Parties can be a great time with food, drinks and fun but not for those who are affected by addiction. Celebrations can bring on stress if you are trying to plan the perfect party around a family member who is in alcohol recovery. Even the smallest thing can trigger a relapse, and it can be hard for him or her to maintain sobriety when surrounded by festive holiday drinks.
By hosting a party where alcohol is present, you could be inadvertently putting your loved one in a toxic environment, especially if that person is new to their life of sobriety. You can support their journey and recovery by giving them a safe place without alcohol, all while providing a fun event for your guests.
When discussing the event with your friends and family there is no need to make “not drinking” a big deal. If you follow some easy guidelines your guests will be so busy having fun they won’t notice the lack of alcohol. A few ideas will help you and your guests have a wonderful time without jeopardizing anyone’s efforts at recovery.
7 Tips for Planning a Fun, Non-Alcoholic Party
- Make sure your invitations are clear. Let your guests know you are having a sober party and BYOB is not an option.
- Have your party earlier in the day. The obligation to drink at a party isn’t as great if its a daytime event.
- Make sure there are several non-alcoholic drink options. This can include a variety of juices and sodas, flavored waters, or teas and coffees. You can go a step farther and create ice cream floats, milkshakes or smoothies.
- Do not offer “mocktails” as these can be too close to the real thing and trigger a relapse.
- Use music to give the party energy. Pick music that everyone will enjoy.
- Emphasize the food. Take focus away from drinks with several food choices. Keeping guests fed can help those fighting addiction as they sometimes mistake hunger pangs for alcohol cravings.
- Provide fun activities like dancing and party games. Consider making your party a family event and include kid activities as it will keep partygoers from thinking about drinking.
5 Alternative Drinks to Serve During a Non-Alcoholic Party
With these hot or cold non-alcoholic options, you can either make them ahead of time or take the ingredients with you. This can be a fun activity to help keep you busy, and you can even invite the other guests to try one too.
1. Apple Pie Punch
- 1 chopped or sliced apple
- 1 quart apple cider
- 2 cups pear nectar
- 24 ounces ginger ale
Combine in a pitcher and stir well. And the sliced apples to the top. Serve over ice.
2. Hot Mulled Cider
3. Sparkling Cranberry Apple Punch
- 2.5 cups cranberry juice
- 2.5 cups apple juice
- 1.5 cups cranberry-flavored lemon-lime soda
- Fresh cranberries
- Apple chunks
- Mint sprigs
Stir together both juices and refrigerate until chilled. Right before serving add the soda, and float the cranberries and apples on top. Serve over ice with a sprig of mint.
4. Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 quart milk
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 7 peppermint sticks – 3 crushed and 4 whole
- Pinch of salt
Place cocoa in saucepan and whisk in milk until cocoa dissolves. Add chocolate chips and crushed peppermint. Simmer until both are melted (about 8-10 minutes). Bring to a boil then immediately remove from heat. Add pinch of salt. Ladle into mugs and serve with a peppermint stick.
5. Pomegranate Soda
- ½ cup pomegranate juice
- 1 cup sugar
- Club soda
- Maraschino cherries
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and juice. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Reduce to a simmer until mixture is syrupy (approximately 2 minutes). You can make this ahead and store in refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to serve, fill glasses with ice. Pour 2 tbsp of syrup in glass and top with club soda. Garnish with cherries.
The Road to Recovery Requires Support From Family
Families play a large part in the recovery process. You can help your loved one by providing a safe event which can help prevent a relapse. Those who succeed while fighting addiction often have family rooting for their recovery. At Footprints, we understand just how important it is to support this dynamic. We even offer counseling specifically for families of addicts. If you need help for a family member battling addiction, we can help. Contact us today to find out how we can customize a treatment program for your needs.