If you’re going into your first holiday season in recovery, you know that things are going to be looking a little different this year. In the past, you may have spent a significant portion of the holiday season engaging in substance use. Since that will not be the case this year, you might feel like you don’t know what to expect from Christmas this year. You may even be a little nervous about spending your first holiday season sober. If this is the case, don’t worry. Plenty of amazing sober holiday activities allow you to celebrate without engaging in substance use. Keep an open mind; this might end up being your favorite holiday season yet.
Consider Throwing Your Own Sober Holiday Party
There are a lot of benefits to throwing your own holiday party when you’re in recovery. Perhaps the biggest one is that you know what to expect. You won’t be going into the night worried about who’s going to be in attendance or whether or not there will be substance use present that could lead to temptations. Since you are the host, you get to make the rules. If this is going to be a substance-free event, ensure that your guests know that ahead of time so they can respect your boundaries.
There are plenty of other fun, festive beverages to serve at a holiday party that do not contain alcohol. Consider apple cider, egg nog, or a holiday punch. There are even plenty of fun Christmas mocktail recipes available online. This allows you to still serve something fun and creative to your guests without needing to use any alcohol.
The preparations that go into hosting a Christmas party can also make sure that you’re focused on something positive. This can not only keep
Spend Some Time in the Kitchen
One of the best parts of the holiday season is getting to treat yourself to plenty of food and really indulge. If you enjoy cooking or baking, consider spending time in the kitchen trying out some new festive recipes. You may want to share your food with friends or family. Or you could even drop it off at a school, police station, or other location where people can enjoy it together.
You don’t have to do anything fancy if you don’t want to. In fact, you can even pick up pre-made cookies at your local grocery and have fun decorating them yourself. You could also try to build a gingerbread house or other sweet treats. These are all fun activities to do with children as well.
Attend a Holiday Performance
There are typically a lot of different holiday-themed performances going on this time of year. Many of them may even be free. You could watch a performance of The Nutcracker ballet or see the symphony perform some traditional holiday selections. There may also be local performances by children’s groups, churches, or other organizations to which you can show your support. You can go alone or take a friend. This can be a great way to get yourself into the holiday spirit.
Host a Sober Holiday Movie Night
There’s nothing like classic Christmas movies to get you into the holiday spirit. Consider hosting a sober holiday movie night at your home. You can break out your favorite holiday movies and enjoy some snacks for a few family members or friends. Not only can this be a lot of fun, but it can bring back happy memories from childhood. It can also help you remember what the holiday season is about: spending time with the people you love.
Consider Giving Back This Holiday Season
The thought of doing volunteer work this time of year might not sound very appealing, but you may be surprised. There are typically countless options to give back this time of year. Giving back not only helps others but can also help improve your own mental health. It can also help you connect with like-minded people.
Consider what you enjoy. If you like running, you may consider doing a marathon for charity. If you like cooking and baking, you might want to consider preparing some food to drop off at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Maybe music is your thing. You could perform some holiday music at a local nursing home for the residents there.
Some other ideas for giving back this time of year include:
- Go through your closet and find things you don’t wear anymore, then donate those clothes to charity.
- Consider hosting a family who is less fortunate for Christmas by providing them with a Christmas meal or presents.
- If you have children with toys they no longer play with, you could consider donating them to a local shelter. This can be a great way to show your children the importance of giving back.
If this is your first sober holiday season, chances are that this Christmas is going to look a little different in comparison to the ones you had in the past. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a great time. There are lots of fun sober holiday activities for you to consider. For example, you could host your own sober holiday party, complete with fun holiday mocktails. Or you could host a movie night or spend some time in the kitchen cooking or baking. If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, our team at The Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more.