Prediction: The Ugly Sweater Party Won’t be Funny Again Next Year

Until 2013, I had never heard of an ugly Christmas-sweater party.   Then, someone invited me to one and explained the concept to me – which at the time seemed fresh, ironic and somewhat humorous.  I was mildly, though genuinely, excited to participate.


For about 30 seconds at my first ugly sweater party, I enjoyed looking at each of my friends’ ugly sweaters.  I wouldn’t say it was HILARIOUS!!! –  but it was kind of fun.  Additionally, I derived 15-20 seconds of pleasure playfully mocking the 1 or 2 people who didn’t participate.  (At the time it did not occur to me that I was likely adding to their already manifested social anxiety.)  At that point, I loaded up a few plates of meat balls and made small talk until it was time to leave.   Easy enough to participate, 45 total seconds of enjoyment.  Done.  I have not found the ugly sweater concept funny since.**


Nevertheless, the invites keep rolling in.  3 so far in the last year.  Ugly.  Sweater.  Parties.


My concerns here are multiple:

  • Are there going to be more of these parties next year?
  • Do other people really find it funny?
  • Is this going to be a “thing” that grows from here and gets all competitive and weird?
  • Is it possible that this is a concept being pushed by clothing manufacturers?
  • Am I too cynical?
  • Am I a big asshole?


**Actually, on second thought I did get another 10-15 seconds of enjoyment today from a person wearing a non-holiday, tan sweater with chicken wings on it (not actual chicken wings – that would have been overwrought), but rather chicken wings as the featured sweater design.  This person’s boss nonchalantly said, “that sweater is probably more appropriate for a Super Bowl party.”  So that was a good moment.  Nevertheless, I think it’s time to move on to another concept.