Apartment Living BlogFood & Entertaining › 10 Tips for Throwing an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Thinking about throwing a holiday get-together? ‘Tis the season for elusive, ugly and tacky Christmas sweater parties!  Tacky sweater parties are a perfect theme for a fun yet festive party. Follow these tips to throw a successful tacky Christmas sweater party this holiday that is cost effective.

1. Send Invitations

Send out an e-vite, or a Red Stamp invite on your phone to all of your guests and have the image be a picture of you or your grandparents in their favorite holiday sweater. Be sure to provide all of the details (especially the fun ones like the games and prizes included).

2. Find the Best Tacky Christmas Sweater

The best part of the party is OBVIOUSLY the sweater. Here are some ideas on places to find these fabulous outdated fashion statements: Garage Sales, Family Members (aka. Grandma and Grandpa) and Thrift Stores.

You can also make your own like this tree sweater:

Image Source


3. Don’t Forget Accessories

Accessories can often times make the tacky sweater that much tackier! Go to your local drug store and look for lighted pins, reindeer antlers, Santa hats, tinsel and more!

4. Make a Centerpiece

Creating a neat centerpiece that can actually be devoured is ideal. Make a ginger bread house with candy and icing to use as a centerpiece for the food table. Something tells me that this will be eaten after tip #9.

5. Provide an Award

Have a trophy personalized that says “Tackiest Sweater Award Of The Year”. After all of the guests have arrived, simply have them write on a piece of paper who they think should win and then count up the votes.

6. Food

Select a potluck style that will work best for you and your guests. For example: (1) appetizers only, (2) bring your favorite dish, (3) assign each guest to bring an appetizer, main dish, or dessert, or (4) as the host, you will provide the main dish (a turkey, ham, etc.) Try and coordinate this in advance so you don’t have duplicate dishes.

You can also have a sweets bar where guests can create their own s’mores! Yum!

7. Beverages

There are a variety of factors to consider when selecting your beverages for your party. It’s important to have something available for everyone’s likes and dislikes. Be sure to have a variety of mixers on hand as well as non-alcoholic drinks. Having a pre-made themed beverage also saves time and money while still being festive.

You can also set up a hot chocolate bar where guests can customize their hot chocolate!

8. Keep the Bathroom Line Entertained

All those beverages can certainly call for a long line at the restroom. Decorate your bathroom door with wrapping paper, ribbon and a bow and have people sign the door and write a message on the wrapping paper. The messages are bound to be great conversation starters and ice breakers.

9. Play Games

Have a contest of unwrapping kisses and hugs chocolates with mittens on. Have it timed so that each contestant can see how many they can unwrap in that time frame. Someone should be in control of the stop watch and announce the end. The one with the most unwrapped chocolates wins the grand prize, plus every contestant gets to eat the candy they unwrapped, so it’s a win win anyways!

Set up a scavenger hunt with two teams. Create a checklist of all the items to provide to each team. Each team is then responsible for taking a picture of each checklist item as proof. Here are some checklist ideas: Find a street name that has a Christmas theme, take a picture with your team in your sweaters in a 7-11, sing a Christmas carol to a stranger as team, Find a Santa and sit on his lap, kiss someone under a mistletoe, find something showing one of the 12 days of Christmas etc…) This is absolutely hilarious.

10. Give Prizes

The winning team of the scavenger hunt or games that you play can receive prizes. Some good prize ideas are gift cards, candles, books etc… Wrap them up and put them under your tree. You could always go the gag gift route as well.

Best of luck with planning your next Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Do you own a festive sweater that makes your friends laugh/cringe? Send it my way, and it may appear on our blog. (Please include your name, city and a brief description of the photo.)

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About :

Assistant Vice President of Social Media for ForRent.com. Co-Author of Youtility for Real Estate. Speaker. Perpetual Hostess. Wine Lover. Wanderlust.



  1. Christmas Party Invitation says:
    I love the tips. But I was wondering where’s the other 2 tips, the 11th and the 12th.
  2. Your right- We accidentally only posted 10. Ooopps we are so sorry. Do you have any additional tips to share?

  3. Ugly Christmas Sweater Dude says:
    Great Ugly Sweater Party Tips!! Cant wait for next years party!!
  4. read more about christmas crackers says:
    It’s truly a great and useful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.
  5. Great idea, this should keep my Auntie busy up until Christmas.
  6. Here’s a fun one: send handwritten invites safety-pinned to a cut-out piece from a tacky Christmas sweater! If you have time to get a little bit detailed, you can trim out designs (like a star or a bell or a santa head) from a sweater and pin to an invitation… Just cut carefully, with really sharp scissors, and immediately coat the raw edge with clear nail polish all the way around. fun!
  7. It is in reality a great and useful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.
  8. Lisa Walinski says:
    We’ve had an ugly sweater party it was great!! But now were looking for a new idea, anyone have any ideas, last year the kids(who are all in 20’s) did pjs. Parents didn’t want that , so we did not .
  9. I think the ugly Christmas sweater party is going to be big again this year. New people are catching on each year, and it just keeps getting bigger. Thanks for the great party tips.
  10. get a sweater with some fruit cake depicted on it!
  11. Great tips! Its almost that time of year again 🙂
  12. This is a fun photo prop to use at a Ugly Sweater Party.

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