The festive season can be stressful, and turning to alcohol may seem like a coping mechanism, particularly if you’re the one hosting this year. With so many Christmas traditions centred around drinking and alcohol, if you’re looking to navigate sobriety over the holidays, it’s time to make yourself some new traditions.

Christmas is the ultimate season for being sociable, particularly when celebrating with fizz and sparkle is more than tradition – it can feel ‘expected’. Whether it’s drinks at the Christmas office party, popping next door to the neighbours for a tipple, or having friends over for festive nibbles – avoiding alcohol can be a real challenge.

However, once you’ve made your decision, be open and honest with your friends and family about embracing sobriety over the holidays. It will help you manage expectations and reduce any potential pressure.

There is a way to navigate these challenges. It all comes down to traditions; or rather, creating new ones that don’t revolve around drinking. Consider hosting your own alcohol-free gatherings where you can control the beverage options.

Creating sober traditions offers a chance to celebrate what you’re gaining, rather than focusing on what you’re missing out on. Plan activities that focus on the joy of shared experiences, and emphasise celebrations and connections without alcohol. Seek out other friends who are also choosing a sober holiday season, sharing experiences and tips with others on a similar journey can provide valuable support.

Give FOMO the festive heave-ho with our tips for enjoying the festive season without the pressure to consume alcohol.

Holiday Movie Marathon

Who doesn’t love cosying up on the sofa watching Elf? Why not go bigger and host a series of holiday-themed movie nights with cosy blankets and cushions for a comfortable viewing experience.

Crafting Workshops

Get creative with Christmas crafting sessions to create decorations, wreaths, or personalised gifts. Why not consider creating a craft exchange, where everyone can exchange their creations? Giving a hand-made Christmas present is a wonderful, thoughtful gift, (plus you’ll save money!)

Outdoor Winter Activities

While we can’t be sure of a white Christmas, you can still plan festive fun! Organising a holiday-themed sports day with activities like a pinecone and spoon race, Santa Sack race and a three-legged race (tied with festive ribbon) is a fun way to stay fit too!

Festive Game Night

Enjoy some friendly Christmas competition with a fun game night. Encourage guests to bring their favourite non-alcoholic beverage and award small prizes for the winners. If you’d like something more low-key, then why not invite guests to bring their favourite jigsaw puzzle (just don’t forget the nibbles).

Reflective Candlelight Gathering

Host a candlelit gathering where your guests can share reflections on the past year. Provide journals and encourage your guests to write down their thoughts and goals for the upcoming year. Create a peaceful environment with soft lighting and soothing music, or if you’re feeling adventurous, light the firepit, wrap up warm and take the gathering outside.

Connect with your Community

Volunteering at a local charity is a fantastic way to give back during the holiday season. There are many incredible organisations who would welcome the additional support and help.

However you choose to spend the holidays this year, make sure to do one thing – celebrate YOU and where you are right now.