REDDIN: Unraveling ugly sweater parties

A week ago, I wouldn’t have been caught dead writing a column about Christmas. It’s amazing what a difference some new-fallen snow, a fake pine tree and finals-related sleep deprivation can make.

But even though I’m totally ready for Christmas, there’s a series of blemishes on the holiday that I just can’t seem to shake.

Ugly sweater parties.

Initially started as a way to get some use out of those stupid wool monstrosities great-aunts have been making for generations , the ugly sweater party was actually quite a clever idea, once upon a time.

Unfortunately, you know what happens when someone has a clever idea nowadays — everyone jumps on the bandwagon and ruins it. For example, one day, Facebook gave in to peer pressure and let everybody and their mother sign up. And now your mother can see who you were playing drunken tonsil hockey with at Murphy’s Irish Pub last weekend.

If ugly sweater parties were still an every-once-in-a-while, sort-of-out-there sort of thing, they’d be cool. On the other hand, when you can hit three in one night and still have time for Real Chili after, they’re lame as Tiny Tim but much less adorable.

But I’m not content to just whine about the overabundance of ugly sweater parties. I’ve got better ideas.

Any and all of these would be infinitely better than an ugly sweater party, so feel free to shamelessly steal them for your own holiday get-togethers. Just make sure you send me an invite.

Chrismas Party

That’s no typo, grammar fans. This party is no Mass of Christ, it’s a mass of Chris.

There may be only one Son of God (in Christianity at least — that Zeus guy got around), but there’s a lot of Chrises out there, which means your guests can honor the almost-name of Jesus by dressing up as their favorite. If I’m invited, expect Chris Colfer (“Glee” actor winning an Emmy this year), Chris Farley (too soon?), or Chris Crocker (LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE! kid).

Anything But Christmas Party

For those of you who still aren’t feeling Christmas-y, don’t fret — there’s still a socially acceptable way for you and your friends to get smashed this December: Dress for the other 11 months and celebrate all the other holidays instead.

There’s no end to the benefits of a holiday mash-up. Most promisingly, there’s no other time you can get Baby New Year, the Easter Bunny, and a fleet of Pilgrims all in the same room without hallucinogens. I mean, unless that’s how you celebrate Earth Day.

Christmas in (the Fourth of) July

Christmas in July is so passé. If you really want to have fun this holiday season, go for a Fourth of July Christmas and pull out all those patriotic bells and whistles.

Think about it. Most of us leave Milwaukee over the summer, leaving no one to celebrate the day our founding fathers started a bloody rebellion that led to freedom for everyone except men who didn’t own property, women, slaves and Native Americans. If you don’t have this party, you’re letting the terrorists win.

And speaking of terrorists…

Realistic Christmas Party

Let’s face it, people. Osama bin Laden looks more like Jesus than Willem Dafoe.

So let’s embrace that fact and party like it’s the turn of the first century. That means you’re picking up tunics (aka nightgowns), cloaks, head scarves and sandals.

It also means you’re picking up a loft in your local stable. And you thought your roommates were pigs.

Beautiful Sweater Party

Hey, just because I think ugly sweater parties are stupid doesn’t mean I think all sweaters are. And if you’ve got one that’s actually worth showing off, do so.

Just don’t be that one person who tries to be funny and wears an ugly sweater anyways. There are names for you, but I can’t print them without getting fired.