Embracing Non-Alcoholic Drinks Over the Holidays

It’s official: the faint smell of turkey drifts through the air, carols chime on every corner and lights flicker on the rooftops. The holiday season has arrived! The holidays are often an enjoyable time for everyone. Not only are there tasty treats to snack on, but also beautiful decorations to appreciate and personal time to spend with loved ones. There really is no doubt about it: it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

However, for some people, the holidays can actually be a very challenging and even unpleasant season. Although there might be plenty of food and drink choices available at a party, oftentimes, if you don’t drink alcohol, your options are limited. In fact, according to Alcohol.org, “After the Fourth of July, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day…accounts for the most extreme cases of alcohol consumption.” For those who choose to live an alcohol-free lifestyle, the holidays can actually be a daunting, overwhelming or even tempting season.

Binge drinking rates often increase during the holiday season; this means if you’re someone who does not drink alcohol, the holidays can be tough to enjoy. Fortunately, there are ways to encourage a dry holiday season, such as non-alcoholic beverages. If you strive to live an alcohol-free lifestyle, here are some ideas for how to embrace non-alcoholic drinks over the holidays.

The best way to embrace non-alcoholic drinks during the holidays is to have a plan in place. Whether you’re hosting or not hosting the holiday party, be prepared to be surrounded by alcohol. Have an action plan in place when approaching a situation with alcohol or if there’s an emergency. If someone offers you a drink, what will you say? If things are too tempting, will you choose to leave? Have these choices made beforehand, so you don’t have to worry about making a decision on-the-spot.

Talk with someone close to you and share your resolution to be alcohol-free this holiday season. If possible, ask them to be your support system and “backup” in case you feel overwhelmed or tempted. By having a plan in place before going into the holiday season, you will feel more secure and prepared when alcohol does come up.

Once you have a plan in place, consider brainstorming other drinks you can enjoy during the holidays. Oftentimes, the options at holiday parties are very limited: alcohol or water. However, there are plenty of other choices out there that can be delicious alternatives to alcoholic drinks over the holidays. Here are just a few ideas to consider:

●Apple cider

●Peppermint mocha

●Alcohol-free eggnog

●Hot chocolate

●Chai tea latte

●Sparkling water

●Non-alcoholic wine

●Non-alcoholic beer

●Pumpkin spice coffee

●Mocktail

●Fruit punch

●Milkshake

Whether you host a holiday party or attend one, have non-alcoholic drink options available and ready to go in case you want one to enjoy.

Finally, encourage your friends and family to give non-alcoholic drinks a try during this holiday season. Oftentimes, even when we have a non-alcoholic option, we can still feel isolated when everyone else around us drinks alcoholic beverages. Instead, try offering up your alcohol-free alternatives to loved ones for them to try. As more people give non-alcoholic beverages a shot, you might be surprised to see how many friends and family enjoy or even prefer them. Then, you can feel more included and involved in the alcohol-free evening.

There’s no doubt about it: when it comes to living an alcohol-free lifestyle, the holidays can be a challenging time. No matter where you turn or what you celebrate, you might find yourself surrounded by alcohol, with limited drink options available. Instead, embrace non-alcoholic drink options this holiday season. Create a plan for how to avoid alcohol when out and about, have a variety of drink options on hand and encourage your friends or family to try non-alcoholic drinks for themselves. The holiday season is all about community. Gather your community together this year in a healthy way by embracing non-alcoholic drinks over the holidays.