It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ‘Tis the holiday season, which means Christmas is right around the corner. With Christmas comes a time of family, friends, presents and of course… alcohol. For many people, the Christmas season is practically synonymous with drinking alcohol, which means if you choose to live alcohol-free, the next few weeks can be a unique challenge.
Whether it’s the office Christmas party, the family dinner or even a friendly get together, alcohol seems to be everywhere during the holidays, and avoiding it might feel impossible. However, there are tangible ways to celebrate Christmas without alcohol, despite how difficult it may seem. Whether it’s your season of life, health choice or lifestyle, if you’re not drinking this Christmas, you’re not alone. Here are some tips for how to celebrate without alcohol.
Come in with the right mindset.
To start off, it’s important to go into the Christmas season with the right mindset from the beginning. It’s tempting to head into your holiday party with the grumpy, annoyed or frustrated mindset of, “I can’t drink.” This thought process makes avoiding alcohol difficult from the start. Then, instead of it feeling like your choice, it feels like forced, which no one enjoys. Instead, if you don’t plan on drinking this holiday season, be sure to prepare your mindset. Get enough sleep, don’t stress and tell yourself positive affirmations as you head into a situation with alcohol.
Create a plan beforehand.
Next, be sure to create a plan beforehand. Without a plan firmly set out before you, it’s easy to fall into temptation and end the night drinking alcohol. When you create a plan from the beginning, you will know where you’re going, how you will behave, who you will spend time with, what you will drink, etc. All of your decisions will be pre-made, which leaves little room to fall into temptation. If necessary, create a list of potential excuses to use in case of an emergency when you feel tempted to drink. That way, no matter what unfolds at the Christmas party, you can feel confident in your plan not to drink.
Have a drink prepared.
One of the most tempting times to drink alcohol is when you arrive without a drink in hand, and are immediately offered an alcoholic beverage to choose from. To combat this, be sure to have a drink already prepared which you can enjoy. Whether you bring a drink with you, have a water bottle ready or ask a friend to grab something, be sure to have a drink consistently in your hand, in order to avoid temptation. And of course, make your drinks fun! When non-alcoholic drinks are boring, of course you will be more interested in alcohol. Instead, choose a fun drink like punch, non-alcoholic wine or alcohol-free beer, so you can feel included in the party, without the concern of alcohol.
Tell an accountability partner.
Most importantly: don’t go into the holidays sober without an accountability partner. Accountability partners can help encourage you when times feel tough, and remind you why you choose not to drink when you feel tempted. Tell a trusted friend or family member about your decision not to drink this Christmas season, and ask them to hold you accountable to your choice. Then when you walk into the holiday party, you can feel confident and capable with a support system by your side.
Find a new tradition.
Finally, one of the biggest struggles during the holiday season is the tradition of drinking. Oftentimes, drinking alcohol is intricately tied into people’s traditions, and breaking this bond can feel almost wrong. But, don’t worry. There are other traditions out there you can try, and other traditions your friends or family will want to try, too. Offer up a new tradition to start and invite people to come on board. Not only will you feel more comfortable, but you might help others feel more comfortable, as well.
The holiday season tends to be synonymous with drinking alcohol. Between the parties, the presents and the people, alcohol plays a major role during Christmas. However, if you choose to live an alcohol-free lifestyle, there are still ways to avoid drinking and embrace the celebration. Keep these tips in mind as you head into the holiday season and celebrate a sober Christmas.