Joanell Serra
3 min readNov 29, 2018


Christmas Sweaters for Congress.

Bah humbug is too strong a word for my feelings about the holiday season. I don’t hate it, I just have a few things I enjoy and a whole lot about it I don’t.

Things that make the season palatable:

Hallmark movies. Stop judging. Actually, I don’t care — go ahead and judge. They’re terrible. And yet so easy to consume. No part of my psyche is challenged in any way. After an hour on Facebook, Instagram, and NPR, I sure as hell need a dose of “nothing about this is real” Hallmark escapism.

Secondly, I like the smell of pine. No judgement now, is there? We all like it. It’s probably an evolutionary DNA thing. Just a thought though- could we just bring a few bows into the house, not chop down thousands of trees? Maybe skip the massive amounts of useless presents underneath? We could still choose a day to gather around the pine boughs, preferably with a few friends and a nice bottle of wine. People who really like being with their families could meet them at church. The rest of us just need to find a cork screw…

Finally, the third thing I like about the holidays is this sweater a friend gave me a few years ago. It’s comfy. and classy — no shiny nosed reindeer or overweight man in red. Just an off white knit garment with the word “joy” in gold, written in pretty cursive handwriting (like they have in Catholic school). I mostly wear it because it matches everything and doesn’t itch, but also, I admit, with the hope that at some point the word might sink in.

If I wear the word “joy” for five out of seven days, all season, perhaps I’ll start to sparkle too? I’ve considered adding others sweaters to the mix, with this absorption theory in mind. “Energetic,” “Organized,” and “Party Girl” all come to mind as good options for me. Possibly, I could address my deeper concerns with sweater sayings. “Small Carbon Footprint” written in black recycled ribbon would be exciting. “Still Optimistic” in candy cane red -so cute, right?

Maybe I’ll send President Trump a Christmas Sweater! Picture the word “Compassionate” in the perfect shade of orange. Melania can have one too. Hers might say, “Actually, I do care.”

Perhaps the entire Senate needs Christmas sweaters by Joanell. “Honest,” “Strong Spine,” or “Got a conscience?” are just a few — off the top of my head. You all can weigh in with some other ideas. “Loves Babies even after they’re born!” “Listens to Women,” “I owe the NRA nothing!” Ah yes, the possibilities are endless.

I’m pretty sure I can sell a crap ton of these by Christmas. I’m off! Setting up the web-site, cutting a deal with Amazon, on the phone to China to get in on their cheapest fabrics with no regard to treatment of workers.

God bless us one and all, I’ve caught that Christmas Spirit!



Joanell Serra

Joanell Serra MFT . Writer/therapist/ consultant/social change maker/ bio/adoptive mom. The Vines We Planted debut novel. May 2018. (Wido)