Laugh Away Holiday Drama on National Ugly Sweater Day Friday, December 21, 2018 | achs.edu

    Written by: Judy Starr /
    Dec 20, 2018 6:30:00 AM

    Ugly Christmas Sweater image

    Image Copyright Yulia Malinovskaya / 123rf.com

    When I was in Kona, Hawaii attending the American College of Healthcare Science’s Aromatherapy Boot Camp in November, I noticed something that seemed very unusual in the local retail stores.  There were racks of sweaters on display.  Not only do sweaters in a hot climate seem out of place but they were also racks of super ugly sweaters.  I had to laugh that Hawaiian families were preparing to celebrate the Christmas holiday tradition wearing an ugly sweater in 80 degree weather.  

    With a little research I learned that no matter where we live that by having a great laugh at an ugly holiday sweater, we can improve our health. We really can laugh our way to health and well-being. According to an article in Chalk Board Magazine, laughter has been shown to improve sleep, and people who get adequate sleep experience lower stress, improved memory and focus, and decreased effects of heart-damaging insomnia.

    Where I live in the Northwest, sweaters keep us cozy warm when the weather turns cool and they are a welcome addition to our wardrobes. I have to say that this year National Ugly Sweater Day is giving me a heart healthy double chuckle when I think about anyone brave enough to wear one in a tropical climate. So, I had to take a little time to check out National Ugly Sweater Day to learn how it all began.

    I learned that it started as a joke in 1980 when the “ugly sweater” was introduced as the jingle-bell sweater and TV dads appeared wearing them. They hit peak popularity when the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation family appeared in ugly sweaters in 1989.  Surprisingly. or maybe not so much. it turns out that between 2012 and 2015 ugly sweater sales increased by 200 percent.

    Ugly Christmas Sweater on St Bernard

    St. Bernard Kaimana shows off an ugly Christmas Sweater. Photo courtesy of Erin Hallford

    On the third Friday of December, people from across the world, even in tropical climates, will show up for work and parties wearing the most outrageous sweaters they can find. You can find ugly sweaters at local thrift stores or make your own by purchase a basic plain sweater adding extravagant decorations, tinsel, lights and the use of a hot glue gun to help you create the prize winning ugliest sweater in your place of work this year. If you’re not especially creative or can’t find the time, check out your local retailers.  They are joining the fun by making their own version of the ugly sweater.

    To learn more about staying healthy and integrative health education go to: https://achs.edu 

    For more information and ideas for National Ugly Sweater day go to: https://nationaltoday.com/national-ugly-sweater-day/

    Authored by Judy Starr

    Judy Starr, VP of External Relations at American College of Healthcare Sciences, has more than 25 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and brings her expertise in marketing and communications to ACHS. She has raised millions of dollars during her career through her work with major gift donors, foundation grant writing and corporate relations. Judy is a vegan who seeks to inspire others with her passion for organic unprocessed foods. As a licensed esthetician for 28 years, she has served at day spas and at the Ann Wigmore Institute in Aguada, Puerto Rico, where she taught skin care classes and provided skin care and Reiki treatments. Through her unique career journey, she has learned the value of choosing pure unadulterated natural ingredients for customized skincare regimens. Her niche spa experience gives her a unique perspective and platform to share industry-specific knowledge in the realm of natural skin care, body care and holistic wellness. Judy has been a Reiki master for 20 years.

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