Sober Holiday Celebration

8 Sober Holiday Celebration Activities to Make Lasting Memories!

Sobriety involves more than just quitting drugs and alcohol. It’s an ongoing process that requires you to embrace a sober lifestyle and continue improving yourself. While some days will be harder than others, the holidays are unique. The holidays can bring distinct challenges, especially when it seems like drinking is everyone’s favorite activity

If this is your first sober Christmas, the thought of not drinking can initially cause some anxiety. You may feel like the holidays will be boring, or that no one will want to spend time with you. While sobriety will make your holidays look different from before, nothing is boring about sobriety! 

When you’re not drinking and nursing hangovers, you get to enjoy so much more! You can participate in outdoor activities, sit through a Christmas play, reconnect with extended family, help out at local organizations and so much more. And, you’ll remember everything. Below are some ideas for celebrating a sober holiday season

1. Host a Sober Holiday Celebration Dinner Party

Chances are, you’ll be invited to a handful of holiday parties this year. Make sure to choose your events wisely and avoid the places where you know alcohol will be a main focus. Of course, you can always take things into your own hands and host a sober event of your own! 

A dry dinner party allows you to skip the crowd and control the day. Take some time to discover new recipes and mocktails. Invite friends and family who support your recovery, as well as members from your support groups and AA/NA meetings. Planning the party will keep you busy and allow you to embrace the holiday season without worrying about the temptations of drugs or alcohol. 

2. Take a Scenic Drive 

Need some new scenery? December is the perfect time to take a scenic drive. You can stay local, and sip on hot chocolate or apple cider while driving around and looking at Christmas lights and displays. Or, you can take things a step further and head somewhere new and different!

For example, here in Agoura Hills, December weather remains mild. But Mammoth Lakes is just a five-hour drive and offers a snowy playground. It’s the perfect place for sports enthusiasts who enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Yosemite National Park is an even shorter drive, just under five hours. It offers breathtaking granite cliffs, waterfalls, and giant sequoias. You certainly don’t need alcohol to make these places fun for a sober holiday celebration! 

3. Plan a Holiday Movie Marathon

Nothing kicks off the holidays more than cozying up to your favorite Christmas movies. Consider hosting a movie marathon with a few friends. Each guest can come with their favorite dish or dessert while wearing a pair of cozy PJs. You can also prepare a holiday-themed charcuterie or a s’more board. This is a fun and easy way to embrace the holidays without needing to drink. 

4. Host a Cookie Swap in Your Neighborhood 

Who doesn’t love cookies during the holidays? Between chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, shortbread, sugar cookies, and everything in between, this is one dessert idea that everyone can have fun with! Many towns and cities host cookie walks that you can participate in.

You can also host a cookie swap in your neighborhood. This is a great way to get to know your neighbors and branch out of your comfort zone. Of course, if you’re looking for something quieter and more intimate, you can host a cookie exchange at your house with a few close friends. Either way, people will focus on the cookies – not drinking!

5. Spend Time Outdoors 

Even if you live in an area with cold winters, you should still make an effort to get outdoors. You need the fresh air and Vitamin D to keep your mood up and maintain sobriety. Furthermore, spending time outside, even when it’s freezing, helps you be mindful, charges up your immune system, and improves your overall well-being. Whether it’s walking, hiking, cycling, or playing sports, make sure to build outdoor time into your winter routine

6. Volunteer for the Holidays

While volunteering is important year-round, the holidays are when many organizations need the most help. Look into homeless shelters, animal shelters, food banks, nursing homes, and hospitals to see what type of volunteer positions are available. Volunteering is an effective way to spread holiday cheer and remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for. 

7. Make Gingerbread Houses or Ornaments 

Another fun idea is to host a crafting event at your house. Making gingerbread houses is always a blast, especially if you have your children or nieces and nephews to invite! Play some holiday music in the background and enjoy a relaxing afternoon of fun – and sugar. Or, gather supplies like construction paper, glitter, stickers, etc., so that everyone can make holiday ornaments for the Christmas tree.

8. Keep Busy with Local Activities 

Don’t forget to check out the holiday-related events happening near you. Some of the best places to look are at your local library, community center, or park district. Many host different classes, workshops, and events that you can participate in for free or at a low cost.

Many areas also provide their holiday entertainment, including tree lighting, Santa visits, parades, and more. For instance, here in Agoura Hills, there are various productions at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, gingerbread decorating contests, Christmas markets, and more. These events will fill up your sober holiday celebration calendar without major commitments.

Building New, Healthy Traditions Starts Today 

We know that the holidays can create unique challenges for individuals in recovery, but there are ways to enjoy the season that don’t involve alcohol. Be open to trying new things, hosting your events, and connecting with people you don’t normally spend the holidays with. Remember, you are building new traditions, and you need to start somewhere. If you need extra support over the holidays, contact Awakenings Treatment Center. We are here for you.