National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

Young woman wearing an outrageously colorful Christmas sweater, surrounded by twinkling lights and laughing friends in a festive holiday party setting..
National ugly christmas sweater day illustration

Have you ever wondered why your grandmother always gifts you an ugly Christmas sweater every year? No? Well, we have, and the answer is quite amusing! It's because of the glorious tradition of National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day! Celebrated worldwide, this day encourages folks to don their 'most fashionable' holiday garments and let the world be merry and bright in laughter.

When is Ugly Christmas Sweater Day?

It's national ugly christmas sweater day on the 16th December.

A History Wrapped in Wool!

Did you know that the tradition of donning an ugly Christmas sweater has been embroidered into our holiday culture since the 1980s? Around that time, TV dads and sitcom stars began to uplift this not-so-fashion-forward trend, and since then, it's been knit into the cozy fabric of the holiday season.

Let's Make It Official!

In 2011, a group of friends decided to take this tradition and fashion faux pas to an official level. Hence, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day was born! Celebrated on the third Friday of December each year, starting from 2012, it has gained traction—so much so, that it saw the most mentions online on December 16, 2016, with a staggering 7746 times! Talk about trend-chasing!

So, How to Celebrate?

Simple! Dust off your uglie... ahem, we mean, your most diamonds-and-rubies adorned holiday sweater and wear it proudly. Be it at the office, at home, or at a friend's Christmas party, remember, the uglier, the better! And hey, want to level up the game? Organize an ugly sweater contest and crown the person with the best (or worst?) holiday fashion sense!

History behind the term 'Ugly Christmas Sweater'


The rise of the ugly Christmas sweater

In the 1980s, the trend of wearing what would become known as 'ugly Christmas sweaters' emerged. These sweaters were typically characterized by garish and kitschy holiday-themed designs, often featuring bold colors, embellishments, and quirky patterns. Although their initial popularity was fueled by their perceived tackiness, they would later become celebrated for their nostalgic charm and sense of humor.


The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party phenomenon

In 2001, the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party phenomenon took off. The concept behind these parties was to embrace the humor and playful nature of the quirky sweaters. People began hosting themed parties where attendees were required to wear the most outrageous and ugliest Christmas sweaters they could find. This trend quickly spread, becoming a staple of the holiday season and a way for people to come together and celebrate in a lighthearted manner.


Mainstream acceptance and commercialization

Around 2011, the popularity of the ugly Christmas sweater reached new heights. Major retailers and fashion brands recognized the demand for these whimsical garments and started producing their own versions. This marked a shift from thrift stores and DIY creations to mass-produced sweaters featuring intentionally tacky designs. The commercialization of ugly Christmas sweaters made them more accessible to a wider audience, further solidifying their place as a festive fashion statement.


Ugly Christmas sweater philanthropy

In recent years, the ugly Christmas sweater trend has taken on a charitable aspect. Many organizations and individuals have leveraged the popularity of these sweaters to raise funds for various causes during the holiday season. Ugly Christmas sweater-themed charity events and fundraisers have become commonplace, showcasing how a once-mocked fashion item has evolved into a force for good and community involvement.

Did you know?

Did you know that the world's largest gathering of people wearing Christmas jumpers is 3,473 and was achieved by the Kansas Athletics (USA) in 2015? Talk about taking the ugly sweater game to the next level!


fun humor friends family traditions fashion holiday

First identified

29th May 2015

Most mentioned on

16th December 2016

Total mentions


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