One tradition that undoubtedly dates back to the dawn of knitting is that of the ugly holiday sweater.  Whether you’ve ever been fortunate (?) enough to receive one under the tree, or if you’ve just admired one from afar, you know a good/bad holiday sweater when you see it: Handmade with sparkles, stitches and silhouettes of reindeer, Christmas trees and Santa Claus? What could be better?

So let’s take a closer look. A recent survey conducted within AKHIA’s own creative department brought to light these tacky, gaudy, wonderful holiday gems:

Mike Lawrence, Creative Director— “From The Shining: Danny’s sweater. Also fodder for conspiracy theories that imply it was Kubrick’s way of saying he helped fake the moon landing.”

An extremely simple design that is not “technically” holiday related whatsoever, but is still sure to leave one in awe when flaunted appropriately. This sweater features Apollo 11 rocketing infinitely into space and, as Mike pointed out, is worn by the equally innocent and creepy Danny in this Hollywood classic. I’d like to think that instantly makes this design a classic for your holiday wardrobe—or a perfect addition to your everyday attire.

Robert Doll, Copywriter— “This sweater that generates power, that may even plug into the wall, cause temporary blindness AND even be a fire safety hazard. This is definitely the sweater I want on my torso. Bonus points for flashing and blinking lights. Super bonus points for sounds.”

Incorporating light into design, literally, can boost your knitted creation into the history books. Just imagine if you were reading Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to a kid for the first time… while sporting a sweater that features Rudolph with a nose that can light up. That kid’s mind will be blown, while his imagination is being blown away.

Sarah Carlson, Graphic Designer— “I actually have this one, which is amazing because of the dinosaurs.”

Sharp teeth, sharp style? I think so. This particular sweater features Santa and his reindeer flying over, well, dinosaurs. Compositionally speaking, the sweater uses its space well and ties two seemingly unrelated, but still important, childhood themes together perfectly.

Jessica Forrester, Senior Copywriter— “Nobody reads the words? I don’t think so! Love the saying on this sweet sweatshirt, and the feminine scoop-neck design is the perfect modern update.”

Of course, one of the writers loves a holiday sweater that focuses on a clever saying. Even so, this sweatshirt, while not technically “ugly” by traditional “ugly holiday sweater” standards, is sure to make you smile. Bonus point for the simple snowflakes and classic color scheme, too

My Favorite— Well, this sweater has it all: snowflakes, presents… and flying cat heads with lasers for eyes. The cat heads are knitted flawlessly. And those lasers? Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be one of the presents underneath. Yes, this option is very different indeed, but its sheer oddball nature is sure to make it an award winner at any ugly sweater party.

Now that I’ve shared some of AKHIA’s favorite ugly holiday sweaters, I’d love to know: What else would you add to our list?

Brian Willoughby is a Graphic Designer at AKHIA.