Making Merry without Alcohol: A How-To for this Celebration Season

Weddings, promotions, holidays, and birthdays have one thing in common: they’re all some of our favorite reasons to pop open some bubbly and celebrate with our closest friends and family. Alcohol is so ingrained in our culture of celebration that it’s almost impossible to separate the two for many of us. Fortunately, we have just the ticket to help you survive all the jubilation and hoopla you’ll face over the coming months!

Plan Sober-Friendly Celebrations 

Dinners are often full of cocktails and bottles of wine. While many restaurants are starting to offer beautiful, non-alcoholic craft mocktails, it’s not as mainstream as some of us would like. Finding other options to celebrate is a way to curb that pressure while still enjoying the moment. Ax-throwing, laser tag, zip-lining, and other group activities are great ways to get everyone together and kick up the endorphins while celebrating. You could even supply your own non-alcoholic sparkling for extra pizzazz!

Need something holiday themed without the drinks? Plan a festive walk through neighborhoods that go all out with lights, or find a local park or zoo that has a light display. If the weather is nice where you are, plan a festive scavenger hunt. And we know mulled wine and spiked hot cocoa are staples of Caroling, but you can make NA versions of both to enjoy - plus then your singing voice will be the best!

Don’t get us wrong; we love an elegant dinner party full of delicious grub that we get to enjoy with our favorite people. Socializing is a huge part of being a human and taking care of your mental health, so offering up more options in the celebration realm that don’t rely on the cultural pressure of alcohol allows you to fulfill your sobriety desires and your social needs.

... and be a Better Host when you know some of your guests don't imbibe:

Make your guests feel welcome by offering a varied selection of beverages. Alcohol for those who choose to drink is great, but don't stick your non-drinking guests with club soda, diet cola, or the dreaded mini cans of ginger-ale. 

Offering one for one NA versions of the alcohol products you have is a great way to be inclusive, AND a great conversation starter. We promise that EVERY TIME we've seen this done, those guests who DO drink alcohol are intrigued to try the NA versions too! Thats whats so great about NA alcohol-alternatives: They can be enjoyed by all. 

Journal Your Celebration Experiences 

Journaling is a powerful cognition and mindfulness tool. It can also help you retain the memories of your favorite moments. When we take time to relive positive memories, we bolster our identities and our mood. Remembering positive sober celebratory experiences helps you solidify the idea that alcohol doesn’t have to be at the forefront for you to have a great time.

Find Ways to Celebrate Yourself 

Self-care is having a moment. When we think of self-care, we often have images of candlelit baths with smooth jazz in the background, indulging in sweets, or deep tissue massages. Those things are beautiful rewards that we deserve and should have when we are able.

But the true celebration — the proper self-care — is being deeply proud of all you’ve accomplished. Whether you’ve been sober for 16 years or cut down on your alcohol for 16 weeks, it’s about the victories. Talking to yourself kindly, giving yourself grace, and celebrating all you are.