The Best Escape From Finals: Holiday-Themed Parties

Finals can almost make you completely forget about the holiday season. Between figuring out where the library is, and spending hours there on massive amounts of Adderall attempting to learn an entire semester’s worth of material in one day, it’s easy to forget there’s a reason for the season, other than putting another semester behind you and taking one step closer to the day we all dread (graduation). Fall finals also mark the beginning of winter break, which might be the most fun three weeks of the year. You get to spend time at home, catching up with your high school BFFs, and hanging out with (accepting drinks from) hometown hookups. While these facts alone might seem like the only light at the end of a color-coded outline, there is one more thing that keeps us all sane: holiday-themed parties. It’s no secret themed parties are the best parties. They don’t even need to be wildly creative. They just need to provide a sense of direction for the party-goers. While I love putting on the typical short dress and 4-inch heel ensemble, I live for fashioning a two piece dress out of pink and green duct tape for an “Anything But Clothes” party. The holidays provide an entirely new venue for themed parties, because the holidays are basically a theme themselves. So although you’re stressing out over exams and finalizing the Christmas list you’ll send to your relatives, I hope you can take a night off from the madness to enjoy at least one of my favorite holiday party themes.

1. The “Ugly Sweater” Party

This one is a classic, but it’s still fantastic. In case you’re a clueless freshman who had no friends in high school, the ugly sweater party is precisely that: a party where everyone dons the most heinous, out-of-control Christmas sweaters they can find, and gets drunk. That’s pretty much it. The attire is obviously casual, because you’re wearing a sweater…duh. In my opinion, the best way to make this outfit cute is with leggings. Don’t be that girl who wears skinny jeans and mega high pumps with an ugly sweater, because you will look like you’re trying too hard…because you are trying too hard. Also, it’s best to go with an OVERSIZED sweater. The point is to look tacky and ridiculous, not sexy. If you actually show up in something tight and cleavage-baring, you’ll look like a joke, which is somewhat of an accomplishment at a party with a theme that is a joke itself. Also, be prepared to slum it up in search of the perfect tacky holiday attire. You can’t just walk into Nordstrom and find a tacky sweater. No, you’re going to have to send a pledge to places such as Walmart and Goodwill in order to find the perfect sweater, which will cost you $3.00 to purchase and $9.00 to get disinfected. Overall, no matter how many times this party is done, it’s still ridiculously fun, and very convenient for those of you who actually go dashing through the snow to get from the frat house to your sober ride – because, once again, you’re wearing a sweater.

2. The “Anything But Clothes: Holiday Edition” Party

This one gets zero points for actual creativity, because it’s a huge rip off of a party that’s done all year-long. However, it is way more fun to wrap yourself in glittery wrapping paper than to wear a dress made of duct tape. The problem is that your outfit requires a little bit more than a reasonable amount of effort, considering you could have probably spent those two hours studying instead, but who am I kidding. It’s not like anyone actually spends more than three hours (max) studying, so I guess that point is moot. What I really like about this theme is that it allows for more costume creativity, because it doesn’t only focus on Christmas. It’s not very difficult to wrap yourself in shiny gold wrapping paper and attach a shiny blue Star of David to the front of your dress. Also, where the ugly sweater party is all about comfort and tackiness, this party is all about looking cute/slutty, so if that’s your thing, go for it.

3. The “Winter Wonderland” Party

The Winter Wonderland Party is essentially just a free-for-all grab bag of holiday outfits amongst glittery, snow-themed décor. When it’s done right, this party can be FANTASTIC. I’ve seen entire fraternity basements transformed into the North Pole. Fake snow was everywhere, metaphorical real snow was available, and pledges were dressed as elves while they were busy at work, crafting shots for everyone. There’s usually no specific dress code for this theme, so it’s safe to go with anything glittery and festive-looking, although it’s not required. It’s also a great start to an evening of party-hopping, because really, anything you’re wearing will work.

4. The “Festivus: For the Rest of Us” Party

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the TV show Seinfeld, I’ll enlighten you on the holiday concept: it’s not a real holiday. It’s just an excuse to drink, and there’s a Festivus pole involved, which is essentially just a stripper pole. This party is thrown by the laziest of all lazy fraternities. I don’t even know if it really counts as a holiday party, but it does serve alcohol and provide a break from thinking about studying for finals, so I’m including it.

5. The “Naughty or Nice” Party

Okay, confession time: this party is probably my favorite theme ever. The idea is, duh, to dress either naughty or nice. Essentially, you can take it to whichever end of the slut spectrum you prefer, and as long as you wear red or green and a Santa hat, you’re in the clear. I’ve known girls who have pretty much worn red lingerie and knee high boots as costumes. Also, whenever a party comes attached to a theme such as “Naughty or Nice,” I feel it’s not only excusable, but encouraged, to act your part. Even if this includes only paying enough attention to one of the newly initiated brothers to acquire your own bottle of Ketel One for the night. I mean. It happens.

Happy Holidays, bitches!


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