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Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas, Decorations, and Games

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2018

Planning a festive Christmas party is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s stress free. Holiday party planning may seem like a lot of work, especially with all the other seasonal to-do’s looming over your head. However, a stylish and fun Christmas party can be simple by keeping a few tips and tricks up your ugly sweater sleeve. Even with a list as long as Santa’s, you can still host a Christmas celebration that everyone will enjoy.

Start your party planning by deciding on a theme and picking out your holiday party invitations. No matter what style of celebration you may prefer, keep in mind that ugly Christmas sweater party is supposed to be ugly. With our list of ugly sweater party ideas below, you’ll be on your way to hosting the best holiday party of the season.

colorful ugly christmas sweater party invitation

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas and Tips

The first step in planning your holiday extravaganza is setting up the basics of your party. Before the cookie decorating and DIY projects begin, get all of your details in order for a seamless planning experience. Follow the party planning tips below on how to throw an ugly Christmas sweater party:

  1. Choose a date and location for your party. Before you can get your invitations in the mail, you’ll need to decide on the party details. Most holiday parties take place before Christmas, but there is no rule book for the ultimate party date. Just try to aim for a date that is going to work well for you and your guests.
  2. Choose a holiday invitation. Ugly Christmas Sweater party invitations serve as a first impression and sneak peek into what your celebration will be all about. Bring your ugly sweater theme to life through your custom holiday invitations and have some fun customizing them. Opt for funny or humorous wording to lighten up your invitation.
  3. Send Your Ugly Christmas Sweater Party invitations on time. Typically a good rule of thumb is to send your invitations out three to six weeks prior to the celebrations. This way, your guests will have time to plan and you will have time to get a headcount of attendees. If your party date is prior to Christmas go ahead and send your invites out with your family’s custom Christmas card to save yourself an extra trip to the post office.
  4. Plan out your menu. Decide whether you’ll be serving a full meal or if you’ll opt for setting out appetizers, drinks and a dessert table. Since this party is a fun theme, choose food and drinks that are creative and fun to display as well.
  5. Find Ugly Sweater Party decorations. Let the comical and light-hearted aspects of this Christmas party theme guide your party decor selection. Think bright red and green hues, large Christmas character depictions and hideous sweaters.
  6. Plan out festive Ugly Sweater Party games. Make sure your holiday party is filled with lots of cheer by picking out a few Christmas party games that’ll keep your guests busy.
  7. Don’t forget about the Ugly Sweater awards. It wouldn’t be a proper ugly Christmas sweater party without handing out awards for the best, the worst and the loudest ugly sweaters. This is a great incentive for your guests to dress the part. Make sure you include the contest details in your invite.
  8. Have fun throwing your Ugly Sweater Party. This is probably the most important party planning tip yet: don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Designate someone to help you on the day of your festivities (that way you can have some fun too).

If you’re still looking for more ideas, refer to our festive article on Christmas party ideas to find more holiday inspiration for your party plans.

What to Write in Your Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Invitation

addressing ugly christmas sweater party invitations

The best part about hosting an ugly sweater party is picking out the invitations. When it comes to your ugly sweater invitations, one thing that’s for certain is that they should be just as spirited as the sweaters walking through your door the night of the party. When creating your ugly Christmas sweater or unique Christmas pajama sweater party invitations, remember to have some fun with puns and take advantage of vintage or humorous patterns that will surprise your guests.

The concept of an ugly Christmas sweater party is pretty easy for people to understand and you won’t want to confuse your guests. What this means for you, is that you can keep what you include on your invites to a minimum. Stick with the basics for what to include in your Christmas party invitation below:

  • Make them laugh. Let’s face it, this theme is obnoxious and fully meant to be lighthearted. That’s why you selected it for your Christmas party. Mirror this tone in your ugly sweater invites with clever wording that is sure to inspire your party-goers.
  • Encourage guests to arrive in full Ugly Sweater spirit. Whether you are hosting an ugly Christmas sweater contest or not, it’s going to be important to make it apparent to your guests to come “best dressed” in an ugly sweater. Let them know it’s time to get snuggly and wear something ugly.
  • Include an RSVP note. Add a date and point of contact where your guests can reach you. Encourage guests to RSVP and let you know whether or not they’ll be able to attend.
  • Add extra information if relevant. If you can think of anything else that will be beneficial for your guests to know for the night of the celebrations include that information on your ugly sweater party invites.

