Ultimate Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Guide!

Just as the Halloween costume has become synonymous with Halloween, the ugly Christmas sweater today has become synonymous with the Christmas season. There’s nothing that people love better around the holiday season than getting together with friends and family, or co-workers to celebrate. It’s a great time to let go, hang loose, have fun, and remember that the holidays are more about spending time with the people that you love rather than the usual gift exchange.

There’s something about the Christmas season that can turn around any one’s perspective, change one’s feelings, alter their vibe, transform an aura — all giving way to a mood that can create yule tide fun. Having holiday cheer for some represents escaping the world, forgetting your problems for a month — a return of childhood. For many, holiday cheer can be merely a state of mind. But for those that really want to represent the holidays, it also can’t help itself manifest in the form of fashion via the ugly Christmas sweater. The ugly Christmas sweater can be transformative. Wearing one not only frees up the holiday spirit inside of you, allowing it to come out and live front and center; it also allows for the wearer to escape for a day, escape for night; not worry about trends, fashions, social constructs.

With ugly sweaters mainstream (celebrities wearing ugly holiday sweaters in television commercials and movies based around them) it’s important to note how this trend grew to what it has become today since entering American culture in 2011-12. The ugly Christmas sweater trend of today first came into fruition through the ugly Christmas sweater party! And if 2019 finds you aspiring to have the ultimate ugly Christmas sweater party yourself, well, then, you’ve come to right place for all your ugly Christmas sweater needs. Not to mention, getting the best tips and tricks for throwing the ultimate ugly Christmas party gathering this year.

Step 1: Find an Ugly Christmas Sweater

Make sure everyone you invite wears an ugly Christmas sweater to your party.

Top Ugly Sweater Websites?

  1. UglyChristmasSweater.com – one of the first Ugly Christmas Sweater focused companies online. Launched in 2012 and grown to a multi-million dollar company just a few years later. Has a variety of licensed ugly sweaters and one of the largest selections online.
  2. Amazon – Amazon is another website with a wide range of Ugly Christmas Sweaters available. Just search “ugly sweater” and see what comes up!
  3. Target – As of last year, Target started to join in on the ugly sweater trend, showing it’s mainstream appeal. 

DIY (Do It Yourself) Ugly Sweaters?

If you’d rather go crazy and express your inner-Christmas glee, you could design and create your very own DIY ugly Christmas sweater with found materials.

Check your closet for an old sweater, or stop over at your local Salvation Army or Goodwill or any other thrift store. While sometimes it’s best to stay with the traditional colors of Christmas white, green, or red, any color will work for your design needs. In fact, straying away from the traditional holiday season colors might even work to your advantage. Who says that purple isn’t in the spirit of the holiday season? Letting your inner-child scream with paint pens, glue, felt, holly, and tinsel when it comes time to design and create your ugly Christmas sweater isn’t a bad thing. Be insane, and encourage your friends to be such as well.

Once you have a sweater to work with, take a look in your garage for things you can use. The possibilities are endless. Not only can you use your old Christmas decorations to put on your sweater, you can also use strings of Christmas lights. Take all your old Christmas balls, Christmas garlands, or Santa stockings, Santa or elf hats and sew them onto the sweater and go “3-D.” Just because you used a piece of rag-tag mistle toe or garland on your tree back in 2017 doesn’t mean that you can’s repurpose it this year for your ugly Christmas sweater project.

And don’t forget the trift store. Trift stores, especially around the holidays, always have used and vintage Christmas decorations available for sale. They save that stuff and put it out during the holiday season. And if worse does indeed get to worst, you can also shop at your local retail outlets like Michaels, Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, and Target for a bevy of holiday decor made from a variety of materials that can be bought cheapy and implemented into your ugly Christmas sweater design, hell, even your ugly Christmas sweater party decorations.

