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How to Throw The BEST Sober Holiday Party EVER

Holidays are never lame when you have something as wonderful to celebrate as recovery. Want to throw a sober holiday party? Here’s how to have the talked about holiday party of the year.


  • Provide all the delicious sweets and treats the holiday has to offer: “…The use of sweets was often helpful,” write the authors of Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as “The Big Book”. “…All alcoholics should constantly have chocolate available…Many of us have noticed a tendency to eat sweets and have found this practice beneficial.” Alcohol is sugar. Sugar creates a similar surge of dopamine in the brain as both alcohol and drugs do. Turning to sugary sweets during times of craving or discomfort in recovery, which is common during the holidays, can be beneficial. The Holidays are famous for sweets and treats. Load up some plates with cookies, cakes, and candies, while asking others to bring their favorites.
  • Whip up your favorite holiday dish and ask everyone to do the same: Where sweets fall short, food does the same. Engaging the senses helps create a grounding effect, reducing symptoms of anxiety which might be caused by discomfort during the Holidays. Eating is also an important part of managing HALT, hungry, angry, lonely, tired which can trigger cravings and irritable feelings. Having plenty of food at the party is critical so people stay sustained, stay grounded, and stay present. Provide your favorite dish and ask others to provide theirs.
  • Have a holiday costume contest, because Halloween is 10 months away: A party full of just hanging out and eating isn’t always a bad thing, but the Holidays are full of inspiration for making a party extra fun. Throw a Holiday costume contest to get everyone involved in the process. Creativity in creating a costume can be a form of art therapy, giving people something to focus on for their self-expression. Ugly Christmas sweater parties are always a hit.
  • Decorate your dwelling to be a holiday wonderland: Christmas lights, garlands, and cardboard cut-outs are cheap. In the age of Pinterest, there are likely thousands of ideas for cheap, DIY Holiday party decorations.
  • Put on the best and worst of holiday music: Everyone loves a good round of Frosty the Snowman, but they might shudder to remember particular pop bands and pop artists taking a stab at Holiday cheer. Set up a karaoke station of the best and worst of holiday music and watch everyone get a kick out of singing familiar songs.
  • Encourage everyone to bring a “newcomer”: Enjoying the Holidays and learning to have fun are challenging in early recovery. Newcomers are technically anyone in recovery with thirty days of sobriety or less, though anyone less than a year sober is still new. Bring someone you just met at a meeting and encourage them to get in the “middle of the herd”. Introduce them to everyone, drag them into activities, and offer them support when they get overwhelmed.
  • Ask for winter-gear and food donations to bring to a local shelter, then do a group outing for some service: Recovery asks us to give back to others and be of service when we can. Ask all of your party attendees to bring an item of winter clothing like a jacket, scarf, or gloves, a warm blanket, or non-perishable food items to donate to a local shelter. Make the donation pile visible so everyone can take joy in being of service. Together, carpool to the local shelter and give the gift of giving to those less fortunate- the best Holiday gift of all.



Recovery can be the best time of your life, for the rest of your life. Villa Tranquil offers women a unique opportunity for transitional living after primary treatment. Continued structure and support in a compassionate and serene environment helps women to further their growth in recovery as they become passionate, authentic women of sobriety. For more information, call us today:  214-799-3080