A Christmas tradition to warm your … feet?

WKU freshman Shakyla Owens stands outside of Hugh Poland Hall in christmas themed socks on Nov. 26, 2019.

Katelyn Latture

There’s a lot of pressure regarding Christmas clothing nowadays.

In fact, many people have an annual competition for the ugliest Christmas sweater. If you win the title, you undoubtedly make every grandmother in America proud. 

I’m no stranger to this trend — I own two of my mom’s Christmas sweatshirts from the ‘80s and ‘90s; I have an ugly Christmas sweater of my own with adjustable lights, and I’ve won many a sweater competition with it. I also own and proudly wear a Christmas tree onesie, which has a bell on top that jingles every time I move.  

These clothing items are special and accurately depict my love for Christmas, but I have a more special Christmas clothing tradition. 

 

I collect Christmas socks. 

You might be thinking, “Big deal, Katelyn. I’m sure you don’t have that many socks.”

My response would be, as the kids say, “Bet.” 

It all began as far back as kindergarten, when my mom bought me these itty-bitty ankle socks. They were white with a red rim on the top, and they had chubby, gray penguins and red and silver snowflakes on them. I couldn’t wait to wear them when Christmas rolled around, but eventually I outgrew them.

Each Christmas after that I would look at the little penguin socks with sweet memories, wishing I could still wear them. Then, one Christmas when I was around 11 years old, a Christmas sock trend made its way into stores everywhere.

As you could imagine, I was elated. Having a birthday eight days before Christmas, I am often asked if I hate having my birthday so close to the holidays. However, I embrace it (clearly). The more reasons to celebrate, the better and the merrier! 

I began buying these holiday socks and proudly wore them to school throughout the holiday season. I thought I was the bee’s knees. 

Despite growing seven or eight inches in height, my feet haven’t grown since I was about 10 or 11. So I can still fit in the socks I bought back then.

My collection has grown in the past 11 years, as when I reached middle school, I began a new sock tradition. Starting on Black Friday and going through Christmas, the only socks I wear are Christmas themed. 

Yes, I own that many Christmas socks — over 30 pairs. That’s more than enough for the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my parents are quick to remind me of it. 

When my mom and I go Christmas shopping and I mention the cute Christmas socks by the register, she is quick to remind me I already own “too many.” I think that’s debatable. 

Despite her less enthusiastic stance toward my sock collection, she undoubtedly buys me at least one new pair each year. Last year, it was a pair of black socks with blue, yellow, red and green Christmas sweaters on them. 

Though I love all my Christmas socks, my favorite ones come from years ago. 

I have a pair of Snoopy socks where the iconic pooch is sitting on his decorated doghouse. The top of the socks are scalloped and knitted to look like a string of lights. On the bottom, the phrase “happy holidays” is outlined in a string of blue, green, red and yellow lights. The toe and heel are red, and now there’s a large hole where fabric should be. That doesn’t stop me from wearing the socks every year. 

My other favorite pair is a green set my mom gave me a few years back. They are a mix of light green, mint, white and red threads. They look like a self-knit Christmas sweater with lines, stripes, dots and stars.

Though I love these socks, my all-time favorites will always be the penguin ones from so long ago. 

If you see me wandering the halls of HCIC, sipping coffee at Spencer’s or anywhere else this holiday season, feel free to make sure I’m not lying. I’ll be wearing my Christmas socks.

Features reporter Katelyn Latture can be reached at [email protected]