“The uglier the sweater, the better the party!”
An ugly Christmas sweater party is a great way to celebrate the kitschy side of the holidays. Invite your friends to wear their brightest, jingliest, fuzziest, and downright ugliest sweater for a fun event guaranteed to get everyone laughing out loud.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Invitations
We recommend sending your ugly sweater party invites at least two weeks before your event to give your guests time to shop for “the perfect sweater.” You can either find some fun invitations online, such as the one below, or get creative and make your own. Here’s how:
Use a Picture of the Hosts in Their Ugly Christmas Sweaters — Give everyone a glimpse of the competition by using your own picture on the front of your invitations. Add some glitter and your party information and send it off!
Make a Collage of Ugly Sweaters — Download some pictures of the ugliest sweaters you can find on your computer. Arrange them as a collage of kitsch on the front of your invitation.
Be sure to tell everyone that they must wear an ugly Christmas sweater to the party to gain admittance, and that prizes will be given for the best outfit at the party — accessories optional!
You can always find lots of great online party invitations with a free RSVP manager at Evite,
Here are a few more fun invitation ideas, available at Tiny Prints:
Merry Mistake Invitations
Dress to Impress Invitations
Tis Tacky Invitations
Where to Find an Ugly Christmas Sweater
You might be wondering, “Where is the best place for my guests and I to find the perfect ugly Christmas sweater?” Here are some suggestions…
- Goodwill or other thrift shops
- Consignment shops
- Ebay (type in a search for “ugly Christmas sweater” and you will see more options than you can imagine)
- Garage sales
- Factory outlet stores
- Grandma’s closet
- Online (see below for some sweaters that we found at Amazon.com)
All Wrapped Up Sweater
Christmas Horse Sweater
Have fun hunting!
Decorating for an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Like the sweaters themselves, your party decorations should be bright, festive and tacky. Here are a few things to consider…
Tinsel, tinsel, tinsel — Need I say more?
Go retro — Christmas sweaters were especially popular in the 1980s. Decorating with a retro flair can be a fun idea.
Hang mistletoe everywhere.
Use lots of big, colorful Christmas lights, or better yet, use strings of novelty Christmas lights.
Set up a photo opportunity area — Hang wrapping paper or Christmas themed fabric on the wall and set out a basket of props to create a photo area where your guests can capture the moment in their great outfits. This is a decoration and an activity all in one!
Play some mood music — Music can set the tone for your party. Consider making a playlist or grooving to some great holiday tunes.
Dr. Demento’s Christmas
A Classic Rock Christmas
Christmas Disco Party
Christmas Party Karaoke
Dress the dog — If you have pets or statuary near your party area, dress them in their own Christmas sweaters.
Turn down the thermostat — You don’t want your event to become a sweaty sweater party.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Activities
Have a Sweater Fashion Contest — Since everyone will be wearing their holiday finest, host a fashion show style contest.
- First, have everyone write down the best attributes of their sweater/outfit on a 3×5 card. For example, Bob might write, “Bob is sporting the season’s most colorful sweater, complete with feathered cuffs and a snowman wearing his own jingle bell hat…etc.”
- Next, have everyone take turns modeling their sweaters while one person reads off the index cards.
- Let your guests vote on their favorite entries (but not for themselves). You can either go for one overall winner, or have subcategories such as funniest, itchiest, most outrageous, best use of accessories, etc.
- Award prizes to the winner(s). Some ideas for prizes might include plastic trophies, a gift card to a clothing store, or themed holiday accessories such as argyle socks, or a colorful knit Christmas cap.
Have A White Elephant Gift Exchange — This re-gifting game goes perfectly with an ugly Christmas sweater party. Take a look at our White Elephant Party page for all the details on how to run this fun game.
Go Christmas Caroling — The best part about wearing a great sweater is showing it off! Print out the words to your favorite Christmas carols to make song books for each of your guests and take your show on the road with an evening spent caroling.
Set Up a Photo Booth — You’ll want to be sure to capture all your friends in their great outfits, so set up a place where people can get their pictures taken. You can either leave out a camera in one spot or scatter disposable cameras for your guests to take pictures of each other throughout the party.
Play the Holiday Sausage Game — Here’s how:
- Divide everyone in the room into two teams.
- Take turns having a player from team 1 ask ANY question to any player on team 2. (Be creative).
- The player from team 2 must answer that question with “Holiday Sausages”…no matter what the question.
- If the player from team 2 is able to answer “Holiday Sausages” without laughing, team 2 gets a point (or player from team 1 takes a drink).
- Now a team 2 player gets to ask a question of someone on team 1. That’s all there is to it!
Show a Classic Holiday Movie — Set up a TV somewhere at the party to show your favorite holiday film. Here are some to consider:
A Christmas Story
Christmas with the Kranks
Food and Drink Ideas
Just like your decorations and activities, the theme for your party food should be colorful, fun, and cheesy! A potluck works really well with the ugly Christmas sweater party theme because it allows for some hilarious, yet yummy, menu options and best of all you don’t have to do all the work. If you do want to prepare your own spread, here are a few ideas to inspire your holiday cooking:
Cream Cheese Trees (recipe from Betty Crocker)
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 tablespoon grated onion
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard (dry)
- 2 or 3 drops red pepper sauce
Have ready at serving time:
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley or cilantro
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (or other decorations)
- 2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
Assorted crackers, if desired
1. Mix cream cheese and Cheddar cheese; divide in half. Mix pesto into 1 half; mix onion, mustard and pepper sauce into other half. Cover each half and refrigerate about 4 hours or until firm enough to shape.
2. Place cheese mixtures on cookie sheet. Shape each half into cone shape to look like Christmas tree. Roll trees in parsley, pressing parsley evenly onto trees. Press pine nuts onto trees in string form for garland. Press bell pepper pieces onto trees for ornaments. Top each tree with star shape formed with corn chips if desired. Serve with crackers. Very Cheesy!
Gingerbread Men Wearing Icing Sweaters — Buy or make plain gingerbread man cookies. Get creative with your frosting to give each of them their own delicious holiday sweater!
Red and Green Jello Molds — Use a bundt pan to shape and decorate your own special Christmas jello mold. We especially like the recipe found at Joy of Jello.
Egg Nog — No holiday party would be complete without it!
Fruitcake-tini — Whip up your favorite red or green cocktail in a martini glass and add a few pieces of fruit such as pineapple chunks or cherries to give it that fruitcake feeling. For an extra special touch, rim the glass with red and green decorator sugar or holiday sprinkles.
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