Watch CBS News

Friday, Dec. 17, Is National Ugly Sweater Day: Here's How To Participate

(CBS Detroit) -- Every third Friday of December recognizes the festive garment that we save for this time of year.

Dec. 17, 2021, is National Ugly Sweater Day. Here are some activities you participate in:

  • Find an old ugly sweater and make it new again
    • Take a cue from the original ugly sweater pioneers and search through your local thrift store for an ugly sweater that is begging for a second chance in the spotlight! From brightly colored sweaters, to ones covered in jingle-bells and more, the opportunities to find a hidden gem are endless.
  • Make your own ugly sweater
    • Bring your friends together to make your own ugly sweaters! Pick up a couple of basic sweaters along with some fabric glue, tape, or a hot glue gun. Collect the most extravagant decorations you can find; think tinsel, string lights, or even googly-eyes, and then get to it. Who can make the best (read: ugliest) one?
  • Give back with an ugly-sweater fundraiser
    • What better way to celebrate National Ugly Sweater Day than to help others while doing it? Give back to a cause that is important to you by hosting an ugly-sweater bake sale, an ugly-sweater jog, or even just a simple ugly-sweater party.

Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, is National Ugly Sweater Day. (credit: Getty Images)

According to, the first "ugly sweater" was made in 1980 under the name "jingle-bell sweaters after gaining popularity from a sitcom." It wasn't until 1989 when the sweaters reached a peak after being shown during the film "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

The first known ugly sweater party was in 2002 in Vancouver, Canada, where the event helped raise money for a friend's cancer treatment.

© 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.