Step 2: Make Some Party Invitations and Send Them Out

Once you have your ugly Christmas sweater figured out for your party, it’s time to take the appropriate steps to make sure that everyone attending your party knows to come dressed in the perfect ugly holiday sweater as well.

It’s key to the success of your gathering. And the way you do that: make invitations to your party and send them out! Your ugly Christmas sweater party invitations should be hilarious, fun, exciting. One thing that most people forget when it comes to the ugly Christmas sweater phenomenon of recent years, is that the ugly sweater has been around since the 1960s. That’s right, people actually made ugly sweaters for their friends or relatives by hand or at their sewing machine back when showing your holiday cheer wasn’t something that was intentionally thought of it as funny or absurd. People wore ugly Christmas sweaters all throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s during December to work parties, family gatherings, heck, they even wore them as a family unit and went to JcPenny’s in the mail and took a posed, family photo to capture the season cheer.

Here’s some ideas on how to make a good ugly Christmas sweater party invitation:

Keep it simple. But keep it tacky. Make your party invitation tacky by adding in photocopied old ugly Christmas sweater photos found on the internet. Use magic markers to detail the location of the party, time, what to wear, etc. Make sure you remind everyone to come dressed in an ugly Christmas sweater to your party. Advertise that there will be drinks, food, music, perhaps even a ugly Christmas sweater contest. Challenge your friends, family, even co-workers to see who can come up with the ugliest Christmas sweater found or made. Offer a prize. It’s important that your invitation be in the spirit of the ugliness of the Christmas sweater trend. Use strange colors juxtaposed with the traditional red, white, and green holiday season. You can also design an invitation online as well. You can even use clip art. Always aim to be funny, while in the same breath, informative. But, never forget: it’s fun to be wild and crazy with it. Depending on who you’re sending it out to: maybe, even okay to be a little raunchy. But, don’t send a invitation with a naked Santa on it to your boss at work or your co-workers. So, be mindful when it comes to what you’re sending and to how it might be received on the other end. Oh, and don’t forget to make it an RSVP opportunity, too!

Is it better to send a printed invitation or just do a Facebook group?

If you’re trying to throw a ball on a budget or if you’re more tech savvy, then inviting all your friends and family online can be used as replacement for a printed invitation or as a enhancer. It’s okay to send both a printed invite as well as an e-invite via a Facebook page. Perhaps, you could use the Facebook page as an outlet to collect RSVPs for your party.

Step 3: How To Find Decorations

Now, that you have a handle on your ugly Christmas sweater party and have figured out how to invite your friends it’s time to figure out how to decorate!

The best things to use to decorate for an ugly Christmas sweater party:

Think: whole house decorations. When you have an ugly Christmas party, the chances are you don’t live in the Deep South or in a warm climate, so decorating the entire house is mandatory as everyone will be mingling all throughout your entire house all evening—unless everyone is down with a polar plunge ugly Christmas party! So, it’s key to not only worry about decorating the living room, but also, the kitchen, dining room, foyer, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. It’s really important to be very creative. Example: Think about turning your refrigerator into a snowman by adding on some button eyes or some magnetic face items.

Don’t waste any time when it comes hunting down cheap decorations for your party. When you go to your local thrift shop to find Christmas decorations for your ugly Christmas sweater design, also think about items that could showcase the holiday spirit via decorations for your shindig. Don’t hesitate to pick up any old, used tinsel, garland, table cloths, santa statues, plastic holiday figures that usually are posted up on the lawn, salt and pepper shakers, etc. Not to mention, any other Christmas-themed clothing. You can used old red, green, and white items for table clothes, centerpieces, napkins, place holders on the table, etc.

Don’t forget to check out stores like Party City for decorations. Usually, they are very cheap. You can find cheeky decorations, party banners, little items that will enhance the festival atmosphere at your party.

