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Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas


There are two types of holiday parties: formal holiday parties and Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties. Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties encourage guests to arrive in the most hideous, gaudiest sweater they can find, typically dating back to the 1980’s or 90’s. However, because Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties have skyrocketed in popularity within the last several years, popular clothing retailers have begun making their own Ugly Christmas Sweaters for consumers to purchase, rather than having to search for one in a thrift store. Oftentimes, revelers will come dressed on other attire, such as Christmas-themed onesies and even Christmas decorations!

This holiday season gather all your friends for a fun and festive Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Send out invitations to your pals, requesting that they show up in their ugliest Christmas attire. Set the scene with tacky decorations (to coordinate with your guests’ ugly sweaters), serve Christmas cookies and cocktails and partake in a range of humorous activities with your friends and loved ones. Here are a few ideas for throwing your own Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!


Plan your Ugly Sweater getup.

First things first, plan your Ugly Christmas Sweater attire. If the host is requesting that their guests arrive dressed in a gaudy ensemble, the host must be dressed up, as well! Pair your ugly Christmas sweater with a few other Christmas accessories, such as a classic Santa hat and a light-up Christmas bulb necklace. Or, if you want to receive attention all night, don a mistletoe headband!


Set the scene with tacky Christmas decorations.

Your new motto when planning this party is “the tackier, the better!” There is no such thing as “over the top,” or “too many decorations,” when it comes to decorating for an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Start by decorating your front door with a Christmas door cover. A festive door cover just screams “you’re here to have fun!” In addition to, or instead of, the door cover, drape an ugly Christmas sweater banner in your entryway.

Next, create a backdrop in your party space by covering an open wall with a lively Christmas-themed scene setter. If you enjoy being crafty, create a backdrop using Christmas wrapping paper, instead. The scene setter can also serve as a photo booth area for your guests. Just be sure to set a few Christmas photo props nearby!

If you are willing to go all out with the decorations, fill any open spaces in your party area with Christmas decorations. Hang red and green paper streamers from the ceiling and drape bright and colorful Christmas lights around the party area. Stick ugly sweater window clings on the windows surrounding the party space.


Set up a snack table and decorate with more Christmas decorations.

Snacks must be served at your Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, especially if you plan on serving cocktails. Set a buffet-style table against a wall in your kitchen or party area where your guests can easily grab a snack or a drink. Attach a few ugly sweater wall decorations to the wall behind your snack table and drape a honeycomb Christmas lights banner above that. If it’s not possible for your table to lean against a wall, dangle a few ugly sweater hanging decorations above the snack table instead.

Drape a red metallic table cover over your snack table and set out a few ugly sweater centerpiece decorations. Also, feel free to add candles, Christmas lights, or other decorations on the snack table to make it look festive. Set out your snacks and beverage options, alongside paper plates, cups and napkins.


Entertain your guests with contests and activities.

In order to entice your guests to show up in their ugliest Christmaswear, make a note on the invitation that there will be an award for the guest who shows up in the ugliest (or most festive) getup. Set out an ugly sweater ballot box in an area where everyone can see it (possibly near the photo booth), and have everyone vote once all your guests have arrived. Towards the end of the evening, tally up the votes and award the winner with a prize!

You can also have guests participate in a White Elephant gift exchange. Just be sure to let guests know ahead of time, as well as the spending limit for the gift.

Another fun activity for you and your guests to participate in at an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party is Christmas karaoke. Have each guest pick a Christmas song to sing in front of all the other guests, after the guests have consumed a little liquid courage, of course. ;) 


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

Tags: ugly christmas sweater party,tacky sweater party,Christmas party,holiday party