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The holidays often involve a lot of great parties and get-togethers. Many of those fun times also involve plenty of drinking, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many ways to have sober holiday celebrations, and to avoid alcohol if you find yourself at a party where it is being served.

You can enjoy the holidays sober by following a few simple steps to get through any stressful times and still have a great time.

Plan Your Network Ahead of Time

Before the holidays even arrive, make sure you have family members, friends, and a good therapist you can contact and work with, to support your sobriety efforts. Pick people you can trust, and those you feel comfortable with.

Happy family playing on the beach at the day timeAdditionally, there are plenty of gatherings and meetings you can attend that will also support your efforts at remaining sober during the holiday season. Schedule and plan these in advance, so you can focus on them when times get tough or you feel tempted to return to old patterns. Having somewhere to go or someone to contact can make all the difference.

Eliminate or Acknowledge Stressors

It’s better to eliminate the stressors in your life, so you don’t feel tempted or uncomfortable. Some people and events are just too difficult to handle, and there may be a number of enablers in your life who you’d rather not be around.

The avoidance of them and their get-togethers is one of the best ways to make sure you have a safe and sober holiday. If you can’t avoid them, though, you need to acknowledge them. Know what you’ll be facing before you get there, so you can mentally prepare yourself.

Have an “out,” so you can get away if needed. Have someone you can call, or a friend or family member you can go see, where you feel safe.

Find a New Way to Embrace Holiday Traditions

There are plenty of great ways to celebrate the holiday season. Rather than struggle through old ways, feeling tempted and uncomfortable, find new ways to have a great time. Sober functions are plentiful, or you could start a new tradition for yourself by doing something you haven’t done before.

Three generation family on verandaYou can also refuse to participate in the holiday bustle and commercialism, opting instead for volunteer work, religious services, or something else you enjoy that’s quiet, peaceful, and reflective.

Think about what you want the holiday season to mean to you, and focus on the things that emphasize that and provide you with value.

Own the Holiday

The holiday can be anything you want it to be, so own it. Make it yours. That includes deciding what to do if you end up at a party where alcohol is served. Know what to say if you’re offered a drink, set a time to leave, and do something that matters to you.

Maybe offer to be the designated driver, or create designer non-alcoholic drinks to share with others. By making the holiday your own and doing things that are important to you, you’ll set yourself up for a good holiday season and a great new year, clean and sober.