How to Host a Sober Holiday Party

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The holidays are here, and for many of us that means fun seasonal gatherings with friends and family. But, where there’s a party, there’s often alcohol of some kind. What if you’re in recovery, abstaining from alcohol, or simply sober-curious? What’s the best way to navigate the holidays without drinking? One great way is to host your own sober holiday party!

Below, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to host a holiday event that is both alcohol-free, and fun for everyone. Whether it’s creating a sober bar serving creative mocktails, choosing a playful holiday theme, or setting up fun activities that don’t involve alcohol, the possibilities are endless! Here are a few ways to bring friends and family members together this holiday season for a heartwarming, memorable, alcohol-free event.

Sending the Invites

hanging ornaments for a sober holiday party
Photo by Aswathy N on Unsplash

To begin with, whether you send out text messages, e-vites, or nice paper invitations, make it clear that the party will be booze-free. Put together a guest list with a sober party in mind—avoid inviting relatives who might insist on bringing beer, or who might pressure people to drink. You might also want to reach out to other sober friends to help with party planning. They may be especially happy you’re putting an event together and want to help out!

Invite guests to bring favorite dishes and non-alcoholic beverages—or even some games to play. If everyone knows the party will be alcohol-free, and comes prepared to celebrate without the booze, it will make the whole event easier—and way more fun.

Setting the Table

Once you’ve made it clear that the party is a booze-free holiday bash, it’s time to set the table!

Serve Creative Alcohol-Free Refreshments

There are a couple of ways to approach drinks at a sober holiday party. You might try creating a signature mocktail using festive ingredients: Try sparkling cranberry juice or unspiked eggnog, or one of these holiday mocktail recipes.

Alternatively, you could stock up a sober bar for guests to mix their own non-alcoholic drinks—with essentials like club soda, liquor substitutes, maraschino cherries, and fresh herbs. You could even create a holiday hot chocolate bar to warm up your guests from the cold, complete with toppings like chocolate shavings, whipped cream, sprinkles, and marshmallows.

Stock the Table with Delicious Appetizers

The better the holiday snacking, the less likely anyone is to miss the booze. Pair your holiday mocktails with tasty finger foods and seasonal recipes.

Festive hors d’oeuvres don’t need to be complicated to feel fancy. Try this 15-minute cranberry baked brie for the ultimate salty-sweet combo, or elevate an old classic with this crescent dog pull-apart wreath. Both these recipes use simple, store-bought ingredients that you can essentially pop in the oven for a delicious result!

And if you’re short on time or kitchen space, why not make it a potluck? Invite friends to bring their favorite holiday foods and have fun trying out each dish!

Decking the Halls

Another way to take the focus off alcohol is to craft a playful holiday theme. Dazzle your guests with simple yet sophisticated holiday decor, or even set a theme for holiday attire. You might echo the snowy weather outdoors, with white, blue, and silver wreaths and hangings. Or give your guests the giggles with a fun “Christmas in July” motif—you could even turn up the heat and invite your friends to wear summer outfits indoors!

You might also choose a classic cocktail party theme, with tasteful red and green decorations, evening clothes, and non-alcoholic liquors in fancy glasses. Whatever suits your taste—the important thing is to enjoy yourself, and create a booze-free night to remember.

Having a Ball

sober holiday party with confetti
Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

Of course, the food, drink, and decorations are only the beginning. What really brings a holiday party to life is the activities. Socializing can be fun enough, especially if you haven’t seen friends and relatives all year.  But nothing livens up a sober holiday party like some games, contests, or seasonal entertainment.

Check out our list of alcohol-free holiday activities for inspiration, or try one (or more) of the following:

  • Break out your Christmas tree and host a decorating party
  • Rent a karaoke machine and take turns performing Christmas classics
  • Put on a marathon of your favorite holiday films (Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are always two hilarious hits!)
  • Bake some sugar cookies in advance and invite your guests to decorate them
  • Host a silly white elephant or Yankee swap gift exchange
  • Set up Christmas-themed carnival games in your backyard
  • Got snow on the ground? Hold a snowman relay race where teams rush to build the fastest snowman

It turns out there are many ways to enjoy this time of year without drinking a drop of alcohol. Share these fun activities with friends and relatives at your own sober holiday party, and have an alcohol-free season to remember!

Looking for support for staying sober through the holiday celebrations? Ria Health offers a program that fits in your pocket: Online coaching, anti-craving medication, digital tools, and more, through an app on your phone. You don’t need to put your life on hold or disrupt your holiday plans to make a change.

Schedule a call with a member of our team today to learn more.

Written By:
Ria Health Team
Our experienced team is committed to transforming alcohol addiction treatment.
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
Writer specializing in targeted, informative content. Dedicated to making the abstract accessible.
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