- Nov 29
- Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Our culture tends to normalize alcohol, and this is especially true on holidays like Christmas. While you might feel hesitant about celebrating the festivities without a drink in hand, there are many fun ways to spend this time of year sober and healthy. Ultimately, Christmas is about enjoying time with friends and family and making memories you’ll cherish for life, and being sober can help you appreciate the true meaning of the holidays.
Here you’ll find six tips for enjoying a sober Christmas and a few alcohol-free drink ideas to get you in the holiday spirit.
6 Tips for Enjoying an Alcohol-Free Christmas
The holidays are a great time to reflect on your accomplishments and extend that momentum to the new year. They’re also about spending time with the ones we love and appreciating the present, which is made all the easier without alcohol. While it will take some planning, there are so many fun ways to enjoy the holidays sober:
1. Take Time for Yourself
Christmas can be intense with the events and amount of people we interact with, especially if they involve alcoholic drinks and partying. Plan breaks throughout the day and your festival period to retreat to a quiet space away from any triggers. Spending time in an area away from the noise and alcohol can be a great way to destress from the holidays and replenish your energy.
To make the most of this time, you might try the following:
- Reading a book
- Taking a bath
Planning a day out of the house is an excellent way to spend time away from drinking, whether you go shopping or take a wall around your neighborhood or a nearby park. When you return to the festivities, you will feel more positive and excited to enjoy your sober Christmas.
2. Plan Your Drinks in Advance
Christmas time is often associated with celebrations where there tend to be a lot of alcoholic drinks. Whatever your favorite alcohol-free drinks are — such as soda, tea, or alcohol-free beer — have plenty in stock wherever you go. And if you’re staying away from home with friends or family, ensure you keep these drinks easily accessible so that you can help yourself throughout the festivities.
3. Make a List of People You Can Contact for Support
Another excellent way to prepare for a sober Christmas is to list friends or family members you can contact if you need help throughout the holidays. Ensure your list includes those who are supportive of your sobriety. Having a support system is essential, especially during the holidays. If you need someone to talk to or lean on, they will be the ones you can turn to.
Spending time with a sponsor or another person you may have met in support groups can be crucial at this time. Keep your list close and if you experience any issues, make the call. When you’re feeling stuck, having that support system is crucial.
4. Get Some Exercise
One of the best parts of sobriety is no hangovers ever! While everyone else is feeling groggy during the holidays, you’ll feel fresh and rejuvenated. There are so many benefits of exercise in recovery, whether it’s going on a walk, jogging, or practicing yoga at home. Whatever form of exercise or movement makes you feel good, do that. Getting up and moving on Christmas day will make you feel great about your decision to stay sober.
5. Remember What Makes Christmas Special
Alcohol isn’t a magic drink that suddenly transforms Christmas into something fun. Just look around at those who love the holiday the most — children! They don’t need alcohol to have a good time, and neither do you. Use this time to reflect on past Christmases and the things that made them the most special to you.
Make a list of the people you are most grateful for and precious events you’d like to celebrate. There are so many ways to enjoy the holidays without drinking. It’s not alcohol that creates the sense of specialness — it’s the time spent with those you care about that makes it meaningful.
6. Make New Traditions
When we envision festive traditions, it’s challenging to think of many that don’t revolve around alcohol. If that’s the case for you, start thinking of new traditions you might like to try that don’t include it. You’ll find so many alternatives. Perhaps you might take a winter break away, bake cookies, enjoy a holiday-themed movie marathon or go ice skating. Think of the holidays as the perfect time to try new things and make fun, sober memories.
Alcohol-Free Christmas Drinks
In addition to the above tips, try these festive, alcohol-free Christmas drinks to make your holidays that much cozier:
1. Fancy Hot Chocolate
What better way to enjoy the holidays than sipping a hot cup of cocoa next to the Christmas tree? There are many ways to enjoy this holiday drink without alcohol — whether it’s an alcohol-free Irish Cream recipe or simply combining your favorite hot chocolate with fun toppings like whipped cream and sprinkles.
2. Mulled Cider
Anything mulled makes the ideal drink in the winter. Cloudy cider and apple juice are staples of the holiday season, though alcohol-free wine works too. All you’ll need to do is make some mulling bags to have them ready.
Use muslin cloth and fill it with cinnamon sticks, anise, cloves, peppercorns, and ginger and tie it up with a food-safe string. Add your mixture to a pan with your chosen liquid, heat it and let it sit. Add oranges to the pan, and once ready, garnish your drink with orange-studded cloves to make it even more festive.
While Chai might not be the traditional drink you imagine at this time of year, it can be highly comforting on those cold winter nights. Heat your chosen milk in a pan and add a regular Chai teabag. Drop some cardamom pods and ginger slices into the pan. Let it simmer until the milk has taken on these aromatic flavors while being careful not to burn the milk. Finally, strain the mixture into your favorite mug and add sugar to sweeten.
Build Sober Skills at Gateway Foundation
Avoiding triggers and staying sober during the holidays can be a tricky part of recovery. If you or a loved one needs assistance with alcohol or drug addiction, Gateway Foundation can help. We’ll meet you no matter where you are in your recovery process to help get you on a healthier path.
At Gateway Foundation, our highly qualified team will create a personalized treatment plan to address your unique needs. You’ll gain support and community at Gateway, where you can connect with like-minded individuals in treatment and create healthy coping skills with professionals. We offer affordable, comprehensive addiction treatment and a welcoming, friendly environment to help you get your life back on track.