The Ugly Sweater

Growing up in Colorado, I recall my father telling us to get in the car because we were going somewhere. Once it was to a newly opened bank in our neighborhood. They were giving out free tee shirts to each customer. All four girls piled into the car to get these freebies. We were each one customer. I don’t recall wearing them. Probably our mother used them to dust the furniture instead.

There were frequent gas wars in the 1950s when gas went for as little as 17 cents per gallon. Most gas stations included a free loaf of bread or quart of milk or free glasses and plates. My father made certain he accumulated enough plates for all his daughters. Entire sets of plates for a family of 4-6 people. Imagine how many gallons of gas he purchased! With all the nicer sets of plates we received as wedding gifts, guess which ones I still use today? Sentimental value perhaps? Even the chipped one which became our daughter’s after she learned it was for good luck.


Today began with another promise of a bargain: one free ugly sweater with the purchase of a specialty drink. With visions in my head about the red and green patterned ugly sweater, I jumped in the car and drove to our coffee shop in the middle of a big snow storm, all the time thinking of my father jumping in his car to go get a “bargain.” And this was only for three days with the purchase of a sweet drink I never order. But it was coming with an ugly sweater, right? I thought I would get a size for our daughter who had told me about this deal being offered.

After asking about the sizes of the free ugly sweaters, the barista who waited on me went for help. We seemed to have not understood one another. I asked what sizes the ugly sweaters came in. The drink sizes were explained to me when I had no need for that information. The manager then came to my aid and when drink sizes were given again, I asked what sizes the sweaters came in. Sweaters? Yes, the ugly sweater sizes. Oh, we don’t have sweaters in the store. Loud laughter emanated from  the store. In place of the drink sleeves, I received one which imitated a knit sweater.

When I returned home to review the ad our daughter had sent me, it was in paragraph three that the word “cozy” appeared after the words ugly sweater. Cozy? Ah, that fine print. I fell for it too. Looking at the photo again, I saw two people in red and green sweaters and holding a drink in their hands but nowhere was a cozy to be seen. They had me at the word “free.”  Well, it will become a stocking stuffer. And I can now laugh about how like my father I must be. Jump in the car for that freebie! Live and learn.


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10 Responses to The Ugly Sweater

  1. Arno Bode,cologne ,Germany says:

    Liebe Mary Ann,
    nach Deiner Veröffenlichung vom beautiful Dezember zeigst Du eine extreme Wettersituation in einer liebevoll beschriebene Geschichte auf.Das bewunderswerte,es wird voraussichtlich eine weiße Weihnacht geben.Zur Dokumentation hast Du wieder wundervolle markante Fotos ausgesucht.Deine Art zu schreiben begeistert uns immer wieder aufs Neue.Wundervoll,Danke Dir dafür.
    Dir,Deinem Ehegatten und Deinen Kindern,das heißt Deiner Familie und Deinen Lesern wünschen wir von ganzem Herzen ,eine gesegnete friedvolle Weihnacht .
    Unsere Neugierde auf weitere Geschichten blebt uneingeschränkt.
    Mit herzlichen Weihnachtsgrüßen
    Deine Lilly und Dein Arno

    Liked by 1 person

    • Herzlichen Dank, Arno, für die wundervollen Schilderung meiner Geschichte. As always, my writing is from the heart. With photos from South Florida and my children and their pets, I manage to incorporate the family which is always the center of my writing next to my friends. With snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice today, I choose to remain indoors and conjure up my next stories and poems. My memories of Germany and the friends there are close to my heart and mind. As we approach Christmas next week, we wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. As always, thank you for the kind and insightful comment about my writing. Deine Mary Ann et al ^__^


  2. Emily says:

    I really thought it was going to be an actual sweater hahah! That is still cute though on the cup. Wonderful blog post! I love the photos as well. It certainly will be a white Christmas! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • The joke was on both of us. Imagine what they thought when I inquired about sweater sizes. You may have the ugly sweater cozy for Christmas! Actually cozy is not the correct term since it is meant to keep something warm like tea, but perhaps it is just a play on words. It remains unconsumed in the freezer for your visit. No doubt we will have that white Christmas. I love my four seasons in Upstate New York. Happy 4th of Advent to you and yours! ^__^


  3. Bun Karyudo says:

    Oh, well! Perhaps you can use it as a Christmas wristband or something. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, maybe for a Sumo wrestler or gorilla. It is too wide for a “normal” wrist. It will be a source for a future story after our daughter gets it in her stocking. I thought I could decorate a door knob with it. Seasons greetings to you and yours. By the way, I love the picture of the short green refrigerator. Happy blogging! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bun Karyudo says:

        I guess if you have any sumo wrestlers or gorillas on your Christmas list, that takes care of their present! Anyway, seasons greetings to you too , Mary Ann. I hope you have a wonderful time. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Bun, for the comment and your blog which I love. Once I get through all the music commitments and catch up on sleep, I shall have a wonderful time with family. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas or whatever holiday you might celebrate. What do you stuff your turkey with? I recall recipes with chestnuts. But I normally just used stovetop stuffing. All the best, Mary Ann ^__^ We shall have a white one!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bun Karyudo says:

        Thanks, Mary Ann! By the way, it’s great that you’re going to have a white Christmas! It always makes for a lovely and relaxing festive atmosphere (as long as you can stay nice and cosy at home and don’t have to go out anywhere, or course).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, Bun, I do have to go outside in the white. Airport trip to pick up family from sunny FL and then as a church musician Christmas Eve and Day with 4 separate services. One includes yours truly at the piano. Trying to balance everything is the key. 🙂 I take it you do not have a white Christmas wherever you spend the holidays. Enjoy. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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