Wording Examples For Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Invitations

black and red ugly sweater party invitations

We’ve provided some cheerful wording examples below to help you draft your ugly Christmas sweater party invitation. Pick and choose your favorite or mix and match wording with your own for the ultimate invite. Just remember to keep the above guidelines in mind when you are creating your own.

Example One:

Eat, Drink & Be Ugly

Join Us For An

Ugly Sweater Party

Friday, December 20th at 6 pm

Jess and Michael’s Home

1678 Turlock Lane

Columbus, OH

Prizes For the Best/Worst Sweaters

RSVP by December 10th to 805.447.3325


Example Two:

‘Tis The Season For An

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Prize For the Person Wearing the Tackiest Holiday Sweater

Join Us

Saturday, December 5, 2017 | 6:30 PM

The Uhar Residence | 418 North Johnson

Oak Park, Illinois

RSVP to Claire at 708.594.4436 before November 25th


Example Three:

We’re Having a Party

And Things are Going to Get UGLY

Wear a Ho-Ho-Horrible Holiday Sweater

December 12th at 7pm

Chris & Jill’s House

902 Liberty Drive, Raleigh

RSVP call/text Jill

980.375.3333

Prize For the Person Wearing the Ugliest Sweater


Example Four:

It’s the Most Tacky Time of the Year

Come to Our

Tacky Christmas Sweater Party

Dress to Impress in Your Holiday Worst Prizes Will be Awarded

December 12th at 5pm

1829 Walnut Ave. San Mateo, California

RSVP by December 7th at 305.358.0815

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Decoration Ideas

It’s safe to say that it’s about to get ugly and in the best way possible. Funny Christmas decorations are going to reign supreme over your party venue once you start imagining your setup. Always incorporate red and green hues, candy canes and traditional Santa Claus decor when planning out your decorations. Just as with your custom invitations, this is your chance to really let your Christmas party theme shine. You can mix and match items from thrift stores and party stores to keep your budget modest. Here are a few decoration ideas below:

  • Decorate your front door. Welcome your guests in style and let them know where all the celebrations are happening with a front door decor piece that is humorous. Wrap your door in Christmas paper or drape red and green streamers from the top of it. Make it apparent that guests are walking into a good time.
  • Set the scene with a Christmas themed backdrop.  Any item that is obnoxiously flashy and stands out will work well as ugly sweater party decorations.
  • Decorate your walls and ceilings. Drape holiday wrapping paper, ugly sweaters, lights or streamers around your party venue to add a fun element to your party area.
  • Create a DIY photo booth for guests. Set out some Christmas themed props like Santa hats, beards, glasses and more that your guests can pose with. A photo booth assures that the night will be documented and that your guests will have a blast.
  • Don’t be afraid to utilize Christmas cut-outs and other niche decorations. This theme also gives you the perfect opportunity to test out your own DIY Christmas sweater decor skills too. Hang cut-out snowflakes from the ceiling, lay tinsel on the table tops and stick bows around the party scene.
  • Take advantage of all the silly and mismatched patterns this theme allows and incorporate these options into every design element for the most fitting tablescape.
  • If you have some extra hideous sweaters, display them around the party venue.

