Ringing in the New Year should be a joyful celebration, but for those in addiction recovery, this time of year can be particularly stressful.
Drinking on New Year’s Eve is common, and alcohol seems to be everywhere during the holiday season. To avoid the temptation, many people in recovery throw their own parties instead. We’re sharing the dos and don’t of hosting a New Year’s Eve sober party so you can have fun and stick to your recovery.
The Dos and Don'ts of Hosting a New Year’s Eve Sober Party
If you’re looking for sober ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve, hosting your own party allows you to control what’s served to guests. The celebration happens on your home turf, giving you the upper hand on things you wouldn’t be able to control at a family gathering or nightclub, such as serving alcohol
However, the pressure of hosting a New Year’s Eve sober party that’s both fun and appropriate for someone in recovery can be stressful. Although your sobriety comes first, it’s understandable to want to host a party that everyone will enjoy. Below are some sober ideas for New Year’s Eve that you should and shouldn’t use when hosting your party this year.
- Ask your guests to not bring alcohol: It’s normal for people to offer to bring something to a party they’re going to. And during the holiday season, the most common gift people bring is alcohol. If you’re comfortable doing so, ask your guests not to bring any alcohol so you can keep the party sober.
- Serve a special drink: Instead of a special alcoholic drink, serve something unique to your guests. For instance, you can have a milkshake, hot chocolate, or smoothie bar where guests can create their own delicious concoctions.
- Play games: No matter how old you are, group games can be lots of fun. Encouraging your guests to play games together is a great way to keep the party alive without the need for drinking and encourage the celebratory mood.
- Set up a fun music playlist: Nothing keeps a party alive like music, so it’s important to set up a fun playlist with a good mix of songs that your guests can dance to and enjoy.
- Set up a photo section: A great way to capture the moment and hold onto memories is to have a little photo booth area at your party. You can buy a nice designed sheet and hang it on a wall to use as a backdrop along with props the guests can use to take pictures.
- Make customizable treats: Cooking is another great way to bring people together. Something fun you can do with your guests is making cookies or cupcakes that they can customize.
- Have an intimate get-together: A New Year’s Eve party doesn’t have to be a huge celebration. If you’re not ready for a big bash, host an intimate dinner party. You can even whip out a karaoke machine for a fun yet simple night with friends and family.
Some additional sober party ideas for a New Year’s Eve party include hosting a theme party (like the 80s or Disco) or serving a fancy dinner. You can even make it an all guys or all ladies party.
Now that we’ve gone over some dos for hosting a sober New Year’s Eve party let’s go over some don’ts.
- No alcohol: This should go without saying, but don’t serve alcohol at your sober New Year’s Eve party. While you may believe that you’re secure enough to not drink while your guests are drinking, it’s best to avoid the temptation altogether.
- You don’t have to invite everyone: This can be tough, but if you have that one friend or family member or co-worker who will bring alcohol or peer pressure you to drink, you don’t have to invite them. However, if you don’t want them to feel left out, try talking to them one-on-one about your no-alcohol policy.
- “Toast” in a different way: It’s normal for people to toast with wine or other alcoholic drinks to ring in the New Year. Since you don’t want to encourage drinking, “toast” in a different way. You can also toast how you normally would, but with one of your unique drinks, like juice, smoothies, or milkshakes.
- Don’t serve mocktails: New Year’s Eve is one of the most profitable times of the year for the alcohol industry. And while it’s common for people who aren’t in recovery to drink on this occasion, you want to host a sober party that doesn’t involve drinking. Although many people use mocktails to substitute normal alcoholic drinks, try to avoid drinking altogether and instead focus on serving sodas, juices, and smoothies, hot chocolate, or milkshakes we mentioned earlier.
Remember, the point of this party is to celebrate a sober New Year with your loved ones. You can make it special however you'd like, as long as you stick with your recovery. Don’t neglect your boundaries to make anything enjoyable.
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Starting Your Recovery Journey
Taking that first step towards a life free from addiction can be difficult, but it’s worth it! If you’re looking to celebrate the holidays this year and for years to come without the black cloud of addiction hanging over your head, our drug rehab in Chicago can help.
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