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The Risks of an Ugly Sweater — Holiday Season Safety Tips to Reduce Your Risks

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It’s the merriest time of year. Celebrations with friends and family fill your social calendar. But make sure to follow our simple holiday season safety tips to keep it a joyous season for everyone.

Holiday parties abound and one particularly fun tradition has popped up in recent years. The third Friday of December—December 17th this year—marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Offices, groups of friends, and bars all celebrate the tackiness of the day.

Whether you’re planning to dress up this year in a sweater featuring a Surfing Santa or if Rudolph with a light-up nose is more your style, we have the best holiday season safety tips to accompany your best ugly Christmas sweater.


Holiday Season Safety Tips for Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

This National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep these holiday season safety tips in mind as you show off your best holiday garb, whether you’re bedazzled in holiday rhinestones or tinseled to the max.


Reduce fire risks.

Holiday sweaters may be more flammable than other clothes you’re used to wearing, especially if your sweater is adorned with tinsel, feathers, or garlands. Don’t lean too close to holiday candles at the office holiday party. Tinsel and pom-poms are festive decorations, but they can also quickly create fire hazards when open flames are nearby. Take extra care cooking or baking Santa’s cookies while wearing your ugly Christmas sweater.


Consider allergies and skin sensitivities.

DIY your outfit with an eye toward safety. Consider if the materials you use are flammable. If you have any skin sensitivities or allergies, watch out for glues and other embellishments. Look at the material content of your sweater—some people can’t wear wool or angora, while others are sensitive to synthetic fabrics. An allergic reaction would put a damper on your holiday celebration. If you upcycle a sweater from the thrift store, be sure to launder it before wearing it.


Monitor your alcohol intake.

Pace yourself if you decide to indulge. The holiday season is a marathon filled with social events. You’ll need to take care of yourself and sometimes limiting your alcohol intake is helpful self-care. Decide to have one drink per party or match alcoholic drinks with at least one glass of water during the event. Offer to be the designated driver for your group of friends sometimes—it keeps everyone safe and gives you a break.

If you host, you have added liabilities if you serve alcohol. Watch your guests and don’t allow anyone to overindulge if they are planning to drive. Call Ubers or set up the air mattress, but don’t let your friends leave if you question their sobriety. Your homeowner’s insurance usually affords some protection for liquor liability. Check your state laws for more details on your responsibilities as a party host.


Have a plan for inclement weather.

Do you live in a part of the country where you’re expecting a white Christmas? While snow days are exciting, it is less fun when you have to drive in freezing conditions. Drifting snow, black ice, freezing rain, wind, and other weather hazards are common across much of the U.S. in December. Wintertime claims put a chill on otherwise fun times.

If severe weather is predicted for the same time as your Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, consider how to keep your guests safe. Can you schedule a ‘snow date’ and move the event to another time if a storm blows through? Consider your plan for inclement weather and share it with your guests. Be sure to clear snow and ice from your walkways and parking area before people arrive to lower the risk of slip and fall accidents.


Follow CDC guidelines for a COVID-safe event.

The CDC released updated guidelines for holiday season safety tips related to COVID-19. Wear a mask if you’re not fully vaccinated or if someone in your household isn’t vaccinated. Outdoor events are safer if the weather permits. If you’re indoors, good ventilation will help. Ask your guests not to attend if they feel ill, have symptoms, or have been exposed to someone who tested positive. If you feel sick, get tested.

And if you’re in California you may need to mask up even inside private homes. Santa Cruz County instituted an indoor mask mandate on November 22. Anyone gathering with people they don’t live with should wear a mask.


Don’t forget food safety.

At-home hosts don’t always consider food safety rules, but food poisoning is not the memory to send guests home with after your party. Brush up on safe food handling practices when you’re planning your menu—know how long the various dishes you’re serving can stay unrefrigerated, for example. If you’re outsourcing your catering, the professional takes on much of this risk but you’re not totally in the clear.


Property damage risks are prevalent.

When you invite people to your home you run the risk of accidents that damage your property. Take sensible precautions before your guests arrive, like securing fragile glassware and restricting access to your jewelry cabinet. But know that accidents happen. Even if you’re using the Ikea dishes someone may get a little too enthusiastic during a holiday toast and break their champagne flute. Small property damage is easy to overlook but if something major gets damaged check your homeowner’s insurance policy for help making a claim.


Use Our Holiday Season Safety Tips to Reduce Your Risks

By following these holiday season safety tips, you can make the most of all the festive events this year—like Ugly Christmas Sweater Day! If you decide to celebrate, share a pic of your best ugly Christmas sweater with us!

Everyone here at the American Agents Alliance wishes you a safe and happy Ugly Christmas Sweater Day this December 17!

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