Family

The Ugliest Christmas Jumper

It was the ugliest one I’d seen by far. Elf-green wool with HOHOHO in white bordering the arms and torso, and…I am not even kidding…tiny ball balls sewn onto the fabric in the shape of a Christmas tree. She had made it herself. Gran had made it especially for me. She didn’t hate me either. She liked me. She thought this would make the best present ever. I mean…there’s a Specsavers advert right there! But I loved Gran. I couldn’t have not worn it on Christmas Day. Except, I had also planned to meet Jon’s parents for the first time that afternoon. Yes, the first time ever. Ever. And of course, I wasn’t going to be wearing that. Except that I did! I wore it. With all the hubbub of ‘Happy Christmas!’ and ‘what do you think the Queen will say in her speech this year?’ and the explosion of wrapping paper and tinsel and dogs and kids barking, I ran out of the house as soon as Jake rang the doorbell, and, well…I totally forgot to get changed in the car.

So, I stood in their beautiful oak entrance, gawping at their winding staircase, oblivious to Jon’s mother stripping me of my coat. Her eyes popped. They were emerald saucers like the ones laid out on her table. Then her lips pinched together, and she threw on a polite smile. ‘Wow, how festive,’ she said. Jon choked on a laugh. My face was burning. It was like the fire at Gran’s had followed me inside my cheeks. ‘Do they jingle?’ Jon’s dad actually flicked one of the ball balls next to my boob. I don’t think it was intentional because he didn’t seem at all like he’d done anything wrong. But Jon’s mother shot him a look that would set the Christmas pudding alight. By the evening, charades had been played, along with Balderdash and Trivial Pursuits, cheese and wine had been the most loyal of protagonists, and my ugly Christmas jumper had even inspired Jon’s parents to dig their ugly ones out and gallop down memory lane with a glass of sherry.

Thanks, Gran. Here’s to you and the ugliest Christmas jumper.

Writer. Faith walker. Notebook collector. Coffee drinker. Coffee Drinker. Coffee Drinker. Mother of two...and counting... @BathSpaUni MA CW grad.

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