Ways To Stay Sober During Christmas

ways to stay sober during christmas
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Ways to stay sober during Christmas. Christmas is a time filled with celebrations, gatherings, and often, alcohol. For those in recovery from addiction, staying sober during this festive season can be challenging. However, it is crucial for individuals to prioritize their sobriety during this time to maintain their progress and well-being.

The holiday season poses unique challenges for those in recovery, including social pressures, triggers and temptations, and the availability of alcohol. According to a study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, individuals in recovery are most at risk for relapse during this time of year.

To prepare for staying sober during Christmas, it is important to set boundaries and communicate them with loved ones, plan ahead for social events, and find alternative sober activities. Here are some tips to help individuals stay sober during the festive season:

  1. Have a support system: Surround yourself with a strong support system of friends and family who understand your journey and can provide encouragement and accountability.
  2. Stay focused on your goals: Remind yourself of why staying sober is important to you and set small achievable goals to help you stay on track.
  3. Practice self-care and mindfulness: Take time for yourself during the busy holiday season and prioritize activities that promote relaxation and well-being.

Instead of alcohol, individuals can opt for non-alcoholic drinks, mocktails, and engaging in activities and games that do not involve alcohol. If a slip-up does occur, it is important to not beat oneself up, reach out for help, and learn from the experience.

Staying sober during Christmas may be challenging, but with preparation, support, and self-care, individuals in recovery can successfully navigate this festive season and maintain their sobriety.
ways to stay sober during christmas

Key Takeaways:


  • Stay sober during Christmas to prioritize your physical and mental health.
  • Set boundaries and have a plan to handle social pressures, triggers, and availability of alcohol.
  • Have a support system, stay focused on your goals, and find alternatives to alcohol like mocktails and activities.


Why Staying Sober During Christmas is Important?

Staying sober during Christmas is vital for your well-being and safety. It enables you to fully engage in meaningful conversations, cherish memorable moments, and avoid the risk of alcohol-related accidents. Additionally, staying sober promotes a healthy lifestyle, ensuring you wake up revitalized and ready to enjoy the festive season.

Here are a few suggestions to help you stay sober during Christmas:

  • Participate in alcohol-free activities such as decorating the house or baking festive treats.
  • Surround yourself with supportive, like-minded individuals who respect your decision to stay sober.
  • Prepare and enjoy delicious non-alcoholic mocktails and beverages to celebrate the holiday season.

What are the Challenges of Staying Sober During Christmas?

While the holiday season is a time for celebration and cheer, it can also present unique challenges for those in recovery. In this section, we will discuss the obstacles that individuals face when trying to stay sober during Christmas. These include social pressure to drink, triggers and temptations that may arise in festive environments, and the abundance of alcohol that is readily available during this time of year. By understanding these challenges, individuals can better prepare and equip themselves to maintain their sobriety during the holiday season.

1. Social Pressure

  • Communicate your decision to stay sober to friends and family, setting clear boundaries.
  • Avoid situations where social pressure to drink is high, and surround yourself with supportive individuals who understand your decision.
  • Practice assertiveness and politely decline offers of alcohol, emphasizing your commitment to sobriety and your well-being.

Pro-tip: Remember, it’s okay to prioritize your well-being and make choices that align with your values, even if it means politely refusing alcohol when faced with social pressure.

2. Triggers and Temptations

  • Avoiding social gatherings with heavy drinking.
  • Identifying triggers and developing coping strategies, such as avoiding places and situations that may lead to alcohol consumption.
  • I have a friend who struggled with staying sober during Christmas due to triggers and temptations. Despite this, he managed to stay true to his commitment by seeking support from loved ones and finding alternative activities to engage in during the festive season.

By recognizing and addressing triggers and temptations, my friend was able to stay sober during the holiday season and continue on his journey towards recovery.

3. Availability of Alcohol

  • Plan activities in venues that do not serve alcohol to avoid being exposed to its availability.
  • Choose events that offer limited or no alcohol options to minimize the influence of alcohol availability.
  • Communicate your commitment to remaining sober to hosts in order to reduce the pressure of alcohol availability.

How to Prepare for Staying Sober During Christmas?

