Alternatives to the Ugly Sweater Holiday Party


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The year was 2002. The place was Kalamazoo, Michigan during my stay home on winter vacation. The friends were Robby and Ben. The party was “Ugly Sweater”. Little did I know, paging back (yes, pagers) “yes” to their invitation would begin an almost decade long affair with the Ugly Sweater party.

In 2002, I had never heard of or been to an Ugly Sweater Party. I drove to the party in my parent’s van and pulled up with anticipation. What if I was the only person who took the invite seriously and had spent hours combing through the racks at various Goodwills and Salvation Armies to find the perfect tacky sweater?

But, my friends, that night was a party to remember! Everyone showed up in horrible sweaters carrying plenty of holiday booze. I was reconnected with my high school pals and it seemed nothing had changed! I felt our friendships could all withstand the test of time and distance. We were reunited under a common flag of hope, merriment and tackiness. It seemed like the Ugly Sweater Party was heralding in a new era of awesome parties.

And so it has been. I have treasured each Ugly Sweater Party I’ve ever been to since then. Yet, this year after receiving a third invite to a Ugly Sweater Party and retrieving my ugliest sweater from the back of the drawer where it hides the rest of the year, I felt a sudden wave of sadness for it dawned on me: Ugly holiday sweater parties are played out.

Party innovators like Robby and Ben have long moved on to different themed parties (or had kids and stopped throwing booze soaked fetes) so shouldn’t the rest of the world? We here at Krrb would like to propose some alternatives to the Bad Sweater Party.

Sledding Party


Meet up with your party at the sledding hill and sled until it gets dark! Then head over back to your place or favorite bar and let the party continue. Krrb does not condone drinking while sledding even though it is, like, 100 times more fun.

Card Making Party


Turn your yearly task of sending out holiday cards into a party! Set up a card making area in your home with blank card stock, glue, magazines and drawing supplies. Invite friends bring a box of blank holiday cards to serve as inspiration…or backups for those less crafty. You can make extra to send to the troops (like our First Lady, above). Make sure you have plenty of stamps.

Office Party

Christmas fun at the office

Why not throw the kind of office party you want to go to in your very own home? Incorporate your favorite parts of your own office parties without having to talk to Jim from accounting. Encourage your friends to wear their best business causal outfits and name tags. Playing team building exercises with people you actually enjoy spending time with is particularly fun when everyone has had a few drinks. There won’t be a supply closet to catch anyone in a compromising position, but you also won’t have to take turns manning the phones.

Punch Bowl Party


We wanted to call this one “Punch Party” but were scared that might suggest a totally different kind of party. Research your favorite punch recipes online and assign a different punch to groups of friends or have them each bring their own. Punch bowls are plentiful on Krrb right now, or check out your local thrift stores. Serve some holiday appetizers and award the most “knock out punch” of the evening.

“Season’s Greetings” Party


Remember those amazing cards pouring in from long lost family members bearing the slogan “Season’s Greetings”? Now its time to make some awkward magic of your own! Set up a photo backdrop complete with props and Christmas tree. Have a Santa costume ready for anyone who might want to jump into the role and get to snapping those photos! Document the progression of photos as the guests imbibe more egg nog. More inspiration at Awkward Family Photos.

If you have any more ideas, please send them our way. Until then, party on!


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