It seems like Halloween is the kick-off for the holiday drinking season. While out trick or treating with my kids, I lost count of the number of homes that answered with a wine glass or a beer in hand. One woman had a wine goblet that was easily the size of my head! If you’re alcohol free, it can be a challenge to navigate not drinking through the holiday season. It’s easier than you think though – as long as you are prepared for it!


The Alcohol Experiment

If you’re participating in The Alcohol Experiment, you can politely decline by saying you’re doing a 30-day challenge. Whether it’s The Alcohol Experiment, No Drink November, Sober December or Dry January – most people can respect not wanting to fail a challenge. After all, most of us are pretty competitive! It can also be an excellent conversation starter and might really benefit those who might be questioning their own drinking.

In and Out

I had a friend who had horrible social anxiety and any time we were attending an event together, he would say – “In and out, just like a robbery. ” This is a philosophy I still follow whenever I know I’ll be at a heavy drinking social event. I show up early, stay long enough to be seen and leave before things start to get messy or uncomfortable. The holiday season is busy for everyone, so you can easily say you have another commitment and no one will think twice about it.

Be Our Guest

A great way to stick to not drinking through the holiday season is to be the host. If someone asks what they can bring suggest a side dish, dessert or alcohol free drink. That way you maintain control of the offerings. Should someone bring alcohol you can politely decline it and ask them to gift it to someone who can use and appreciate it.

Not Drinking Through The Holiday Season

How important are memories to you? To me they are pretty vital. I want to remember all this time with family. By not drinking through the holiday season, I’m able to be present and actually enjoy the festivities. From watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade to baking cookies and trimming the tree, now I can actively participate rather than rely on stories and pictures to remind me what happened.

Create New Traditions

If you have holiday traditions that center around alcohol – be it drinking at parties or a rum laden fruit cake – create new traditions. A fun one I started is a hot chocolate bar – it’s unbelievable the number of hot chocolate flavors you can create. So much fun and most people find they don’t miss the alcohol when there is so much FLAVOR in what they are drinking. As for the fruit cake – does anyone actually eat those things?

This Will Pass

If not drinking through the holiday season is hard on you, remember that this season will pass. While everyone else is nursing their hangovers from two months of drinking and wondering where the extra weight came from, you can totally slap a smug smile on your face and know you stayed alcohol free and you feel great.

Treat Yourself

Reward yourself for a job well done. Buy a copy of The Alcohol Experiment, go grab a latte, pop up in front of the fire and revel in your success.