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Celebrate the Holidays: 5 Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Planning Tips

If you’re tired of hosting the same old holiday party year after year and you’re looking to spice things up and inject some fun into your festive gathering, then you might want to get on board with the latest trend: ugly Christmas sweater parties. All you have to do is instruct your guests to don the ugliest holiday sweaters they can find, or better yet, create their own ugly sweaters. With a few parameters in mind and some themed additions, you can easily put together a seasonal soiree that your guests are sure to enjoy. But if you’re at a bit of a loss as to how you should proceed, here are just a few suggestions to get your party on track.

  1. Send out invitations. The place to start, as with any type of party, is by sending out invitations, and there’s really only one way to go when it comes to creating an invite for you ugly Christmas sweater party; you have to use a photo of your own family in cringe-worthy holiday sweaters. You could take a current photo or dredge up an old one from a Christmas past. Or if your family has always been a well-dressed bunch, you could simply use Photoshop to fake a classic with ugly Christmas sweaters. But the addition of this photo is an absolute must to get people in the wacky spirit of the party.
  2. Create a themed menu. Not every dish at your holiday party has to incorporate a sweater theme, but it will give you an opportunity to have some fun with the menu. An easy place to start is by procuring a sweater-shaped cookie cutter. From there you can decorate sugar cookies with icing and other edible embellishments in order to make your sweater cookies into ugly confections (or you could have the guests do it as a fun activity). You could also make pigs in a blanket, but add sleeves to make your puff pastry look like little cardigans. Or you can make ugly sweater beer cozies. There is no shortage of ways to turn your feast into a festive array of sweater-themed treats.
  3. Make up rules. Just in case your family and friends aren’t familiar with ugly sweater parties, you might want to set some ground rules to help them figure out what to do. You don’t want guests to show up in just any old ugly sweater – they have to be holiday themed. But they also need to be over-the-top and ridiculous. The idea is to get as crazy and creative as possible. You could set a $10 limit so that people have to get used sweaters from thrift stores and dress them up with household items. Or you might require every sweater to include a reindeer. It’s really up to you what rules you choose to set.
  4. Plan activities. There are all kinds of classic party games that you could give an ugly sweater twist (pin the ugly on the sweater, ugly sweater trivia, or charades with clues that fit your ugly Christmas sweater theme, for example). But you might also organize a scavenger hunt, set up a photo booth stocked with costume pieces to compliment every guest’s ugly holiday sweater (including Santa hats, tinsel boas, and green and red mustaches on sticks), or even do Christmas song karaoke.
  5. Hold contests. Even better than getting all of your family and friends to submit to blackmail photos in ugly holiday sweaters is having contests to decide who has the best (or worst) entry, as well as the most creative, the best use of reindeer, the most technological (a string of lights, a soundtrack coming out of your sweater), etc. No matter what other ugly Christmas sweater ideas you come up with, one of the best parts of coming to an ugly sweater party is participating in the contests. Just make sure to come up with some good prizes like a set of sweater-shaped cookie cutters or an Ugly Christmas Sweater Kit, just for example.
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