10 Tips to Having a Great Party
Tips about invitations, what food and drinks to serve, games to play, contests, prizes, how to decorate, make a photo booth area, and where to buy funny Christmas sweaters.
Tip #1. Tell your guests where they can get a great sweater for the party
You may be the king or queen of shopping, but your guests may not know where they can find a fun sweater to wear. Make it easy for them and include a link to www.MyUglyChristmasSweater.com in your invitation so your guests can find something in their style and price range.
Letting your guests know where to buy a sweater is super important for plus sized guys and gals in particular, since most manufactures only go up to XL. Our plus sized Christmas sweater collection can point your guests to sweaters from small to 5XL!
There's almost as many types of Christmas sweaters as there are people attending parties, so you're sure to find something you love. My Ugly Christmas Sweater can tell you where to find zillions of Christmas (and Hanukkah) sweaters, sweatshirts, and dresses that can be found super cheap in our UNDER $35 collection.
There are three main types of Christmas sweaters: vintage, up-cycled embellished, and brand new. The vintage sweaters are pre-owned and date from as far back as the 40's, but most are from the Christmas sweater heyday of the 80s and 90s.
The up-cycled sweaters are primarily the vintage sweater that have been embellished with ridiculous decorations like fluffy reindeer and stuffed candy canes. And lights. And fringe. Seriously - you need one if you think you're entering a contest.
Tip #2: Have a box of spare sweaters on hand at your party for people who come without one
If you're throwing a party at your house or at a bar or at a function hall, you better have spare sweaters on hand for the lame people who show up pretending they didn't know it was a themed party.
You can either just give them a sweater to wear from you spares, or, if it's a charity event, make them RENT the sweater for a small fee that goes to the charity.
You can try to find some inexpensive sweaters on eBay or your local used clothing store, or we have found loads of under $35 sweaters, (many are under $20!). Definitely have a few extra on hand.
To create some really cheap holiday sweaters for guests who came without one, you can go to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army and buy regular mens sweaters for a dollar or two. Then just pin some Christmas decorations on them, like garland or ornaments. Put those sweaters by the door and make your guest pick his or her favorite!
Tip #3: Check out the best Pinterest boards for great ideas
Tacky decorations rule the night, and the good news is that there are loads of places to buy holiday party supplies or you can channel your inner crafter and make some yourself. There's a zillion fun party ideas for food, drinks, games, and decorations, and all you need to do is tap the right resource and you'll be all set.
We've put together the best ugly Christmas sweater party Pinterest board, so check it out and follow us to get new ideas for throwing the best party!
Tip #4: Have some fun games planned for your guests to play at the party
So you're having a Christmas sweater party and you've got a handle on food and drinks and what to wear. But what are you going to do at your party to make it memorable? There's good news here! There are some ridiculously funny games you can have your guests play.
Always give a prize to the winners of a game - like a sweater can koozie or a little Christmas sweater ornament. You'll find some great examples of prizes below.
Try this reindeer balloon game we found at ThriftyFun.com. It's so ridiculous it's amazing. All you need is two pair of pantyhose, a bag of 24 balloons, and two Rudolph noses. Each team gets a pair of pantyhose and 12 balloons. First team to fill up the pantyhose and put them on Rudolph's head wins. OMG funny.
Here are four other games found on Amazon that we love for party entertainment.
First, it doesn't matter that this game isn't exactly related to Christmas sweaters. The fact is that it's the #1 funniest game on the planet and you're guests will be dying laughing while playing it. It's tacky. It's ridiculous. Enough said. Get this game: Pie Face. It's a blast.
Our next favorite is perfect in every way for a holiday party. It's good for a bar party and good for the church hall. You can use it all season long. It's a Reindeer Antler Hoop Toss. . Get at least two and you can have contests with heats. Pair people into teams of two and see which team can get all the rings on the antlers first. Hysterical.
The third game we love is a Candy Cane Ring Toss Game. Multiple people can compete against each other. Similar to the reindeer hat ring toss, but put the candy cane rings are on one end of the room and have two different people trying to get their rings around the candy cane first.
Then there's actually an Ugly Christmas Sweater Card Game. It's an old-maid style card game for 2-6 players. This would make a good prize too!
These games can all be found on Amazon as well as many local party supply stores. If your party has a fun game to play and also a contest for most ugly sweater you'll have your guests entertained!
How to decorate for an ugly Christmas sweater party
Tip #5: Decorate your party space with tacky festive charm
When you're planning your party, think tacky. Think cute. You can be as crazy as you want. Make cut-out streamers from construction paper that say "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" and hang them over your windows.
Make paper chain garland from white strips of paper (just like you did as a kid) and tack it all around the ceiling. You can even attach cheap ornaments to that chain garland by just poking a hole in the paper and using a paperclip ornament holder. See how fun this is?!
Get some themed can and bottle koozie covers for your guests. These reindeer antler covers are a decoration in themselves. They come in packs of 12 in a price that won't break the bank. You can let your guests take them home as a hostess gift after the party!
Decorate your food table with a festive tablecloth and add some eye-catching fun with some Christmas sweater themed toppers for your appetizers and cupcakes. And yes, you can use marshmallows for appetizers. They're perfect!
There are so many ways to add tacky holiday fun to your food and drink table.
