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The Duggar family is making waves again, only this time it’s for something that normally wouldn’t raise any eyebrows. A whole group of kids along with their spouses and kids gathered in the Michelle and Jim Bob’s family home to celebrate Christmas with an ugly sweater party. The only problem? Family gatherings are being strongly discouraged this year due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Counting On alums shared humorous photos from the party, including plenty of hideous sweaters and fun-looking antics. But their merriment wasn’t enough to dissuade fans from sharing their true opinions about the gathering in the comments section.

The Duggar family usually celebrates Christmas without a tree

It’s no secret that the Duggars were raised in an extremely religious setting and that they exclusively recognize Christmas for the birth of Jesus, not the commercialized, secular holiday it’s become in many places. For that reason, they don’t usually get a Christmas tree and instead opt for more overtly religious décor.

“We celebrate Jesus’ birthday. So we have a big Happy Birthday Jesus banner and we really try to focus on the real meaning of Christmas,” Michelle explained in 2014.

The Duggar children overall are less strict than their parents when it comes to enforcing rules at home. Several of the kids including Jill Dillard have shared photos of decorated trees and admitted they let their children watch secular movies, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

2020 didn’t bring many changes for the Duggar Christmas

It’s worth noting that the Duggars appear to have relaxed their “no Christmas tree” rule because they had a gigantic one at their latest party. But that wasn’t the issue fans had with the Instagram post shared to the family’s account.

“We had an absolutely wonderful time at our third annual Duggar Family Ugly Sweater Party!!” the caption read.

“Everyone went ALL OUT on their outfits, but John was the ultimate winner of the ugliest sweater!! We also did a white elephant gift exchange and had a baking competition. I think my sides still hurt from all the laughter and good food!! We even got some snow this weekend so it is really feeling like Christmas around here! I love it!!”

Fans were annoyed the Duggar family gathered for Christmas

Duggar family
Duggar family | D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra

Jill Duggar’s Instagram Post Explains How Her Kids Watch Secular Christmas Movies with No TV

With some of the leading health experts urging families to reconsider their holiday plans and limit gatherings to those in their immediate households, the Duggar celebration ruffled a few feathers with fans who thought they should be following those same guidelines.

“Wow!!! Great example about what not to do!!” one commentor wrote. “And our family is spending Christmas alone,” another said. One Canadian mentioned that they weren’t even permitted to gather, saying, “I’m jealous. Up in Canada we can’t gather at all. Not even with family.”

But even with all the detractors, many fans showed support for the Duggars, wishing them a Merry Christmas and telling them to ignore anyone questioning their lack of social distancing. “Great way to enjoy the season with your family! Wish more people would do so without fear,” one commentor wrote.

Hopefully it’s a safe and healthy holiday for all extended members of the Duggar clan.