The toughest time of the year for a recovering addict may very well be the “merriest” for everyone else – the holidays. Days are shorter and darker, the temperature is colder and most people insist on ushering in holiday cheer with a drink. From holiday cocktail parties to spiked eggnog with family members at the holiday meal to a champagne toast to ring in the new year, it isn’t an easy time of year for people who are trying to maintain their sobriety.
If you are sober and want to throw a booze-free holiday party this year– or you love someone who is sober and want to throw a party in honor of their choice – here are some tips on putting together the best party ever so you or others in recovery don’t feel isolated during a time that is supposed to be about closeness.
Keep the Focus on Health
No matter how you twist it, alcohol is not a health drink. But healthy choices are more and more appealing that an increasing number of people, even people who aren’t sober, are choosing to attend healthier holiday parties. Follow suit and throw a healthy sober holiday party. Instead of serving booze-laden drinks, turn your hosting attention towards health items that might appeal to your guests. Perhaps you can all practice yoga or meditation as a way to ring in the New Year. Or focus on crafting artisan virgin holiday cocktails from purely healthy ingredients. Tip: if you choose healthy, go big! Make sure all of the important details, including the food, are clean.
Cater to the Kids
Have kids in your life? What about your family members and friends? If kids are usually a part of your holiday parties, try devoting your bash on the kids this year. Whether you’re all building gingerbread houses or singing carols, adults can have fun playing with kids and if the child-friendly focus is obvious enough, a booze-free policy won’t seem odd to most people.
People have a way of distancing themselves from the cold during the holiday season and mostly staying inside. But it feels good to be outside and move and breathe fresh air even when it’s cold. Take your holiday festivities outdoors this year with a group ski or sledding session and finish the activity off with some warm coffee, tea, cider or hot cocoa indoors afterward. Most people don’t like to drink when they’re exercising anyway, so mentioning that this activity is not alcohol-friendly probably won’t disappoint your guests.
Throw an Earlier Holiday Party
The later in the day it gets, the more likely people who drink will want to. But even those who drink regularly don’t typically drink earlier in the day, so throw a brunch-themed or tea time-themed holiday party. If you overwhelm your guests with freshly made juices, Belgian waffles and a killer quiche, they’re unlikely to ask or care about the booze.