Thanksgiving is an important and special time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the season. Oftentimes, these gatherings include plenty of delicious dishes to enjoy too. It’s not uncommon for these savory items to come with glasses of wine, holiday cocktails, or beer. While these may be traditional beverage selections many look forward to, they can also be hurdles for those planning on celebrating a sober holiday. For many people, drinking on Thanksgiving is standard practice. For those who are abstaining, the approach to Thanksgiving may need to be a bit more creative. That said, it’s entirely possible with some strategic planning. Whether you’ve been through an alcohol rehab program or are enjoying a cleanse, we are happy to offer up the following tips to avoid drinking on Thanksgiving this year.
Don’t Show Up Too Early
A key strategy for enjoying a sober holiday is not showing up to the Thanksgiving festivities too early. You’ll find that the earlier you show up, the more likely it is that someone will try to put a drink in your hand. Instead of running that risk, simply plan on showing up right on time.
Bring a Non-Alcoholic Drink as a Gift
Many people believe that showing up to a holiday gathering empty-handed is in bad taste. When you’re looking forward to a sober holiday, why not make that gift part of your efforts? Consider bringing a non-alcoholic drink with you to share with guests. It should be something you love that others might find they prefer as well. The following are a few ideas to get you inspired:
- Ginger-cranberry sparkler
- Apple cider
- Non-alcoholic eggnog
- Fruit punch
Remember, there are many recipes for non-alcoholic beverage options with a sophisticated twist, such as mimosa mocktails and “champagne” mocktails.
Carry a Drink Around
If you aren’t excited about the idea of explaining your sobriety to everyone at Thanksgiving, carrying around a glass during the festivities is a good strategy. Having a full glass in hand tends to deflect questions while also helping you stay on track with your sober goals. Having something to sip on can also calm your nerves if a gathering without alcohol is a new experience.
Be Honest with Your Host
While you don’t have to let everyone know you aren’t drinking this year, giving your Thanksgiving host a heads up can be helpful. This provides them with some time to come up with beverage alternatives and keeps feelings from being offended. Also, just knowing your host is aware of what you’re trying to achieve can help you stick to your non-alcoholic parameters.
Phone a Friend
Setting up a support system before enjoying a sober holiday isn’t planning for failure; it’s preparing for success. To that end, be sure you have at least one sober friend lined up that you can call if you feel tempted to drink during the festivities. Together, you can remind yourself of your goals and why a sober holiday is worth the effort.
Plan a Reward for Yourself
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that a sober holiday is going to be easy. That said, putting a reward or two in place for yourself for sticking to your plans can make it much more enjoyable. Having something to look forward to is motivational in many ways. Consider following up your alcohol-free holiday gathering by treating yourself to a massage, a baked good, or even a movie. Whatever makes you happy, use that as your focal point for getting through the day.
Liberty Bay Recovery Can Help You Enjoy a Sober Holiday
If you or a loved one has an alcohol or substance use disorder and needs help staying sober, contact our team of dedicated mental health professionals at Liberty Bay Recovery today by calling (855) 607-8758 or filling out our online form. We look forward to helping you find and maintain long-term recovery.