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It’s Ugly Sweater Party Season!

It’s Ugly Sweater Party Season!

If you are going to entertain this season, have some fun with it by hosting your very own Ugly Sweater party

These themed parties revolve around embellished, adorned, colorful, (and, yes, often) ugly sweaters designed specifically for the holiday.

The Ugly Sweater theme can help make work holiday parties feel less stuffy, give friends an opportunity to be creative and get your family together for some hilarious photo opportunities.

Tips for pulling off an Ugly Sweater party 

1. Create irresistibly clever invitations for your Ugly Sweater theme

When it comes to an Ugly Sweater party, it all starts with the invites! After all, you want to entice people to attend, and to get festive by wearing their ugliest holiday sweaters.

Tease them with the prospect of winning something for their sweater and amuse them with a fun and unusual invitation. Try flocked sweater invitations that provide a tactile sensation to the recipient or add a sprinkle of colorful confetti to the envelope to fall out onto the floor when opened.

Put some effort into mailing out traditional invitations rather than just sending out a boring email invite. It provides a fun keepsake of your event for your guest, too!

2. Stay home, host a cyber celebration 

If it’s not safe to gather where you are, consider an online party or cyber celebration this year. You can adapt your Ugly Sweater party theme to a video get-together quite easily. Be sure to provide clear details on the invitations for guests to know when, where and how to join and log into your event.

3. Plan your Ugly Sweater party outfit

Set the tone for your party with the right attire. Take time to find your own ugly sweater and don’t be afraid to set the bar high (or is it low?)

If you don’t find what you’re looking for in thrift stores or online stores, get crafty and make your own! Glue pom-poms, ornaments, trinkets, glitter — whatever you wish — to a plain, recycled sweater.

Want a more formal party appearance? Adorn and embellish a blazer, sport coat or dress for the event. This is not the time to be cautious — be bold!

Ugly Sweater Party
Ugly Holiday Sweaters
Christmas Graphic Tees
Christmas Graphic Tees
Christmas Graphic Tees Ginger Bread

4. Ugly Sweater Party Games

Ugly Sweater party games are key to keeping guests involved and engaged. Start by awarding prizes for the best ugly sweater at the party, then move onto games that suit your group. A couple fun game ideas include:

  • Mitten Grab is an active and stimulating game that helps liven things up. The goal of the game is to open wrapped packages or prizes while wearing a pair of bulky, knitted, and cumbersome mittens. The person that unwraps their prize or packages first, wins. Don’t have enough mittens to go around? Start checking thrift stores and resale shops for mittens now.
  • The Sweater Unravel is a game that divides players into two teams, where members take turns pulling on a loose strand to unravel a sweater. Use thrifted or damaged knit sweaters for this game. One of the team members wears the sweater and the members take turns unraveling for a specific time period. The team with the longest string from the sweater wins. 

Prizes and awards add to the excitement and competitiveness of any game, so make sure that you pick up a few fun prizes before your event. 

5. Retro finger foods

Since the concept of an Ugly Sweater party is based on retro fashion, why not serve retro finger foods to your party guests? That is, foods that are simple, easy to eat, and based on past food trends.

  • Fondue is an excellent party food that allows guests to serve themselves using skewers and napkins. Warm pots of cheese or chocolate with plenty of ‘dippers’ is fun and definitely retro-inspired. You can offer individual bowls for warmed cheese or chocolate.
  • Kabobs are a crowd pleaser at parties for a more substantial dish that is still eaten as ‘finger food’. Skewer  marinated meat chunks and/or veggies and grill or bake. Pile them high on a platter for guests to self-serve.
  • Kettle corn is an easy party food, but amp it up a bit! Try drizzling popcorn with caramel sauce, nuts, holiday candy, and chocolate chips. Spread on a sheet pan and allow to dry and firm up before serving in paper cones. Easy, tasty and fun!

6. Attendance Etiquette

If you have been invited to an Ugly Sweater party, here are tips for you too. Make sure to dress accordingly and bring a little something for your host or hostess. Look for an ugly sweater cookie kit, found widely during the holidays, for a perfect ‘thank you.’ At the very least, swing by a bakery or wine shop for a little something to show appreciation for the invite.

Ugly Sweater parties take holiday parties to the next level with a theme that will make everyone laugh hysterically at the sight of you in a sweater with Santa’s butt on it. Send themed invitations to your friends, prep retro finger foods, and plan sweater-theme games to create a jolly time for everyone.

About The Author

Michelle Stansbury

Michelle Stansbury is a San Diego-based blogger and freelance writer who writes about travel, food, cannabis, and relationships. Follow her Instagram @discoverwithmichelle or visit Eat, Drink, Be SD. Her work has appeared in national magazines like Marie Claire, Forbes, Cosmo, Reader's Digest, and Bustle.

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