By Christi Blevins
Do you remember when your favorite aunt used to break out her favorite holiday sweater featuring a prominent felt cat wearing a Santa hat on the day after Thanksgiving? (Just me?) These days, such a sweater would be classified as a fantastic example of kitsch chic. But it takes more than kitschiness to win the most demonstrative of holiday traditions—the ugly sweater contest. To take home top honors, you have to throw everything you know about good taste out the window. Consider it the holiday equivalent of homecoming mums. Less is NOT more—don’t be stingy now.
Things are about to get ugly
You can’t just throw some garland and mistletoe sprigs on your sweater and expect to win. You have to have a plan. More importantly, you must have a theme. Some possible themes are:
- Christmas tree
- Snow globe
- Santa stuck in a chimney
- Fireplace mantle
- A gingerbread house
- Christmas cookies
- A popular holiday movie, book, or song
These sweaters can be as big as your imagination will allow. The fun doesn’t have to stop with a sweater. To give yourself a competitive edge in the judging, you can continue your tacky ensemble to include a festive headpiece, gloves, or sweatpants. Think of yourself as a holiday parade float entry. If your holiday sweater contest will have different categories, find out what they are and keep your eyes on the prize.
Gather Your Gaudy Materials
Some people purchase sweaters for an ugly holiday sweater contest off the rack. Those people should go on the naughty list! Still, you should be aware that the cost of supplies for creating a prize-winning holiday sweater can add up quickly.
With a little ingenuity, you can be the gaudiest person at the party without breaking the bank. A thrift store is a great place to find not only your sweater, but also unusual decorations and craft supplies. This will allow your sweater to stand out from the crowd even more. If sewing isn’t your forte, don’t let that get in your way of designing the ugly sweater of your dreams. Break out the hot glue gun.
Have a Jolly Good Time
If you’re really feeling the spirit of the season, host a sweater decoration party. Swing by your local thrift store on half-off clothing day and purchase a supply of sweaters. Provide some basic and not-so-basic craft supplies and let your guests go to town on the pilling poly-blends. You could choose to set a time limit and award prizes, or you might simply want everyone to have the fun of creating a sweater. Your guests will then leave with a sweater to wear to their other holiday events.