It’s that time of year again.

Once you freeze today’s turkey leftovers and politely push the relatives out the door, it’ll be time to break out the tree, the wreaths, the lights and the ugly sweaters.

Ugly sweaters, if you think about it, are a really beautiful and organic manifestation of our love for the holidays. They allow us to decorate ourselves in a way that says to the world, “I don’t care how I look, but I’m going to have fun this year.” Or sometimes they say to the world, “I love the holidays so much I’m willing to do THIS to myself.”

Or at least they allow others to have fun gawking at your snowmen or giant snowflakes or elves or whatever cheesy holiday decoration you have on your sweater.

Ugly sweater season is getting off to an early start this year, with an event at the Waldo Theatre in Waldoboro on Saturday. The theater is hosting the Down East Fiddlers Jamboree that night, a performance by some of the area’s finest fiddle players.

Don and Cindy Roy – Franco fiddle legends around these parts – will play with Jay Young. Maisy Newell and Eric Dayan will do some “gypsy fiddling.” And 14-year-old fiddle phenom Max Silverstein will perform with his dad, Jeff.

Fiddle music makes you want to yell “Yee-ha!” and slap your knee – sort of the way you might react to seeing your first ugly sweater of the season. Another important reason for having an ugly sweater contest at the Waldo is the fact that the theater’s upcoming Christmas show, “The X-Mas Files,” prominently features ugly holiday sweaters.

That show (written by local writer Ellie Busby and running Dec. 9-18) is about a vengeful sheriff who arrests all the Santa Clauses he can, including the real one. So a bunch of elves in black – reminiscent of the special agents on TV’s “The X-Files” – set out to free Santa. Back in the workshop, there are other elves hard at work.

And they are all wearing very ugly sweaters.

“Ellie wanted the elves to be wearing ugly sweaters, so we thought this would be a good opportunity to host our first ugly sweater contest,” said Melissa Hearth, president of the Waldo Theatre board. “The fiddlers usually sell out, so we’ll have a lot of people there for this.”

The night’s holiday festivities will actually begin at 6 p.m. at the Waldoboro town tree lighting. Then the ugly sweaters will be judged before the fiddlers begin at the theater. The winner will be announced during intermission.

The winner of the ugly sweater contest will get four tickets to “The X-Mas Files.”

Which, of course, will be the perfect opportunity to wear that ugly holiday sweater at least one more time.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

[email protected]

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