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And the Ugliest Sweater Goes To....

After weeks of smack talk, a lot of carefully chosen (and handcrafted) ugly sweaters, and a truly garish job of decorating the Common Room in kitsch Christmas style, our annual Ugly Sweater Party did not disappoint!

This year's sweaters included team efforts by Mr. and Mrs. Claus and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claws (including a visit from Peter and Kevin's cat, Ivy), a "hairy spider in a web" handmade number by the Campus Minister's 5-year-old, an appearance by Buddy the Elf, a repeat hand-me-down from last year's champion, lots of kittens, a few classic ugly sweaters, and more.

Our Yankee Swap was also a success, with a fleece Snoopy blanket taking top honors as most-traded gift, and a lowly jar of marmalade as most underappreciated. Here, Seth is unenthused about his citrus condiment.

During the "Why My Sweater Should Win" portion of the evening, Brittany explains why her (seriously underappreciated) sweater featuring a kitten riding a unicorn carrying a boom box is the ugliest. (Let's say that again: a kitten. riding a unicorn. carrying a boom box.)

But the question remains: who won the contest and all the bragging rights thereof?! It was a close race this year, with several ties and many recounts (though nary a hanging chad) and the final three were Margaret taking third place, Seth earning second, and Cindy, the Campus Minister dethroning Peter as the reigning champion!

Cindy's homemade sweater featured a reindeer throwing up bows and snowflakes. It really doesn't get any uglier than that, folks!

All silliness aside, our annual Ugly Sweater Party is one of my favorite events, not just because it's a fun way to break the pre-Finals tension, but because it highlights an important message of the Advent and Christmas seasons: that Church is community. God could have directed salvation history any way He wanted. He could have saved the world from on high, distant and powerful, and that would have been fine. But He didn't choose to do it that way; He chose to interact and commune with humanity in the most humble, messy, direct way possible--by becoming one of us. The Infant Jesus was not what Israel expected when they imagined their long-awaited Messiah--and that was only the beginning of the surprises Jesus had in store for them.

We started this semester with a phrase: "Dominus Tecum", the Lord be with you. It's in moments of true community that we express to each other most strongly that this indeed is true--the Lord is with you, and with me, and we wish that upon one another and reminded ourselves of that as brothers and sisters in Christ when we join together in community, in silliness, in seriousness, in joy, in sorrow, and in everything in between.

Veni, veni Immanuel.

A blessed Advent to you all.

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