Celebrating Holiday Parties While Alcohol-Free

Ah, holiday parties. The food, the lights, the fun—everything about them is filled with cheer, joy and the sweet, sweet embrace of a cool winter’s night. You know what they say: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

But for those who choose to live an alcohol-free lifestyle, holiday parties can sometimes be more challenging than enjoyable. There tend to be two main options for beverages at holiday parties: alcohol or water. Choose one and hope you have an enjoyable rest of the evening. Only focusing on alcoholic beverages during holiday parties can make those who have chosen to live an alcohol-free lifestyle feel uncomfortable, under-appreciated or even completely ignored.

There are various reasons for individuals to choose an alcohol-free lifestyle, and only offering alcohol or minimal options at holiday parties can make the season less fun and more difficult for those individuals. The truth is there are lots of different beverage options, both for those who enjoy alcohol and those who choose to go without it. It’s the host’s job to include those options and make sure all guests enjoy the party.

If you host a holiday party this season, consider including a few other options for friends, family and coworkers who may be alcohol-free, such as:

  • Apple cider. The delicious hot drink is a holiday favorite with its crisp smell and warm embrace of the season.
  • Hot chocolate. Of course, hot chocolate is a crowd favorite. Don’t forget to add in the marshmallows!
  • Juices: Offering tasty juices and punch gives some more variety to your beverages, rather than simple water.
  • Non-alcoholic drinks. Providing alternatives to alcoholic drinks, such as non-alcoholic wine, beer or sparkling grape juice allows your guests to still feel included and involved, while not having the pressure to drink alcohol.

On the flipside, if you have chosen to go alcohol-free this holiday season, navigating holiday parties can be a tricky task to accomplish. Here are some simple tricks to avoid temptation and still have fun at parties this year:

  • Have a plan. Going into holiday parties with alcohol can already be challenging, but going in completely blind can be nearly impossible. Have a plan already in place in case the holiday party doesn’t have any beverage options for you. Could you bring your own drink? Maybe have a friend be your alcohol-free buddy for the evening. Having a plan in mind and instigating that plan in case things don’t go well will ensure you still have fun at the holiday party, even if the options are limited.
  • Embrace being designated driver. Your alcohol-free lifestyle can be a gift to friends, family and coworkers this year. Embrace being the designated driver for a holiday party, and have fun celebrating a safe time with others. Not only will this make the evening more enjoyable for you, but it will help others get on board and appreciate your efforts.
  • Start your own holiday tradition. If all else fails in avoiding alcohol at the annual holiday party, then start your own tradition. Maybe you host a small get together with close friends, or even put together a big party without any alcohol—to show others how they can embrace the lifestyle. If planning, driving and trying other options doesn’t work, then your own holiday tradition definitely will.

For those who choose to live an alcohol-free lifestyle, the holidays and holiday parties in particular can be tricky to navigate. If you choose to host a holiday party this year, be sure to include a variety of beverage options to make all of your guests feel welcome. Or, if you are going alcohol-free over the holidays, try out some of our tips to make sure you still have an enjoyable evening—no matter what the beverage situation is at the party.

The holiday season is the perfect time to come together with friends, family and coworkers to celebrate. Hosting and enjoying holiday parties is the perfect way to enjoy the season, with or without alcohol.

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