Step 4: Food & Drinks

When you take a bunch of your friends and put them in a room and supply them with drinks, there’s a good chance that the crowd will grow hungry. So, what are the best snack foods that you can serve your guests at your ugly holiday sweater gathering. Here are a couple ideas:

Rice Krispy Treats: Who doesn’t love Christmas-themed Rice Krispy Treats? Think about it: Who doesn’t love a sweet treat while they are enjoying an alcoholic drink? The best part about ugly Christmas Sweater party Rice Krispy treats is that you can make them to match the ugly Christmas sweater theme itself! You can dye them. Make half a pan of red, green, white treats, or even purple, yellow, orange. Tie-Dyed Christmas snacks! And don’t forget: You can add in M&Ms, gum drops, red hots, mints, ect., to make them gross, tacky, but yummy.

Meatballs: Depending on the tempature outside, everyone loves a little warm pick me up snack at a party. And what better food is there at a party than the meatball? Think about it: It’s small, it’s bite-sized, and damn yummy. And the best part: they go along perfectly with your ugly Christmas sweater party theme. Think Christmas Ornament balls, yo!

The best things to drink at an ugly Christmas sweater party:

Simply put: Beer. Beer always tastes the best in the winter months. It’s true. An easy way to satisfy everyone’s desires for beer at your party is to simply buy a kids swimming pool and put it in the garage. Fill it with ice and then put about 10-12 different beers into the pool and allow your guests to pick and choose their passion. Any beer fan knows that most brands put out a special edition holiday brew around the holiday time. Your party guests will love your party all the more if you provide them with a bevy of special flavors: pumpkin pie ale, winter ale, etc.
It’s important to also make sure that your guests that don’t like beer also have something to drink as well. For those, that might be worried about consuming the mass of calories that are often associated with delicious beer, you can provide alternative spirits. Luckily, the internet provides users with an endless supply of holiday-themed drink recipes. There are such things as White Christmas Margaritas, Sugar Cookie Martinis, Santa Clausmopolitans, and the Snowflake Martini. Fire up Google and then head to the liquor store for supplies for the big night!

Step 5: Entertainment Ideas

While everyone enjoys a good, stimulating conversation at a party, it’s important to also think about alternative methods of entertainment. Hoping that everyone will just stand around and talk with other is for hours is optimistic. Yes, people will talk to each other, but eventually, people will start to get bored. So, how to solve this problem? You introduce a selection of fun, ugly Christmas-inspired music, movies, and games that everyone can be involved in and enjoy at the same time.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Games:

Let’s not forget about: Twister. There’s nothing more fun than playing Twister, and especially so, after everyone at the party has had a few drinks. Having a few drinks and then playing Twister makes everything more interesting as everyone’s balance is altered, so watching people trying to keep their composure while standing in an awkward position can be really fun.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Contest:

As previously discussed, when you send out your ugly Christmas sweater party invitations be sure to mention that there will be an ugly Christmas sweater contest. Designate three people at your party to serve as the judges. Before everyone is too liquored up, have everyone stand in a line and have the judges go down the line. Then have them retire to another room where they can decide, unbiased, on who has the ugliest Christmas sweater at your party. The winner gets a $25 dollar gift card to a local restaurant.

Other Ugly Christmas sweater party games:

Depending on exactly when your ugly sweater party is happening, one fun party game that usually keeps everyone happy is to have them guess exactly how many ornaments are on your Christmas tree. Ask your guests to write down their guesses and have them put them in a empty fish bowl. Be sure to hide some ornaments good on your tree, even making sure to get some super dark green ornaments to hide on the inside of the tree, so people can’t see it and count it as they stand there for 10 minutes to count every ornament on the tree. Don’t forget: Christmas Charades, either. Not to mention: Christmas karaoke. These days, you don’t need an expensive karaoke machine to have fun slaughtering your favorite holiday jams. Today it’s as easy as downloading an app on your smart phone or installing something on your Roku as long as you have a microphone in hand.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Music / Movies:

We’ve all been there. We’ve either been to parties that are well-attended or we’ve thrown a party or two that has gotten off to a slow start and left everyone sitting around waiting for others to arrive. Here’s a way that you can liven up a small gathering if you find yourself in such a situation. Add some great fun and crazy holiday music to the party and/or put on a funny or weird Christmas-related movie to play in the background.