With the holiday season approaching, it can be challenging to stay sober during Christmas. But with some preparation and a game plan, you can navigate through this festive time while staying true to your sobriety. In this section, we will discuss the steps you can take to prepare for staying sober during Christmas. From setting boundaries and communicating them to planning ahead for social events and finding sober activities, we’ll explore practical ways to stay on track and enjoy the holiday season without compromising your recovery.

1. Set Boundaries and Communicate Them

  • Establish clear boundaries regarding alcohol consumption and make sure to communicate them to friends and family.
  • Express your decision to remain sober and ask for their support in upholding these boundaries.
  • Discuss alternative plans and activities to avoid situations where alcohol is the main focus.

2. Plan Ahead for Social Events

When preparing to stay sober during Christmas, it is important to plan ahead for social events. Here are steps to help:

  1. Assess the event: Consider the venue, guest list, and activities to mentally prepare.
  2. Bring a sober buddy: Having a supportive friend can make social events more manageable.
  3. Plan your responses: Prepare polite ways to decline alcohol if offered.

Remember, staying sober during Christmas is possible with thoughtful preparation and a positive mindset.

3. Find Sober Activities

  • Explore outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, or ice skating that are perfect for those seeking sober options.
  • Engage in creative pursuits like painting, crafting, or pottery making to keep your mind occupied.
  • Attend sober events such as concerts, art exhibits, or theater performances for a fun and alcohol-free experience.

Ways to Stay Sober During Christmas

The holiday season can be a challenging time for those in recovery, especially during Christmas where alcohol and parties are abundant. However, with the right mindset and tools, it is possible to stay sober and still enjoy the festivities. In this section, we will discuss some helpful tips for staying sober during Christmas. From building a support system to practicing self-care and mindfulness, these strategies can help you maintain your sobriety and have a fulfilling holiday season.

1. Have a Support System

  • Make sure to have a support system in place, such as joining a support group or attending meetings regularly.
  • Stay connected with close friends or family and communicate about your goals for maintaining sobriety.
  • Consider finding a sober buddy to provide accountability and encouragement during the holiday season.

Having a strong support system is crucial for staying sober during Christmas celebrations. Whether it’s through attending group meetings, confiding in loved ones, or finding a sober companion, having a support system can provide the necessary strength and motivation to navigate the festive season without alcohol.

2. Stay Focused on Your Goals

  1. Remind yourself of the reasons for staying sober during Christmas.
  2. Set specific and achievable goals for this period, such as attending events without drinking. Remember to stay focused on your goals.
  3. Visualize the positive outcomes of maintaining sobriety.

Pro-tip: Keep a journal to track your progress and reflect on your achievements in staying focused on your goals.

3. Practice Self-Care and Mindfulness

  • Incorporate regular self-care activities, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, into your routine.
  • Make sure to set aside time for yourself to relax and unwind, and prioritize getting enough rest and sleep.
  • Stay present in the moment and practice mindfulness by being aware of your thoughts and emotions.

What are Some Alternatives to Alcohol During Christmas?

The holiday season is often associated with alcohol consumption, but for those who are looking to stay sober, there are plenty of alternatives to enjoy during Christmas. In this section, we will discuss a few options for replacing alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails. Additionally, we will explore fun activities and games that can be enjoyed without the presence of alcohol. Whether you are sober by choice or for health reasons, these alternatives will help you celebrate the festive season without compromising your sobriety.

1. Non-Alcoholic Drinks

  • Sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice is a refreshing and festive option.
  • Mocktails, such as virgin mojitos or alcohol-free margaritas, can provide the same social experience without alcohol.
  • Non-alcoholic beers and wines offer the taste of traditional alcoholic beverages without the intoxicating effects.

2. Mocktails

Mocktails are a great alternative to alcoholic drinks during Christmas. Here are some steps to create delicious mocktails:

  1. Choose a base: Use juices, such as cranberry, orange, or pineapple, as the foundation for your mocktail.
  2. Add flavor: Incorporate fresh herbs like mint or rosemary, or flavored syrups to enhance the taste of your mocktail.
  3. Garnish creatively: Use fruit slices, edible flowers, or colorful straws to make the mocktail visually appealing.
  4. Serve in style: Present your mocktails in fancy glasses to make them feel special and festive.

Mocktails have gained popularity in recent years as people seek healthier and alcohol-free alternatives for social gatherings and celebrations.

