July 30th – The North Pole Ugly Sweater Sale

Molly held up the sweater in front of her face and squinted.  She looked down at Jessie .  “Come here, girl.  I want to see if I can tailor this for you.”

Jessie’s ears went back and her tail fell to the floor.  She slowly dodged a number of elves as she approached Molly.  The sweater Molly had in her hand  was red, blue and white.  It was made of wool and had a horse and sleigh, a snowman and other pictures on it.  The worse thing was there were lights intertwined in the neck that lit up when you pushed one of the XMASsweater1buttons.

Jessie did not like the sweater.  In fact she hadn’t liked any of the sweaters she saw. Today was a fund raiser where the Elves sold ugly Christmas sweaters.  The seniors of the town crocheted and knitted them all year specifically for the fundraiser. Molly had told Jessie there was a tradition where they sold them on the last Friday of July and then during the Christmas in July celebrations.  On that weekend everyone wore them around town.

Molly had already purchased a sweater for Santa and one for herself and now she was looking for something for Jessie but because Jessie was so long in the torso she was having problems finding one  that would fit.  Now it looked like she had finally had succeeded in finding a sweater long enough.

Molly pulled the sleeves of the sweater over the dogs fore paws and pulled the chest area around the dog.  Her mouth cringed as she moved the fabric back and forth until she had placed the Christmas tree over the dogs back and tucked in the backing so that the picture showed.  She took out her emergency needle and thread and sewed the sides together so that it could be pulled on and off of the dog.  Satisfied she stood up and smiled.

“You look adorable, Jessie.  Our family is going to take a picture for our Christmas card.  I never did book the professional photographer as I wanted but it turns out it was for the best.  This will make a great picture.”  Molly tucked away her needle and hummed to herself as she paid the merchant for the sweater.  “Come on girl, let’s go to the square.  The parade of sweaters starts in twenty minutes.  Let’s just turn on your lights.”

XMASsweater2Jessie sighed and sat down on her haunches with her head hung low.  She hated clothes and Molly was always sewing her new coats and booties.  Molly said it was because of the cold but Jessie suspected it was because she just liked dressing her up.  Jessie stood up, shook and then lay down and rolled over on her back.  She began to rub her back on the ground trying to work her way out of the sweater.

“Jessie, stop!  You’ll ruin your sweater.” Molly gasped and pulled at Jessie’s lead trying to get her to stop.

Jessie rolled a couple of more times and then saw the look of horror on Molly’s face.  She had never seen Molly look so upset.  Jessie turned over and stood up.  She shook once more and then sat with her ears down looking at Molly from the corner of her right eye.”

Molly hurried closer to the dog and started rearranging the sweater One of the lights was broken but the rest of the decoration seemed undamaged. She stood back.    “I know that you don’t like clothes but this is a fundraiser for homeless animals.  Don’t you want to help a shelter animal to find a home?”  Molly stared at Jessie and drummed her fingers on the table beside her.

Jessie wagged the tip of her tail, stood up and walked over to Molly and rubbed her head against her skirt.  “It’s okay, Jessie.  Let’s go to the square.”

Jessie and Molly hurried to the square.  They passed hundreds of elves all with multi-colored Christmas sweaters.  Some Elves also wore decorative ears and shoes.  The square was full of color and was buzzing with noise as Molly and Jessie walked up to the stage where several dogs on leashes were sitting.  Santa was on the stage talking into a microphone.  “With your generous donations we have been able to feed one thousand dogs this  month and we have found one hundred dogs a good home.  Thanks to all of you who supported our cause. Happy ugly sweater day!”

Santa smiled and handed the microphone back to the M.C. elf.  The M.C. nodded to the band  behind them and fast music began to play as Santa descended the steps.  He grinned at Jessie.  “That’s quite a sweater, Jessie.  Looks like Molly tailored it perfectly for you.  Are you ready for our family picture?”

Jessie barked and came closer to Santa.  She stood in front of Santa and Molly as an elf friend took several shots of the trio in their sweaters. When the photographer paused to change the batteries in the digital camera Santa reached down and patted the dogs head.  “Thank you for your patience, Jessie.  I know the sweaters are itchy but it will make Molly happy to have a family picture.  Isn’t that worth a bit of discomfort?”XMASsweater3

Jessie wagged her tail and licked Santa’s hand.  She wanted to make Molly happy .Molly made her happy every day.  Molly went out of her way to brush her every morning.  She made her treats and took her for walks and played stick with her when Santa was busy.  If wearing a silly sweater made Molly happy then she would wear one as long as she needed. to.

Jessie nudged Santa until she her head was under her palm.  She barked at the photographer and showed her teeth in a silly grin.  Molly and Santa laughed as the photographer took more pictures. Jessie thought to herself that her ugly sweater wasn’t so bad after all.  It made Santa and Mollhy happy and that’s all that mattered to her.

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