Universally, a few of the first comments made by a person considering sobriety are “What will I drink when toasting my daughter on her wedding day?” or “What will I drink on New Year’s Eve when everyone is enjoying champagne?” Further evidence that our lives as problems drinkers revolved around alcohol!
In truth, at a wedding toast, what’s important is what’s in the heart, not what’s in the glass. It can be club soda, Sprite, tap water.
As for New Year’s Eve, options abound. Here are just a few as you contemplate what to do on December 31st.
A New New Year’s Eve
One tremendous by-product of being part of a recovered community is making new friends. People who share common interests from fishing and hiking, to cooking and travel. And those folks are likely to host or be a part of year-end celebrations. You’ll likely be invited or ask around until you hear of something which interests you.
In most cities and towns there are also 12-Step groups which host sober New Year’s Eve gatherings. Ask around, then keep your ears open. You’re likely surrounded by people with the same question, but more important, seeking a genuinely enjoyable answer.
You’ve had the phrase “contempt prior to investigation” thrown your way most likely by a sponsor, right? It applies here! Many who’ve thumbed their noses at “sober dances” or “New Year’s Eve game parties,” attend and reluctantly admit they had an absolute blast.
Start A Tradition
All traditions start somewhere and this may the time to start your own. Open your home to new friends and old, rent a restaurant party room, gather friends and go see a movie (theaters are notoriously vacant,) create a theme such as game night, or do something with your family which your children will remember and enjoy. There’s no shortage of celebrations on TV and many newly sober folks are surprised at what they were missing out on for years.
There’s yet another tradition to consider: volunteering. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are popular with volunteer groups for serving or passing out meals or clothing either at shelters or in areas of need. Imagine being a part of starting a homeless person’s new year by handing them a new, warm, winter coat.
Don’t Mock Mocktails
There’s an increasingly large number of restaurants and bars which serve “mocktails,” or delicious non-alcoholic drinks that prove you don’t have to imbibe to enjoy. Mocktails creatively combine fresh juices, infused waters, fresh fruit, ice cream, herbs and spices in ways that elate the taste buds.
If you’re entertaining at home on New Year’s Eve and want ideas, TasteandTellBlog.com has 50 of them which are both easy and fun to create. They range from Cranberry Apple Spritzers, to Virgin Pomegranate and Cranberry Bellinis, Or if you want a caffeinated lift, Yummly.com offers non-alcoholic coffee recipes that even your favorite coffee shop is unlikely to have.
Proceed and Have Fun
In the Big Book on page 101, the authors tell from their own experience how to attend New Year’s Eve parties or any other event in which alcohol might be served.
“Have I any good social, business, or personal reason for going to this place? Or am I expecting to steal a little vicarious pleasure from the atmosphere of such places? If you answer these questions satisfactorily, you need have no apprehension. Go or stay away, whichever seems best. But be sure you are on solid spiritual ground before you start and that your motive in going is thoroughly good. Do not think of what you will get out of the occasion. Think of what you can bring to it. But if you are shaky, you had better work with another alcoholic instead.”
In other words, if you’ve recovered from the obsession to drink, and are on firm spiritual footing, you may find your ordinary custom of a New Year’s Eve dinner with friends at a favorite restaurant may feel perfectly fine. Do it. Volunteer to be the designated driver. Quietly set ground rules beforehand and enjoy yourself. Or seek another alternative as it also suggests.
Enjoy Your Night and Happy New Year
There’s a stunning realization for many people that year-end celebrations are about the fellowship and not getting high or loaded. The first time a recovered non-drinker does anything there may be varying degrees of trepidation, but a whole world of sober folks say by their second New Year’s Eve sober, it feels comfortable and is truly enjoyable, for once, for the right reason.
Ready to start the year out right? Call today for a free, confidential addiction screening: 561-841-1296.