeld for popularizing the holiday, and as Wikipedia explains:

The holiday, as portrayed in the Seinfeld episode, includes practices such as the “Airing of Grievances,” which occurs during the Festivus meal and in which each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year.

This is me with my grievance.


Just kidding. For those of you that don’t know, my family’s golden retriever and I have a love-hate relationship in that we’re only friends when no one is looking. Because I’m not shy about liking our family black lab more, it’s a running thing in my family that the golden and I don’t get along.

In reality, she’s far from any actual grievance; and now that I am home with her, the black lab, my chocolate lab, and my immediate family, I don’t really have any grievances to air today. However, just because I haven’t had to air any grievances, that’s not to say I won’t be partaking in the “Feats of Strength.” My dad better watch his back.

Day 9: Fra-gee-lay


Who doesn’t love a good Christmas story? And by that I mean, who doesn’t love A Christmas StoryThere are so many good quotes from this movie, and I would argue the fra-gee-lay scene might be the most quoted line of the move.


This sweater also had a legitimate fragile moment of it’s own. Yesterday, during the 4 hours she was home alone, Miss Mocha Jo decided to get on my dining room table (mind you it’s a tall/bar height table), chew on the nicest pair of scissors I own, chew and consume some craft glue, and chew at the puff paint on my holiday sweater I was letting dry. Between the craft supplies she destroyed and the mess she made when her tummy started hurting (I’ll save you from these images…), my holiday sweater suffered the least.


The silver lining in her destruction was that she chewed on the easiest piece to replace, and her destruction didn’t prevent me from wearing my holiday sweater today.


My guess is that Mocha was triple-dog-daring me to prove just how good I am at crafting holiday sweaters.

Day 8: ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas


During my 12 Days of Holiday Sweaters venture, I’ve only mentioned the older sister. But, as many of you know, I am the middle sister of three girls.

Not wanting to leave my little sister out of my holiday fun, my older sister helped oversaw the creation of a holiday sweater made specifically for the little sister. My guess is the majority of you (and those that see the sweater in person) won’t know who the character is nor how it’s related to Christmas — so let me explain.

One of the best decisions my parents ever made was to record (on VHS) a series of holiday shorts on CBS. Every year since then, it’s been a family/sisters tradition to watch these shorts, which we refer to as Holiday Specials. My favorite holiday special, Santa Bear, inspired my Christmas stocking. My older sister’s favorite special is A Garfield Christmas, which depicts our two family dogs to a T. And, my little sister’s favorite special is Twas the Night Before Christmas. My older sister and I firmly detest this one, but the little one is persistent. She is also convinced that 3 Men and A Baby is Tom Selleck’s gift to mankind, but that’s another story…

Paying tribute to her favorite holiday special, the little sister’s holiday sweater is of Albert, the mouse who almost ruined Christmas.



When she received this sweater in the mail (and it was a total surprise to her), she immediately texted the two of us, “That sweater. YESSSSSS please.” And she went on to say, “I only wish I could wash it so I could wear it more often.”



I still don’t see the appeal in the holiday special (nor will I ever), but as long as she likes the sweater and I only have to watch the 25-minute special once a year, it doesn’t make me any difference.

Day 7: An Elf Surprise



There’s something special about today’s sweater: mine is one of two almost identical sweaters. As I have mentioned a time or two, my older sister joined me in making some holiday sweaters over break. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to start one that we had plans for, but since I was committed to making mine, I brought her already purchased sweater to my place and promised to make it for her.

Had we been crafting the sweaters together, I think the sweaters would be a little different, but because I’m in the process of crafting a dozen holiday sweaters, I don’t really have the willingness or drive to create two unique elf sweaters — so I make two of the same . The only difference are very minor mess-ups character variations. (My present has a really odd crease in it and her elf’s ear is a little malformed).



While it took me longer to get to the sweater than I anticipated, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. I finished it just as some news rained on her holiday parade. So to help restore her holiday cheer, I packed up the elf and a holiday coffee blend she is recently addicted to, and sent her a holiday surprise in the mail.