How to make a tacky tablecloth:
Are you even a little crafty? Here's what you need for a snowman tablecloth for a long folding table:
- 3 yards cheap cotton fabric (red or green)
- glue gun and glue (under $10 at craft store)
- 1 yard stiff white felt (or just white paper)
- some google eyes (or you can draw them with a sharpie)
- scrap of orange fabric (for noses) (or, use an orange sharpie)
- dark buttons (for mouth) (or, you guessed it...use a sharpie)
Take a couple yards of cheap cotton fabric and decorated the edges with snowman cutouts. It can be as easy as cutting out three circles of white paper (or white felt if you are stepping it up a notch) for the snowman and using google eyes, an orange triangle nose, and black button mouth. (Hint: If you are getting felt, buy the kind that has a stiffness to it. It's way easier to cut into shapes.) You can get an under-$10 glue gun at your local craft store to quickly piece these together. Overlap three large, medium, and small white circles to make the snowmen. Glue the snowmen all over the tablecloth edge so they hang over the side. The great thing is that this is a TACKY party, and nothing needs to look perfect, and it's a good thing if it looks home crafted!
Get a funny cover for your restroom door!
You can cover your restroom door one of these super fun covers that shows feature Santa or his elves. Such and easy decorating idea and so perfect for a holiday party! These door covers are 30 inches wide x 5 feet tall and cover an average size door. Here are three samples:
Tip #6: Have a photo booth so your guests can take funny pictures and remember the evening forever and ever.
You can make your own backdrop using any busy-patterned Christmas wrapping paper. Buy several rolls of paper, unroll it, and tape or tack it up on the wall (like you're wall papering). You'll need a wall space that's about 10 feet wide so several guests at a time can stand in front of it for pictures. Tape the wrapping paper on the wall and put a box of props nearby. You can buy a pre-made frame set that comes with photo booth props, which would be awesome for photos in front of your decorated wall.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Invitations
Tip #7: Send out themed invitations that are fun and festive and get your guests excited to attend.
Put some humor in your invites! How about a photo of your or your bff dressed up in the ugliest holiday sweater you can find. This will let your guests know what to expect and set the bar high on the ugly-meter. If you're looking for the perfect poem or wording for your invitation, check out our ugly Christmas sweater party pinterest board, dedicated to the perfect invitation.
Or, send evites and be sure to point your guests in the right direction so they can find a great sweater. Give them a link to an online store. Cut and paste this right into your evite:
Share the love!
Raise some money for charity at your party. Wondering how to do it? The folks at the Kansas City Ugly Christmas Sweater Party are pros! They've had an annual party for years that benefits a local charity. Take a look at their website for some ideas on how to woo corporate sponsors and encourage individual donations. One tip is to offer free VIP tickets for a certain donation level. Let the VIP's into the party an hour earlier then everyone else to enjoy an open bar or appetizers.
Prizes for an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
Tip #8: Have ugly Christmas Sweater contests at the party and give out prizes for several categories of sweaters. Be sure to mention the contest categories in your invitation so your guests will get excited about finding or decorating a winning sweater
Definitely give prizes for 'Most Ugly Sweater', 'Best Couple Matching', 'Best Homemade Sweater'....you get the idea! The more prizes the better! What to give? How about a Christmas Sweater Award Trophy?!
You can tack on prizes like gift certificates or cash....but how about something tacky to match the theme? Like, a cheese wheel, jello mold, or a fruit cake? A copy of Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater fits the bill too. Get some sweater party themed gift bags for your prizes. (They can be used for popcorn too!).
Ugly Christmas sweater party prize or goodie-bag idea
Light bulb necklaces make great prizes at an ugly sweater party. The winners will inevitably put them right on and will make things brighter right away! These necklaces have big style colorful Christmas bulbs. You can buy them as a single, or in 4-packs. If you're giving your guests a goodie-bag to take home (like the green back above) then these necklaces are perfect to gift each guest as a fun take-away from the party.
You can buy an inexpensive set of Prize Ribbons for contest winners. There's also Christmas sweater necklaces you can give as prizes. Or get something really magical like Christmas sweater medals. They even come in their own boxes. Officially fun!
Are you going to have a bunch of categories for your prizes? Like, are you giving a prize for Best Sweater, Best Couple, Best Male/Female? Once you see what people are wearing you can even come up with categories on the fly. Like if someone comes in a super crafty Christmas sweater that they made themselves, create a Best Homemade Sweater category. You can give all the category winners a little prize like a gift bag, or ornament, or certificate. And you might want to give each one an Ugliest Sweater Award sash that they can wear around all night long. You can find them on Amazon, or probably at your local party store too.
What food to serve at an Ugly Christmas sweater party
Tip #9 Serve some tacky food that fits in with the ugly Christmas sweater theme
When it comes to what food to serve at your ugly Christmas sweater party, you can have some serious fun with the menu. One of the most popular ideas party food is a Christmas tree shaped pizza, but there are so many more ways to fill your guests bellies with tacky treats. Most ugly Christmas sweater parties serve appetizers and deserts, but if you're also serving a main meal the key is to keep it tacky. Think 1965 TV dinner food - how about some meatloaf, mashed potatoes and pipin' hot peas, served in a tin faux tv-dinner tray? Appetizers and deserts with holiday themes are super fun and easy to do. Check out our ugly Christmas sweater party food pinterest board for tons of funny ideas for what to serve.
Of course you need themed treats for your party. What's easier than an Ugly Christmas sweater Christmas cookies? Don't even think about having to make the sweater shape yourself. Now there's actually sweater shaped Christmas cookie cutters that do the work for you! Just mix, cut, cook and decorate!
What drinks to serve at an ugly Christmas sweater party
Tip #10: Serve creative holiday themed drinks to your guests
If you're throwing an ugly Christmas sweater party then it's time to have some fun when planning drinks for your guests. There are alcohol packed and non-alcoholic versions of lots of punches and fruity drinks. This is a great time to be creative, and you can serve holiday red and green jello shots, peppermint white Russians, or snowman hot chocolate. We've amassed an amazing selection of ugly Christmas sweater drinks on our pinterest board - check it out!