Windy City Novelties

Party Ideas

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Get into the Holiday Spirit with an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!

Get into the Holiday Spirit with an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!



This holiday season, invite all of your friends over for an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party! Sometimes called a Tacky Sweater Party, these parties have become quite popular over the last several years. Guests must show up in the tackiest, most obnoxious Christmas ensemble they can find, whether it be from the depths of their mothers’ closets or from a thrift store. The sweaters are usually from the 80s and 90s, when oversized and gaudy Christmas sweaters were actually in style. Sometimes individuals get creative and put together their own Ugly Christmas Sweater by adding a few Christmas decorations to it, such as tinsel garland, Christmas ornaments, ribbons, and sometimes even Christmas lights!

These parties can be a lot of fun, and take all the pressure off of throwing a more elegant and expensive holiday party. Decorate your home with tacky Christmas decorations, serve easy-to-make appetizers and desserts, and enjoy some quality time with your friends! Here are some tips on how to throw a great Ugly Christmas Sweater Party:


Ugly Christmas Sweater Invitations

Forget Facebook; invite all of your friends the old-fashioned way with fun Christmas themed invitations!

Christmas Attire and Accessories

Check around your home for an old Christmas sweater, or ask your friends, relative or neighbors if they have any Christmas sweaters lying around. If not, visit your local thrift store. They are sure to have a few pieces of tacky Christmas clothing.

Once you have your sweater, you can begin accessorizing! Top off your ugly sweater holiday look with a classic plush Santa hat. If you want your look to be a bit more silly, try using a funny version of a Santa hat, such as the Spring Santa Hat


Or, instead of a Santa hat, you can wear a funny Mistletoe Headbopper that is sure to get you a few kisses on the cheek, or a humorous Stuck in the Chimney hat that is sure to get you noticed at the party. These hats are a great addition to your ugly sweater outfit if your sweater isn't as "ugly" as you'd like it to be! 


If you are unable to find an ugly Christmas sweater, don't sweat it. You can create a festive ugly sweater look by using Christmas accessories or decorations. Add some holiday suspenders to a plain white shirt or a green sweater for an instant holiday look. You can also get crafty and make your own ugly Christmas sweater. Use an oversized red velvet bow to turn plain shirt or sweater into a Christmas gift. Place the bow in the center of the shirt and take red ribbon and attach it vertically on top and below the bow, as well as horizontally on each side of the bow. 



If you are the fun and daring one of your group of friends, try sporting a full costume to your Ugly Christmas Sweater Party! Dress as the beloved Santa Claus in a full Santa Suit, or arrive at the party dressed as one of your favorite Christmas movie characters. If you're a fan a Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, wear a Grinch costume and try to remain in character all night. 


Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Goods

Serve up some delicious snacks on fun Christmas themed paper goods! Set out a table with a few appetizers and desserts and cover it with a poinsettia print table cover. Set out clashing—remember, we want this party to be tacky—and colorful snowflake plates and napkins that guests can eat off of. Serve up cocktails and other beverages in Christmas themed plastic cups.

Add a couple of table centerpieces or decorations to your snack table!


Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Decorations

Decorate your party area in gaudy and inexpensive Christmas decorations. Drape poinsettia garland from your fireplace, or drape it above a doorway. Place a lot of Christmas cutouts on the walls. Try to use images that may look like they are from a few decades ago.  

Hang strands of Christmas lights wherever you can—think Clark Griswold. This way, you won’t have to turn on any lights and the Christmas lights will be the source of lighting for your party! 

If you can, hang some Christmas danglers from your ceiling or doorway. Hang gingerbread danglers, or some cute little honeycomb snowmen!



At some point during the party, after all of your guests have arrived, have each guest vote for their favorite ugly sweater outfit. Award the winner with a giant red Christmas bow! You can also sing karaoke to your favorite Christmas songs, or play a drinking game to your favorite Christmas movie.



At Windy City Novelties, it’s our hope that this article inspires you to create a fun and unique party for your loved ones. For more helpful tips on organizing your event, email our dedicated party planning experts at [email protected]. You may also subscribe to our emails for weekly party planning ideas, featured products and more at

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