The ugly Christmas sweater party is a holiday tradition that’s been going on for decades. Whether you’ve been invited to an ugly Christmas sweater party or want to host your own, you’ll have a blast at one of these casual and thematic holiday events.
How the Ugly Christmas Sweater Was Born
The history of the ugly Christmas sweater starts in the 1980s. Around this time, intarsia knitting – knitting a pattern or image with different colors of yarn – was all the rage. Classes were taught at local rec centers, and anyone who considered themselves crafty picked up the technique.
When Christmas rolled around, all of the moms who had learned intarsia were itching to show off their new skills. Many kids found a chunky sweater under the tree. Some of them featured stripes or patterns, and others had a holiday-themed image emblazoned on the front.
A Chance to Show Off Those Sweaters
Fast forward a few years, and almost everyone had at least one Christmas sweater in their closet. Some were fun, some were cute, and some were downright ridiculous.
Unless it’s Christmas Day, there aren’t a lot of reasons to wear a sweater with Santa’s face on it. That’s why the ugly Christmas sweater party was born. No one knows for sure if the first party was held at a home or an office, but the celebration was an instant hit.
For many people, the annual ugly Christmas sweater party is a beloved tradition. It’s a chance to wear festive clothes, eat seasonal food, and hang out with the people that you care about.
What Counts as an Ugly Christmas Sweater?
Intarsia knitting isn’t as popular as it used to be, but the tradition of ugly Christmas sweaters is alive and well. Modern sweatermakers have found innovative ways to decorate their wares; you can find sweaters bedazzled with sequins, festooned with feathers, or even threaded with holiday lights.
An ugly Christmas sweater doesn’t actually have to be ugly, but a bit of extravagance certainly helps. The best ugly Christmas sweaters are over-the-top while still making the wearer feel cute and attractive. It takes good fashion sense to pick out something that’s both silly and suave, and the sweater that you choose will say a lot about your personality.
Although you can buy an ugly Christmas sweater at a store, the best ones are made by someone who loves you. If you have a relative who loves to knit, ask them to make you a holiday sweater; they’ll probably be thrilled at the request.
Throwing Your Own Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
There’s only one rule for an ugly Christmas sweater party: everyone has to wear a Christmas sweater. With that said, there are a few traditions that most people tend to follow.
An ugly Christmas sweater party is a holiday party, so expect to provide seasonal snacks and treats. If people in your circle like to cook or bake, try throwing a potluck-style party. That way, you can try everyone’s favorite Christmas cookies.
As the party host, you’ll need to think about decorations. Ugly Christmas sweater parties are a celebration of all that is tacky and fun. Choose decorations that are bold, bright, and full of holiday spirit. If you throw an annual party, consider buying decorations and party favors immediately after the holiday season for a significant discount.
A tradition for ugly Christmas sweater parties is to give out an award for the best sweater. Because there are so many different types of sweaters, try having an award for the funniest, the prettiest, the ugliest, and the most seasonal. Ask guests to vote, or select a panel of judges before the party starts. Buy fun but affordable gifts for the winners to receive.
The most important thing to remember is that ugly Christmas sweater parties are supposed to be fun. Mix in your favorite holiday traditions, and cook the foods that make you think of the season. Just remember to start planning early so that you have time to find the perfect ugly Christmas sweater to wear.