‘Tis the seasons to be stressed.

At this point, finals are right around the corner, and you might be questioning your sanity. So what better way to get into the holiday spirit than by throwing an Ugly Christmas Sweater party.

Making the best of a horrendous sweater has really gotten popular over the last couple of years, to the point where stores sell ugly sweaters on purpose. Even our local Barnes and Noble carries Rowan University themed versions of the trend.

So whether you decide to throw one in the middle of finals (responsibly, of course), or save it as a way to kick off winter break, here are five ways to do to make your Ugly Christmas Sweater party a memorable one.

1) Bring the Ugly

This is the type of event where “go big or go home” pays off. So go authentic if you can. Excavate your grandparents’ closet, or dive into a thrift store for some hilarious finds. If all else fails, check online for something laugh-worthy.

2) Decorate with Holiday Cheer

Christmas only comes once a year, so make your place represent that with decorations, yards of tinsel. Christmas lights and candy canes are all relatively inexpensive. Toss in a little grade school ingenuity and cut out paper snowflakes and fake gifts out of boxes (even pizza ones work) that you may have lying about. Also it doesn’t hurt to strategically plant some mistletoe around. At the very worst you’ll have a few laughs at some of the awkward moments it can create.

3) Festive Drinks 

Winter is a time for warm drinks, so that’s what you should be serving at your shindig. Get festive with beverages like hot cider, hot cocoa and eggnog. If your party is of the 21 and over variety, get creative with alcohol. Mull wine or cider mix in bourbon with the cocoa or spike your eggnog with brandy. There are plenty of easy recipes you can look up online to create variety.

4) Photos Lots and Lots of Photos

With all the effort you’ve put into making this yuletide gathering, be sure to snap pictures to create mementos of the merrymaking. Start a hashtag on Instagram and Twitter or create a digital photo album for everyone to contribute to. You can even designate a decoration heavy corner as the photo corner and go old school with disposable cameras for people to use or a Polaroid camera to add to the decorations as the night goes on.

5) Keep Things Jolly with Games

If you’re entertaining a smaller group of friends, try a White Elephant gift exchange. To play, everyone purchases a gift and places it under the tree. Everyone’s names go into a hat and the first name picked chooses a gift, and then picks the next name. This person can then steal a gift that has been opened or pick a random gift from the pile. Watch things get heated as people start competing for the gifts that are unveiled and hope that when the dust settles everyone still remains friends.

If you want a more low-key evening, throw on a Christmas movie that’s a crowd favorite and look up drinking game rules. There are rules out there for almost every Christmas movie.

With a little research and planning and if you follow these guidelines your Ugly Christmas Sweater party is sure to be a hit.

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