Ideas For Christmas Party Games

Between the mingling and holiday conversation, christmas party games are a great way to get all of your guests involved and serve as a great ice breaker for those guests that may not be familiar with each other. Ugly sweater party games will keep your celebration lively and ensure that your guests entertained throughout the night. Whether you’re looking for christmas party games for adults or for kids, these activities are appropriate for all ages:

Ugly Sweater Contest: This is a fitting ugly sweater party game that really harnesses the theme of the party. Have your party-goers’ weigh in on who has the ugliest sweater and set out different voting ballot boxes around the party area. Have different categories for guests to vote on like: all-around ugly sweater, most original, best couple combo, funniest, most festive, etc. Allow guests to vote and once the ballots have been tallied, pass out ugly sweater awards for each of the category winners.

White Elephant Gift Exchange: Have each of your party guests’ bring a gift for the white elephant exchange. Most of the time this Christmas party game is full of gag gifts and trinket items, the point is to entertain rather than gain a really awesome gift. You can set a price limit for the gifts to assure everyone is getting around the same priced items. First, have your guests pick a number, this will determine who will pick from the gift pile first. The first person opens a wrapped gift and the turn ends. On the next turns, the players can either choose to open a new gift or steal a gift that has already been opened. When a person’s gift is stolen they can chose to unwrap a new gift or steal. Set the steal limit for the gifts to 2-3 that way the game will continue to go on no matter what anyone unwraps. This fun party tradition is great entertainment especially because as said, most of the gifts are hilarious.

Wreath Toss: Christmas wreaths are not only good for decoration, but a jolly party game too. Hang wreaths, wrapped in ugly sweater material, up so that they are at different levels and distances. Delineate how many points will be won if a tossed item makes it through the wreath.  Set out a box full of random Christmas items that can be tossed through the wreaths and allow your guests to have a blast.

Visit our guide on Christmas party games for more entertainment inspiration and game ideas to make your celebration unforgettable.

Christmas Party Food & Dessert Ideas

ugly sweater party food tablescape

After all of this celebrating your guests are going to be sure to work up an appetite. Since this is an interactive party theme and you’ll be hosting games for your guests, you should opt for easy Christmas foods and bites that don’t require serving.

No matter how you decide to feed your guests, just don’t forget to serve them in style. Ugly sweaters aren’t just for you and I, dress up your food and beverage options in a festive garment of their own. Use the following recipe ideas when creating your holiday menu.

  • Baked Brie: Drizzle the brie with honey and bake for a few minutes. Serve on a platter with fruit and crackers.
  • Mini Cheese Balls: Serve up crackers with your favorite cheese.
  • Spicy Roasted Olives: Set out some olives on a festive tray for your guests to nibble on.
  • Meatballs: A classic party go-to. There’s no going wrong with meatballs.
  • Spinach and Goat Cheese Tartlets: Fill phyllo cups with your fav ingredients like spinach and goat cheese for the perfect quick bite.
  • Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies: Stir up a batch of sugar Christmas cookies in the shape of a sweater and decorate them with different colored frosting and sprinkles.
  • Christmas Sweater Cake: You’d be surprised at how ugly you can decorate a cake with a variety of frostings and edible treats.
  • Christmas Wreath Bread: This cinnamon wreath is sure to be a hit at your holiday party.
  • Dipped and Decorated Rice Krispy Treats: Add a little red and green frosting plus sprinkles to your Rice Krispy Treats for the perfect holiday feel.

Classic Christmas Party Beverages

After you’ve planned out your menu for food, you can concentrate on your beverage ideas. You can go for a traditional drink menu that includes fun and classic beverages like hot cocoa or spiced apple cider. These go-to holiday drinks will set the mood for any Christmas party:

  • Hot Cocoa Bar: Set out your favorite hot chocolate flavors with all the add-ins like marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy canes and whipped cream. This bar is just as cute as it is yummy.
  • Apple Cider: Offer your guests apple juice with a twist for a refreshing treat.
  • Eggnog: An iconic holiday beverage that your guests will love to enjoy.

How excited are you to welcome the holiday season with an ugly sweater party? These are just a few ideas to set your holiday party planning in motion. Remember that your Ugly Christmas Sweater party doesn’t need to be strict in style or design. The goal of this party theme is to create an entertaining and unforgettable environment for your guests.