Published in the December 14, 2017 edition


NORTH READING — As far as fashion trends go, the Christmas sweater should have gone the way of the leisure suit and those powder blue tuxes with ruffled shirts that were so popular in the 1970s.

But for some strange reason, perhaps nostalgia, it persists. You know the type – the more bling, sequins and lace or bright character prints adorned with baubles that jingle, ornaments that light up, reindeer and snowflakes, the better.

Hitching their stars to the trend of retro “Ugly Christmas Sweater” parties, the chairmen of the Board of Selectmen and School Committee have launched a friendly wager between the two boards. Selectmen Chairman Mike Prisco and School Committee Chairman Mel Webster each proposed at their last meeting that they and their colleagues show up at their next meeting on Monday, December 18 all decked out in the ugliest Christmas sweaters they can find, just for the fun of it.

You be the judge

To make this a true contest, the Transcript has now entered the fray and will publish photos of both boards wearing their holiday finery in our Christmas edition next Thursday, Dec. 21.

Now this is where it gets fun. Our readers will serve as the judges of which board should win the “coveted” title.

In addition to publishing their photos in print, we will also post them to our Facebook page ( and we’ll link the photos to two other local social media sites on Facebook — the North Reading Community Connections page and North Reading’s News – to give them as much exposure as possible.

Prisco has upped the ante in this friendly wager and Webster has accepted his challenge: the losing board will donate $100 to the Transcript’s 28th annual Neighbor Helping Neighbor Fund, which benefits the nonprofit Christian Community Service (CCS) organization whose volunteers operate the town’s Food Pantry and provide year-round emergency assistance to about 100 local families.

So it will be up to you, dear readers, to determine the “winners.” Let’s have some light-hearted fun during the holiday season while benefitting a worthy a cause. We would all benefit greatly from taking ourselves a little less seriously. It’ll be a welcome change given the current state of national and world affairs. Merry Christmas!