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Gettin' their ugly on

CENTRAL POINT — Rallying behind Friday’s concept of National Ugly Sweater Day, a small band of businesses, schools and locals decided to take things up a few notches.

Businesses offered specials for anyone donning a hideous sweater, schoolchildren were decked out in pajama bottoms topped by ugly sweaters and Santa hats, and the occasional pedestrian proudly strutted by in a sweater adorned in snowmen or obnoxious red and green patterns.

At The Point Pub and Grill in Central Point, nary an employee nor owner went without gaudy sweater attire.

Employee Erica Sanders found a “cat lady” sweater online, featuring printed cats enjoying large pepperoni pizzas. Not to be outdone, she glued a strand of light-up Christmas cats around her neck and arms.

“It’s pretty fun I guess. I’ve never tried to wear an ugly sweater before. Everyone today has wanted to know where I got it or if I made it,” Sanders said with a laugh.

Stephanie Grubb said it was challenging to find a sweater she felt really fit the bill of “ugly.”

With local stores offering intentionally ugly sweaters, Grubb said she tried to embrace the spirit of the holiday.

“Having ugly sweaters are really a thing now, so it’s a lot of pressure to really find a good one because most of them aren’t ugly, they’re actually kind of cute,” said Grubb.

For her wardrobe selection, Grubb wore a black and white “skull” sweater, a giant plaid bow in her curly hair and added some bling to her favorite sweater.

“I’ve had this sweater for years. Everybody loves skulls, so I just added my grandmother's handmade lace doilies — that my mom will kill me if I don’t bring back — and then the Christmas lace with the geese,” she said admiring her creation.

Longtime Central Point community volunteer Debbie Saxbury said she took to her outreach page on Facebook, "Central Point: What’s Happening," to implore young and old alike to dig deep, scavenge the local thrift shops and to borrow or craft an ugly winter top.

"We always try to rally together for everyone to just have some fun and to keep that small-town feel. We thought it would be a fun event where no one had to spend any money, just play it up, be creative and make it a fun, colorful day,” Saxbury said.

“We’ll do it every year now, and have more and more people get on board.”

Gustavo Pardo, co-owner at The Point, boasted a grey zip-up covered in snowmen.

Forgetting his sweater until midday, Pardo said he’d have to “wear it all weekend” to make up for it.

“This was something a little spontaneous but anything that will bring some life into the community is great," he said. "If a few of us do it this year, then next time we’ll have even more. I put my inflatable on the roof for Halloween last year, so this year someone else did it, too. Anything like that just adds days on our calendar for us to all get together on something. The ugly sweaters idea is just really sweet.”

Counting down the final minutes of the school day, Mae Richardson Elementary School secretary Julie Ironside boasted an ugly sweater, a big red tutu and a Christmas wreath as her final ensemble in a week of decking the proverbial halls. She was outdone only by a pair of fifth-graders whose interpretation of sweater day was to share one gigantic ugly sweater, leaving each girl with one arm for the day.

Ironside said, “Everyone went all out. It’s just a fun way to send everyone home for the holidays.”

Reach freelance writer Buffy Pollock at buffyp76@yahoo.com.

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Lynn Scott, principal, left, Megann Michaelis, librarian, Julie Ironside, school secretary and Joni Conrad, educational assistant, dance in their ugly sweaters at Mae Richardson Elementary School in Central Point on Friday. [Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch]
Christian Touzet, left, Erica Sanders and Stephanie Grubb showed off their ugly sweaters while working at the Point Pub and Grill in Central Point on Friday. [Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch]