National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day | Third Friday in December
(Last Updated On: January 5, 2023)


Since 2011, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day has grown to be an international event. Now occurring on the third Friday of December, the celebration gives holiday lovers worldwide a chance to wear their ugly Christmas sweaters.


In 2014, they partnered with Save the Children in their “Make the World Better with a Sweater” campaign. 

Each year, ugly Christmas sweater wearers, decorate, shop, and do their darndest to out ugly last year’s ugliest sweater. Whether they sport the most lights or colors, bells or characters, ugly sweater wearers find the most ribbon and felt ladened sweaters and festoon them with glitter so blinding no Dustbuster invented will capture the wave left behind. The sweaters serve as beacons of light so bright, Rudolph himself will someday be out of a job.

However, don’t be sad. So often Rudolph is featured on many of the sweaters. Elfs, donkeys, snowmen, and many other holiday characters we love and adore find their way to these ugly monstrosities. It’s all part of the fascination with the holiday. So, join in the fun. Celebrate and donate, too.


Try these tips to take the prize:

  • Animal or cartoon characters with a holiday theme give sweaters a kitsch feel. Think reindeer, snowmen, mice, kittens or elves.
  • Select ridiculous colors. The more they clash, the better.
  • Embellish. Scratch that. Over-embellish! Pom-poms, bells, felt, tinsel, or any other glittery, jingly items lying around the house.
  • Add a collar, dickey, or ruffle.
  • Electrify it! Put Rudolph to shame and go to the head of the team with bright, flashing lights!
  • Give it some 80s flair with shoulder pads.

Wear your ugliest Christmas sweater. Use #UglyChristmasSweaterDay or #ChristmasSweaterDay to post on social media.


In 2011, ugly Christmas sweater lovers created National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day as a way to lighten up the busy holidays and to show off their absurdly, ugly sweaters. The day has grown in popularity and is celebrated worldwide.

Ugly Sweater FAQ

Q. What is the most common type of ugly sweater?
A. Sweaters come in a variety of styles, but the pullover sweater is most commonly worn for an ugly sweater event. Pullover sweatshirts are also used. A third type of sweater worn for Ugly Christmas Sweater Day is a sweater vest. Incidentally, the sweater vest has its own day called International Sweater Vestival.

Q. How do I win an ugly sweater contest?
A. Well, for those who are the competitive type, it’s important to be creative. You can shop for an ugly sweater, but then you face the risk of your neighbor showing up in the same sweater. Here are a few suggestions to help you wear a winner.

  • Light it up.

No matter the design, adding battery-operated lights to your sweater will improve your chances of winning.

  • Add accessories.

Wear the ugly theme from head to toe. Bows in the hair, jewelry, leggings and socks can help put your design on the winner’s list.

  • Get punny.

Create a sweater that plays on holiday words. For example:

    • Use faux fur to create a fur tree design.
    • A sad dog dressed up like Scrooge is a bah-hum pug.
    • Glue bottles of santitizer to your sweater with little Santa hats. When people ask, you tell them “I’m keeping it safe with santa-tizer.”
    • An elf with a camera is taking an “selfie.”
    • Add cotton balls to your sweater for a Fleece Navidad.
    • Glue pinecones and sheep to your sweater: I’m pining for ewe.
    • Go gnome or go home.
    • Add spice packets to your sweater for a “seasons greetings” theme.
    • Use mustache puns in a variety of ways:
      • A wine bottle with a mustache = My Secret Stash.
      • I mustache you if you have been naughty or nice.
      • I mustache for your presents.
  • Start with an ugly base.

In other words, start with a sweater with a busy pattern. Then kick it up a notch with ornaments, glitter, tinsel, or lights.

  • Turn to pop culture.

Use your sweater to honor your favorite Christmas movie, song, actor, or book.

16 December 2022
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