Christmas is the one time of the year where everyone has permission to be tacky. In fact, it’s hard to avoid, seeing as how so many holiday rituals involve glitter, loud colors, and mushy sentiments. So rather than resist the cornball charm of the Christmas season, why not embrace it in all its gaudy glory?
That, in a nutshell, is the rationale behind tacky Christmas parties. This aggressively festive party theme is associated with things like white elephant gift exchanges and ugly sweater contests – but there’s so much more to it. To illustrate, here are seven tacky Christmas party ideas that poke fun at some of the holiday’s most splendiferous traditions.
1. Send out tacky invitations
The first step to hosing a truly tacky Christmas party is to send out invitations that let your guests know what they’re in for. Whether you’re sending paper or electronic invites, try using clashing colors, funny characters, and sparkles – lots and lots of sparkles – to grab their attention. Throw in some groan-inducing puns to top it off.
2. Turn the party venue into a festive eyesore
Whether you decide to deck the halls with shiny tinsel and flashing lights, or just put up a few funny holiday props, your choice of decorations is important for setting an appropriately tacky tone. Fortunately, when it comes to tacky Christmas decorations, there’s a lot to choose from. In fact, you probably already have a few “treasures” from yesteryear stored somewhere in your house.
3. Run an ugly sweater contest (duh)
This one’s a no-brainer – in fact, it’s the whole point of many tacky Christmas parties. Be sure to have some suitably tacky prizes lined up for the contestants (don’t worry – they needn’t be expensive). Consider giving out a prize not only for the ugliest sweater overall, but for different categories such as “Most Colorful” and “Best Homemade Ugly Sweater.”
4. Serve “tasteless” food and drink
I don’t literally mean “tasteless,” of course. What you’re looking for is yummy food and drink that fit your tacky theme. This could include kitschy holiday favorites such as cheese balls, fruit cake, and the like. Or it could be a funny presentation, like mustachioed gingerbread men or wine bottles adorned with miniature ugly sweaters.
5. Put together a funny holiday playlist
There are oh-so-many Christmas tunes to choose from when putting together a playlist for any holiday party. You can always include the sentimental favorites, but for a tacky Christmas gathering, be sure to also make room for the goofy, the corny, and the downright hilarious. Some good choices include “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” “Hanukkah Song,” and “Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo.”
6. Have guests play goofy Christmas-themed games
Along with the usual gift exchange and ugly sweater contest, consider running other Christmas games that encourage people to drop their inhibitions and get silly. To name just one example, you could have a contest to see who can unwrap a present the fastest while wearing mittens. Obviously, the best games to play depend on the makeup of the crowd, so do your research and collect some ideas before deciding.
7. Make sure your gift exchange is tacky, too!
Even if you’re just using the basic rules for your gift exchange, you can be sure that many people will show up with a variety of presents, including the always popular (and often tasteless) gag gifts. However, if you want to push the tacky theme to the max, add a little twist to the rules. For example, you could ask participants to bring re-gifts, homemade creations, or even ugly Christmas ornaments.
These tacky Christmas party ideas are all worth considering, but they’re only the start. For more tacky holiday inspiration, just look around – there are schlocky signs of the season wherever you go!