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Monday, December 13, 2010

swirls&sweaters


Do you want to know what's ridiculous? Insane Christmas sweaters are officially rare. In my area (Philadelphia) at least anyway. That sweater party I went to on Friday? Had to show up totally plain clothed. I was so disappointed. If there's one thing I love it's a good theme party.

Now I know tacky Christmas sweaters are totally trendy right now because apparently today's fashion is all about "ironic" but I never imagined in a million years that they'd actually become hard to find. I mean seriously, didn't everyone's mom have at least ten for some reason? The first place I checked was my mom's closet, being very careful with my words when I asked her to borrow a piece of clothing she wore proudly that I could wear as a joke.

She had none.



She had them when I was little and apparently always meant to get a new one or two, but never wanted to pay the jacked up prices for them during Christmas time, which is the only time you think about something like that.

My next hope was Charlie's mom. He said she had containers full of them that she would pull out every Christmas. No dice. We're not sure if she gave them all to Purple Heart or if they were in storage, but they weren't there. Thankfully she was already wise to sweater parties so we didn't have to explain that. She even joked about how half her winter wardrobe in the past is now being worn in fun.



It was already 9:30 by this point so as a last ditch attempt, we headed over to Target to see if they had anything. Again, nothing. They had long sleeve shirts with a tiny Christmas thing printed on them but nothing with pompoms or sequins or any other classy embellishments like such.

So disappointing. We gave up and eventually made our way to the party. When we got there, I think about four, maybe five people had tacky Christmas-wear on. Two of them had vests that were thrifted and a few had sweaters that were inherited from a family member. This is when I learned that even thrift shops were picked over.

So if you have a tacky Christmas sweater, hold onto it because it is a rare commodity, which is why Urban Outfitters can make their own version and charge $50 for it.



Maybe I'm totally naive and underestimated the power of trends, but I thought I'd just share my thoughts on this subject. Mostly because I was shocked and disappointed. I think the cycle pretty much went like this.. Everyone's mom realized the sweaters weren't cool anymore so they donated them. They ended up in Good Will where us 20-somethings said "hey that's funny" and bought them all up. Retailers who used to make them aren't making them anymore because moms aren't buying them anymore. Thus, Christmas sweaters are now an endangered species.

But on a happier note, the next day I made two batches of Sprinkle Bakes' sugar cookie recipe which is the best ever. I posted the recipe here when I made them for Thanksgiving.

This time I took a cue from Martha Stewart's cookie magazine and mixed green food coloring with one batch so I could make a swirl. If you're going to dye a stiff dough like this cookie dough, I found it easiest to mix the dye with the liquid part of the batter and then mix the dry ingredients in after. That way, you get a nice smooth color and don't end up with marbling.



After the dough chilled over night, I split each into thirds and rolled out one green and one regular chunk on a mat. When they were both roughly the same size, I folded the mat over to flip one color on top of the other. Make sure the mat is floured so you don't lose your mind scraping the dough off when you realize you failed ;). Roll the two colors up together and wrap it in wax paper. Chill the dough logs for a few hours so that they are easier to cut.

When you're ready to bake, just preheat the oven and slice em up! I found they came out better when they were rolled out thinner. It gave them a better swirl overall. :)


My family loves this recipe. This definitely won't be the last time I'm making these this season!



Hope everyone's week is starting off well!

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