Wearing her sweater to her own holiday potluck with our festive holiday headbands, I’d the elf surprise was a success.

Day 6: O Christmas Tree


I deviated a from my felt MO for sweater 6.



(Un)surprisingly, I found the the 3-dimensional aspect of the tree to be slightly annoying throughout the day. It certainly didn’t prevent me from doing my everyday activities, but I frequently had to readjust arm positions because my arms were disturbing my tree’s fuzz balls. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed making and wearing this sweater.



Clearly a home-crafted sweater, this one also prompted impromptu conversations with anyone and everyone I crossed paths with.

In addition to the sweater, Day 6 featured an accessory. Over Thanksgiving, my older sister and I were inspired to make our own holiday headband. So we rounded up the supplies…


and assembled.


A word of caution here: Hot glue the ornaments securely to the headband (not each other) and leave some wiggle room, or assemble the headband while it’s on a dummy/makeshift head. When we tried on our fully-decorated headbands, there was some creaking and cracking of the glue and headband because we assembled the headband in its contracted form and the ornaments had no wiggle room. However, we were fortunate enough that neither of our headbands broke…


And to complement my tree sweater, I sported my headband at my office’s holiday party last night.


A word of caution: don’t leave your headband sitting in a cold car all day because the glue might have an averse reaction, result in one of the ornaments falling off, and you having to frantically find tape or superglue on your way to your holiday party. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

Day 5: The Grinch



Today’s sweater was a tribute to my former holiday self.




Oddly enough, I’ve gotten more comments from people on this sweater than on the rest of the sweaters I’ve worn. I’m thinking it’s because the Grinch and his dog Max are the most “iconic” (or should I say commercialized) images I’ve featured thus far, but nonetheless, I’ve had a grand ol’ time responding to people’s comments. In fact, I had a very lively conversation about my sweater at the post office today.

This sweater might have generated the most comments thus far, but I promise you this, the best sweaters have yet to come!


Day 4: Not the gumdrop buttons!



Today’s sweater is one of my favorite holiday sweaters, as well as one that I had a really good time making. In fact, I found myself quoting Shrek quite a bit.




While I would love to take full credit for the concept of this sweater, I simply can’t. This sweater is  a recreation of a knitted sweater I saw on Pinterest. However, I think my personal touch makes my sweater ten times better!

Day 3: A red-nosed kind of day


With a 19-degree high, today was a day that was fully capable of turning your nose red if you were outside too long. Coincidentally, my holiday sweater had a red nose of its own.



While Rudolph couldn’t keep his nose from turning red, I bet all the other reindeer noses turned red today, too.

Day 2: A Classic

Surprise! Day 2 immediately followed Day 1!


Today’s Santa shirt is one that I’ve had in my wardrobe for a few years.



My mom, two sisters and I made these back in 2008. And funny story, due to a mishap involving my older sister and red puffy paint, there’s still evidence of our Santa sweater craft-venture in our dining room. (I won’t let her forget this either because of my own previous mishaps involving red paint in my parents house. The red-paint torch I carried for a decade was passed to her because of this mishap, and I feel it’s my obligation to remind her that she now carries it.)


Keep in mind, however, I am not showing this mishap because I want to shame my sister (okay, so maybe that’s part of it), but I’m sharing it because as easy as these sweaters may seem, they aren’t. A lot can go wrong. There’s a lot of room for error on these holiday gems, and sometimes mistakes can’t be fixed.

But I digress, we decided to craft matching family Santa sweaters as a throwback to the Santa sweaters my mom and her best friend crafted for their children in the ’90s. While all us “kids” have outgrown our original Santa sweaters and my mom’s friend has since passed away, this sweater is a happy reminder of a time that once was. Although I would argue that my sweater crafting skills are getting better, this original sweater will always take the cake in my book, simply because of the memories involved.