Nearly every grown man who has ever celebrated Christmas, or received a gift on the holiday, has one in his dresser drawer: a knit jumper too ghastly to wear in public. Knitted by grandma or hooked by Aunt Sally, these outer layers of garish hues - sporting an image of Father Christmas, or perhaps a snowflake or two - symbolise the worst of holiday gifts.
Plucking one of these fashion faux pas from under the tree has long been an exercise in feigned gratitude. Smile sheepishly, utter a insincere "I love it", and tuck it away for eternity - where it will remain, never be worn again.
This year, however, even kitsch is cool. Grandma's once horrid fashion sense is, well, fashionable. Top designers like Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney have introduced gaudy sweaters to their winter catalogues, and at stores like Urban Outfitters and Topshop, their models and mannequins are sporting the unsightly pullovers. One piece on offer at www.net-a-porter.com is pink and yellow and emblazoned with prancing reindeer. The "Reindeer intarsia wool-blend sweater" retails for $1,230.
Fashion is fickle, and this fashion trend will probably be a flash in the pan, over by Christmas 2013. But just in case, if you do celebrate Christmas and open one of these woollen numbers today, smile a little wider, say "thanks" a little louder. Because even if you won't ever wear it, at least you can re-sell it on Dubizzle. Merry Christmas to those of our readers marking the day. And remember - it's the thought that counts.