Iceland Christmas Traditions – Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

Team Iceland Unlimited celebrated its 2nd annual „Ugly Christmas Sweater Party“ in early December. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, but those first weeks of December can be quite stressful for many. During this time, we are working hard to finalize everything for our Christmas and New Year´s Eve tours. As we try our best to prepare everything in time, we also feel it is important to let loose every once in a while. Although Christmas is the time to care for each other, (in our case – our multicultural guests from all over the world) it is also the season to be merry! And that is exactly what our Christmas Ugly Sweater day is all about.

One of the Newer Iceland Christmas Traditions

Back in the early 2000s, the trend of ugly Christmas sweaters picked up steam in Iceland. Since then the tradition of ugly sweater parties around Christmas has snowballed. In contrast to earlier, nowadays you can find the sweaters in many vintage clothing stores, Salvation Army and thrift shops in Reykjavík. And if you are not the type to put on something smelly or old, do not worry, as you can find „ugly“ and ironic yet new sweaters, at fashion retailers nowadays.

Highlights of our Ugly Christmas Sweater Party 2016

As we share an office building floor with two other companies, we decided to celebrate this day together. Everyone was to wear Christmas sweaters and we all brought something nice to eat for our luxurious Christmas brunch! We are talking about Icelandic flatbread with smoked lamb, quality bread with various cheeses and toppings, tangerines, many sorts of cookies, cakes and delicious waffles with cream, jam, and Nutella. This was, of course, washed down with the traditional Icelandic Christmas mixture; Malt & Appelsín, a blend of orange soda and „Malt Extrakt“, a mixture that could perhaps be thought of as non-alcoholic unfermented Guinness.

With full bellies and the staff lounge full of Christmas joy, we were ready for the Ugly Christmas sweater competition. The designated judges (our ladies from the reception) came for a visit, to choose and reward the three ugliest sweaters! The prizes were not too shabby, as the winners took home e.g. bottles of cognac and fine wine and the first prize was a guided glacier hike for two, at Mýrdalsjökull glacier in the South of Iceland.

In the afternoon, we kept the party going. We pulled out the board games and lifted our spirits even higher with some Christmas tunes and drinks. At 7 pm, we  received a Christmas buffet delivery from Höfnin restaurant. Yes, it was time to eat some more. Close your eyes and imagine the mouth-watering cuisine. Herring, gravlax, trout, turkey breast, gammon steak, lamb, potato salad, red cabbage, beans, and Christmas bread! I believe some of us had trouble standing up afterward. What a feast! After dinner, we played some more games as we talked and had a great time in general!

Team Iceland Unlimited wishes Merry Christmas to all!

We, your nice and merry travel agents here at Iceland Unlimited, would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you the best of times this holiday season! Be kind to one another and try to keep the true spirit of Christmas alive! Make wishes, find joy, give, love, believe and be merry!!!

Merry Christmas to all!

Andri Þór Ástráðsson
Posted in December 2016

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