ugly sweater party theme
Photo by TheUglySweaterShop / CC BY

Ugly Sweater Party Theme: That One Time Where Uglier is Better


Ah, the ubiquitous post-vacation hand-knit sweater; Irrefutable proof that maternal love is both warming and thoroughly embarrassing.

Though I’m sure you never dreamed you’d find any reason to put that well-meant sartorial monstrosity on your body outside of your family’s Christmas party, why not consider throwing an Ugly Sweater Party Theme??

You and your college buddies can share traumatic family get-together stories while wearing the aforementioned sweaters like battle scars.

So break out your itch-cream cuz it’s time for a fuzzy good time!


While this is normally where I would ask you to decide whether you’d be throwing this Ugly Sweater Party outside or indoors; I think we both know that NO ONE will make it to your party if you choose the former. I mean, what guy in their right mind would want to guarantee a sex-free semester, right?

Seriously, they should consider making those sweaters the mandatory uniforms in high school; teen pregnancy would be eradicated in one fell swoop! So yeah, keep the damage to a minimum and throw this party inside.

Since this is a costume based party, there really aren’t many variations to work with. But here are some things you should keep in mind when you are going to throw your own party:

  • Décor:
  • Keep the decorations festive and appropriate to the most recent family holiday, Christmas and Thanksgiving would be the normal choices. Arrange the seating in a circle to create the illusion of an AA meeting. I mean, you guys will be trading family horror stories after all. Sharing is the first step towards healing.

  • Music:
  • Soft and mellow seasonal music should be fine for this party. Maybe you could get naughty versions of popular Christmas jingles to spice up the mood.

  • Activities:
  • Stick to sedate games like Dumb Charades, Pictionary and Two Truths and a Lie. This is not a theme that is conducive to a wild party; it’s just a way to keep the holiday spirit going.

Costume Ideas:

I’m sure you’re wondering, what should I wear for a Ugly Sweater Party Theme? This is the easiest party to pick a costume for, even if it is a rather difficult mental challenge to actually put it on in front of your friends. Just find the least ugly of your holiday sweaters and pray that people don’t share the party photos on Facebook (fat chance).

And if your mother didn’t love you enough to make you a sweater (you lucky dog, you), go buy one yourself. They aren’t exactly expensive, you know.

Party Warnings and Tips:

  • Have some fake holiday horror stories prepared to get the ball rolling for the group. Some people are quite private when it comes to their families and they won’t share until you do.
  • Splurge a bit on the food this time around. If your guests actually just got back from a trip home, then you’re competing with their mothers’ home cooking… and you will lose. But if you spend some dough, then at least it’ll be a marginal loss instead of a landslide.

Party Drinks:

Again, go with the season’s traditional brand of inebriation. This would be a good time to try your hand at making eggnog if you haven’t before. If not, then wine or beer will be fine too.

You’re not exactly looking to get wasted at an Ugly Sweater Party Theme, are you? Though admittedly, puking on the thing will finally give you the ideal excuse throw it away!

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