A few decades ago, thick red and green sweaters adorned with jingle bells (that actually jingle), tinsel and cats were considered... ugly. Or endearing, if it was your doting grandma who was wearing them.
But within the past decade or so, ugly sweaters fly off of the shelves. You can find them in just about any store, instead of exclusively within thrift store racks. And now that horrible furry sweater featuring a cat in a Santa hat could actually win you some prizes, assuming you can last the night inside its itchy fabric.
Wear your ugliest (and we mean ugliest, there's a lot of competition out there) sweater to any of the following parties and you'll fit right in.
7 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center, 617 Main St. Tickets cost $10, $7 for members. Sing at "holiday sweater" karaoke, eat food, snap photos and try your luck in their basket raffles, which include self-care survival packages.
10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Dec. 8 at Gypsy Parlor, 376 Grant St. Pay a $5 cover for free tacos and to listen to musicians Nate Howell, Dave Sif and Chad Lock. This event is 21-plus.
8 to 11 p.m. on Dec. 11 at Vinny's Sports Bar, 2704 Clinton St., West Seneca. For $20, consume unlimited well drinks and select drafts during the duration of the party. The ugliest sweater wins a prize. This is a 21-plus event.
7 p.m. on Dec. 14 at Dnipro Ukrainian Cultural Center, 562 Genesee St. Festive American and Ukrainian music will play in the background while patrons participate in an ugly sweater contest, karaoke and crafts. This event is family-friendly and there will be food.
8 p.m. to midnight on Dec. 14 at Hotel Dalmatia, 1187 Tonawanda St. The first place prize in the ugly sweater contest wins a leg lamp replica from "A Christmas Story." There will be drink specials all night, a selfie stage and DJ Sandy Vandyke.
[Read more about Hotel Dalmatia in Bond's guide to Buffalo dive bars]
Doors open at 8 p.m.; show starts at 9 p.m. on Dec. 14 at Mr. Goodbar, 1110 Elmwood Ave.; $8 cover; Look forward to "angsty" 90s music. 21-plus show.
2 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 15 at GrandView Animal Care Center, 2409 Union Road, Cheektowaga. Dress your pet up in their ugliest sweater for a contest, then match them yourself for another contest. Santa will pose for photos with the pets.
6 p.m. on Dec. 15 at The Riverstone Grill, 971 East River Road, Grand Island. There will be a full barbecue buffet with several kinds of meat and sides. Tickets cost $12 pre-sale and $15 at-the-door. For $50, you'll get barbecue and drinks all night long.
8 p.m. to midnight on Dec. 15 at The Cove: Seafood & Banquets, 4701 Transit Road, Depew. Expect drink specials, a DJ and an ugly sweater contest for a $5 cover.
3 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 20 at The Ice at Canalside, 44 Prime St. Receive $1 off of admission when you wear your ugliest Christmas sweater. Share a photo of you in your sweater on the Canalside Facebook page to be entered for a chance to ride the Zamboni, which is really the ultimate ugly Christmas sweater prize.
6:30 to 10:30 on Dec. 20 at Buffalo Marriott Niagara, 1340 Millersport Highway, Amherst. Tickets cost $15; a portion of the proceeds benefits the Food Bank of WNY. Nerds Gone Wild will be playing 80s hits in their signature nerdy attire. This event is 21-plus.
7 to 11 p.m. on Dec. 20 at New York Beer Project, 6933 South Transit Road, South Lockport. They're offering $4 drink specials on seasonal beers as well as prizes to the most hilarious or hideous sweater.
6 p.m. on Dec. 21 at World of Beer inside the Walden Galleria, 1 Walden Galleria, Cheektowaga. There will be drink specials and prizes for the ugliest sweaters.
9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Dec. 22 at Knights of Columbus, 418 Main St., Medina. $2 beers and $3 mixed drink specials all night.