Ugly Christmas sweaters have been popular since the ‘80s, when they were featured on sitcoms of the time. An “ugly” Christmas sweater is any holiday-themed sweater that’s considered tacky or over-the-top. In modern times, ugly Christmas sweaters are often encouraged at holiday events. That’s because they’re great conversation starters and a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit. If you’re planning on throwing your own ugly Christmas sweater party this season, we’ve got you covered with all the best ideas. Read on to discover how to make yours a memorable event.
It’s easy enough to buy ugly Christmas sweaters, but it’s more fun to make your own. Ask guests to bring a plain sweater with them to the party. Then, set up a workstation for the event with decorating materials. Go for Christmas-themed accessories, like tinsel, metallic pipe cleaners, pom poms, and ribbon bows. You’ll also need some basic tools and sewing supplies. At the party, guests can have fun customizing their sweaters with the available materials.
Whether guests buy, borrow, or make their ugly Christmas sweaters, a photo shoot is a fun way for them to show off. Use a roll of fabric to create a red carpet and add some Christmas decor for a photo backdrop. Then, use a Polaroid camera to take each guest’s picture. Arrange the photos where everyone can see them and have guests vote for their favorites anonymously using stickers or tickets. The photo (and Christmas sweater) with the most stickers at the end of the night, wins!
Another great way for guests to show off their ugly Christmas sweaters is through a fashion show. Use black or white material to create a “runway” and have guests volunteer to model their sweaters. For added fun, have each “model” pick a song to walk to. You can also have the other guests choose their best and worst styles and award prizes to the winners. Food gift baskets make a great prize, but you can also use things like candy and small toys.
What’s a Christmas event without a few carols? Make singing extra fun for your ugly sweater party by grouping guests according to their sweaters. You can do this by color, pattern, or theme. Everyone wearing a green sweater, for example, will be in one group. Have each group pick a name and a Christmas carol to sing. If carols aren’t really your thing, go for classic Christmas songs instead. Up the ante by choosing guests to “judge” the performances and have them select a winner.
A great way to warm up guests at an ugly Christmas sweaters party is with delicious hot drinks. You could set up a hot chocolate station, for example, with different flavors and toppings for guests to try. Think cinnamon, sprinkles, marshmallows, caramel, and whipped cream. Add coffee and tea options, too, to give guests more variety. You can also serve warm cocktails, like spiked apple cider, Irish coffees, and mulled wines.
Go all out for your ugly Christmas sweater party with themed snacks and food. Keep it classic with holiday-themed eats, like peppermint bark pretzels or freshly baked s’mores. You can also serve sugar cookies in the shape of sweaters, for example, or an entire sweater-shaped cake. Foods that are “wrapped up” also go well with the theme. Think burritos, pigs in a blanket, lettuce wraps, spring rolls, and kolaches.
Koozies are fabric sleeves used as insulation around cans and mugs to keep beverages warm. Many of them are made from knit material and some are even designed to look like miniature sweaters. Why not use them to create a scavenger hunt for your ugly Christmas sweater party? Select a few items around the house to cover with koozies and hide clues underneath. These can be anything from decorative figurines to vases to candles. Then, encourage guests to find them all to reveal a special prize.
Classic Christmas movies make an excellent backdrop for holiday parties. Choose your favorites to play in the background during your ugly Christmas sweaters event. It’s easy enough to set up a projector, but you can also leave them playing on the TV on mute. If you have kids coming to your event, set up some floor pillows and Christmas blankets to create a cozy entertainment space. Having movies playing will not only help set the mood, but it also makes for a great conversation starter. Depending on the vibe you’re trying to create, you could play classic Christmas music videos instead.
In keeping with the theme of your ugly Christmas sweater party, why not hold an ugly gift exchange? It’s easy enough to plan a secret Santa for your party beforehand. Simply assign guests random names when you invite them, and ask them to make or buy a present for the person. To keep it fun and fair, set a spending limit of between $5-20. Then, at the party, gather everyone together to exchange and open their gifts.
Ugly Christmas sweater parties are all about the humor, so have fun picking out the decor, food, drinks, and activities. As long as you don’t take it too seriously, it'll be a great time. Pick a theme, invite your guests, and make or buy your ugliest Christmas sweater yet. Then get ready to wear it with pride and party the night away.