When it comes to music there are dozens of insane, crazy, Christmas albums available on iTunes or Spotify that you can listen to that will not only turn some heads during your ugly Christmas sweater party, but also have them laughing and loosening up. First, there’s The James Brown Christmas album. Who doesn’t love the Godfather of Soul, and there’s nothing better than listening to the king of 1970s funk music singing about Santa Claus visiting the ghetto. And of course, Bob Dylan. There are two kinds of people in the world: those that love Bob Dylan and those that hate Bob Dylan. Those that hate Dylan, do so, because of his awful signing voice. So, naturally, it seems obvious that any holiday party dedicated to the ugly and the tacky, the cheesy, would need the nasal holiday overtones via Dylan’s Christmas from a few years ago. Lets not forget about the crazy Christmas novelty records that have been popping up since the 1950s! There’s 1953’s I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. Sung by 10-year-old Gayla Peevy. It’s so catchy that it’s impossible to deny its holiday charm. Anyone dedicated to having the best ugly Christmas party shouldn’t overlook the Jingle series of Christmas recordings. Created by Mike Spalla, the Jingle series of recordings features a group of cats meowing all the holiday songs like Silent Night and Jingle Bells. Yes, there are Jingle Dogs too. Yep, barking all your favorite holiday songs. Woof-Woof-Woof…Woof-Woof-Woof—Woo-Woof.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Movies

While there are certainly a few movies that have become Christmas season classics like It’s A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, there are also a few crazy and stupid Christmas movies that you can put on in the background at your party that will demand your guests attention and spur on fun conversation. Movies like Jingle All The Way, The Santa Clause and Eight Crazy Nights are painfully awful, and funny for that reason. Then there are the insane, over-the-top holiday movies that demand everyone’s attention like Christmas Evil, Silent Night, Deadly Night—combine Christmas and Hallloween by making your guests watch movies about derranged mental patients that dress up as a killer Santa and stalk and murder everyone’s neighbors. Then there’s Jack Frost: A tongue-in-cheek Christmas movie about a murderer that transforms into a killer snowman—there even a sequel.

How to end the party?

The best way to end your ugly Christmas sweater party at the end of the night, is to just let it die off on it’s own accord. Eventually, your friends will either become too drunk or too bored to stay longer than you’llwant them too. You’ve played the movies in the background that you wanted, you played the right music, you’ve asked everyone to particate in the right party games and the only thing that is left is to make sure that all your friends had fun as they head out the door. And how to do you do that? You give them all an ugly Christmas sweater party gift when they leave. It not only thanks them for coming to your ugly Christmas sweater party, but it also give them one last surprise that reminds them what the holidays are all about: spending time with friends and having fun together. So, what do you give your friends as a party gift?

Here are a couple ideas: How about a stocking? Of course, once you have a rough idea through Facebook RSVP of exactly who’s coming to your party, with enough advance notice, you could have someone make everyone a custom ugly Christmas party stocking. You can find companies on the internet that can make them fast for you. Perhaps, you do the basic red Santa stocking with everyone’s name on the stocking with the year? Or you can do crazy, tie-dye stockings, or you could create crazy, ugly, one-of-a-kinds stockings for everyone that shows up at your party. If you wanted to take that a step further, you could put pieces of charcoal inside the stocking with a $1 dollar scratch off lottery ticket as well.

Having a ugly Christmas sweater party can be something that is very fun. It’s important for everyone to let loose, have fun, be themselves, and not worry about what they’re wearing in our society. An ugly Christmas sweater party also helps to remind everyone about what’s most important in life: having fun with family and friends.