3. Activities and Games

  • Gather friends and family for a board game night to enjoy a fun and engaging activity without alcohol.
  • Organize a movie marathon featuring classic films or new releases that everyone can enjoy.
  • Host a holiday-themed scavenger hunt or trivia game to keep spirits high and encourage laughter and bonding without alcohol.

Pro-tip: Embrace the festive spirit by organizing a friendly competition, such as a gingerbread house decorating contest, to keep everyone entertained and involved in the activities and games.

What to Do if You Slip Up During Christmas?

The holiday season can be particularly challenging for those in recovery, and slipping up during Christmas can feel like a major setback. However, it’s important to remember that relapses are a natural part of the recovery process and should not be met with shame or self-criticism. In this section, we will discuss helpful tips for dealing with a slip up during Christmas, including not beating yourself up, reaching out for help, and learning from the experience to continue on your journey towards sobriety.

1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up

  • Reflect on the situation and identify triggers.
  • Recommit to your goal of sobriety and remind yourself of your progress.
  • Seek support from friends, family, or a support group.

Pro-tip: Remember to not beat yourself up when facing setbacks on your journey to sobriety. Instead, use them as learning experiences to strengthen your resolve.

2. Reach Out for Help

  • Connect with a trusted friend or family member for emotional support.
  • Seek professional help from a counselor, therapist, or support group.
  • Join a sober community or attend sober events to find like-minded individuals who can provide support and guidance.

3. Learn from the Experience

  • Reflect on the circumstances that led to the slip-up and identify triggers and temptations.
  • Seek support from a sober community, counselor, or sponsor to gain insights and guidance.
  • Adjust your plan for staying sober, taking into account the lessons learned from the slip-up.

Resource List

  • Local support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
  • Therapy and counseling services specializing in addiction recovery.
  • Online resources like Sober Grid and InTheRooms for virtual support.

Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength. Don’t hesitate to check out our Resource List for support during the holiday season.


Staying sober during the holiday season can be difficult, but it is necessary for many individuals. Utilizing strategies such as having a support system, participating in alcohol-free activities, and setting boundaries can be helpful. It is important to remember that you can still have a jolly and enjoyable Christmas without alcohol. In fact, studies have shown that social support is a key factor in maintaining sobriety during this time of year.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips for staying sober during the holidays?

There are many things you can do to maintain sobriety during the holiday season. Some tips include planning ahead for potential triggers, addressing and forgiving any emotions or expectations tied to the holidays, finding ways to be of service, having a support system in place, and prioritizing self-care.

How can I handle the pressure to have a perfect family holiday without drinking?

Remember that the pressure to have a perfect holiday is often self-inflicted and unrealistic. It is important to let go of this pressure and focus on what truly matters, such as spending quality time with loved ones and taking care of your own well-being. It is also important to set boundaries and not feel guilty for saying no to situations or events that may trigger a relapse.

How can I give back and be of service during the holidays?

There are many opportunities to give back and be of service during the holiday season. You can volunteer at a homeless shelter, spend time with an elderly loved one, or participate in a charity event. You can also look for ways to be of service within your own community, such as helping out at a local food bank or toy drive.

How can I find support during the holidays if I am in recovery?

It is important to reach out for support if you are in recovery during the holidays. You can attend meetings, such as 12-step programs or local support groups, and connect with a sponsor or sober friend. You can also utilize online resources or hotlines for support and guidance. It is important to remember that you are not alone and there is always someone there to help.

How do I handle family members who don’t acknowledge my loved one’s drinking problem?

It can be difficult to navigate strained family relationships and holiday gatherings when one family member is in active recovery and others do not acknowledge their drinking problem. It is important to set boundaries and communicate openly with your loved ones about your needs and the importance of maintaining sobriety. You can also seek support from a therapist or Al-Anon meetings.

How can I maintain sobriety during holiday parties and events?

It is important to have a plan in place for attending holiday parties and events that may involve alcohol or other triggers. This may include bringing a sober friend, having an exit strategy, or avoiding certain situations altogether. It is also important to remind yourself of the holiday truth – that the festive glow often portrayed in media is not always the reality and it is okay to say no to alcohol or drugs.

Medically Reviewed By

Thomas Walker
Learn about Thomas Walker

Dr. Thomas Walker, a seasoned Addiction Treatment Specialist and Psychiatrist, has dedicated his life to providing compassionate care to the Charleston community. Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina.

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