From Elf to Snowman: Holiday Spirits in Touch with this Year’s Ugly Sweater Party

Groups of students waited in line to take a photo with Blue Key Head Tristan Latham ’19, who donned a festive red costume with a white beard. Latham’s Santa Claus costume was just one exciting part of the Ugly Sweater Party that took place Saturday in Lower Right of Paresky Commons.

Christopher Capano, Director of Student Activities, said, “Our goal was to have a fun event…students here are very busy and have a lot of work so our goal is to give them something to do where they can get together, smile, laugh, enjoy each other’s company, and just generally have a good time.”

The party was hosted by Capano, Student Program Coordinator Stephanie Cormier, and the Student Activities Board (STACT). Surrounded by walls adorned with red and green lights, students and faculty sipped  hot chocolate and decorated gingerbread cookies while holiday music played for a dance.

“I thought the party had a really fun social environment. It was nice to take a break from everything and hang out with friends. I also really liked how the organizers set up tables at the side with cookies so that students could sit and hang out. The hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies were a nice touch as well. Overall, it was a nice event to have on the first weekend back,” said attendee Owen Bae ’21.

In addition to the food and music, the party encouraged students to dress up in ugly sweaters or in festive holiday clothing. Some students, like Jason DiNapoli ’19, said they thought the party allowed students to express their originality through what they wore.

Dinapoli said, “The Ugly Sweater Party displayed the creativity, and certainly the ugliness, of student’s sweaters and outfits. I wanted to wear something unique this year, so I chose to wear my abominable snowman onesie. I definitely stood out, but it upheld the notion that not everyone wore a sweater and creativity consumed Lower Right.”

Ina Megalli ’20 said she thought wearing ugly sweaters was a fun way to spread holiday spirit and found the different sweaters interesting.

“I think it’s a festive tradition. People find really cool, out-there sweaters and it’s fun. It’s definitely something that people take seriously, and it’s nice to see what people can come up with. Some people definitely took the theme more seriously than others, but everyone was having fun, and that’s what matters,” said Megalli.

In addition to Latham, Blue Key Heads Will Ennis ’19 and Kelly McCarthy ’19 dressed up as an elf and a reindeer, respectively, at the party. Rhea Chandran ’19 liked the Blue Key Heads’ costumes and thought the party aptly represented holiday spirits.

“I liked the environment of the party. My favorite parts were the Blue Key Heads Will, Tristan, and Kelly who dressed as an elf, Santa, and a reindeer. I think that some of the sweaters were pretty funny and memorable. It was great to see everyone in good spirits for the holidays,” said Chandran.

This year’s Ugly Sweater Party did not come without complaints, however. Several students thought there was room for improvement in different aspects, including the food choices served, which could have been addressed by offering a wider range of selection.

“The snacks that were being offered were not what had been expected, since the options were narrowed to gingerbread cookies. I felt that the sweater party was a bit empty at the time when I arrived, and a lot of people were not following the basic rule of the party, which was to wear an ugly sweater,” said attendee Julian Dahl ’22.

Elise MacDonald ’19, who attended both this year and last year’s Ugly Sweater Party, said she thought that live music performances would have created a more fun and entertaining party.

MacDonald said, “I really liked how last year some a cappella groups performed holiday music at the party — I think that could’ve added a nice touch this year, live music is always entertaining.”

Editor’s Note: Will Ennis ’19 is the Executive Editor of The Phillipian.

Emma Fu ‘21

I went to Target earlier today to buy this [sweater]. I thought that Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer was super cute and since I thought his nose would light up but it doesn’t, I draped lights over my hair to be  Rudolf. So, that’s my custom.

Baron Abrishami ’21

My favorite part is the Christmas spirit, everyone’s just lovin’, and carin’, and I dig it! I chose this sweater cause I always go to the gym, and even during Christmas break there’s no time to chill and we get the reps in.

Tristan Latham ’19

like being Santa a lot. It’s really cool hanging out with faculty kids because they really look up to you. There’s this little kid dressed as Santa running around, so that’s really fun. It’s a little hot in here right now, that’s the only thing I complain about.

Jake Jordan ’20

My dad got this sweater for me, and it lights up like a menorah. I am Jewish, so I figured I’d represent all the Hanukkah celebrators out there. I do celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, so I’m open to anything. I feel really de-stressed right now, just chillin’ eating a gingerbread cookie, you know… it’s a good time.