Last week I had an article featured on WonderMoms.ca titled Christmas Celebrations & Alcohol. I really feel the message is important and so I’ve decided to share it here today.
Plans are being made to get together with family and friends and our calendar is filling up quickly. We are hosting Christmas dinner for 17 this year and my Mum and I are frantically planning the menu.
In past years I would have also planned the bar; ensuring that the beverages suited the meal and each person’s drink tastes and glass choice were available. Since I’ve gotten honest and admitted I’m an alcoholic all of that has changed, I no longer worry about matching the wine with the food or how I’ll get up with the kids the morning after.
This year my father has generously offered to take care of bar and I will prepare a gorgeous Mocktail Bar for my non-drinking guests.
Having non-alcoholic beverages available to guests is nothing new; the difference is that I am actually putting some thought into it. In past, the choices would have been quite limited; tea, coffee, pop, juice or water. Nowadays I love to have fancy schmancy bevvies for those who don’t partake in my drink choices of days gone by.
Listen friends, it’s time to get honest!
If you are hosting an event over the holidays you need to be aware of your guests’ alcohol consumption and lack thereof.
Many of us are non-drinkers, for many different reasons and if you’re looking to provide a comfortable, welcoming environment where fond memories will be made you need to focus upon that.
If you’re from North America, you live in a culture where alcohol is ingrained within our culture as an accepted mainstay of the celebration. The ever-written Facebook status updates “Is it beer o’clock” or “Cannot wait to uncork the bottle at 5pm” are testaments to that fact. We accept that alcoholic drinks are a token of a state of unwind. This is not necessarily a negative situation, but there are risks involved.
As a host you must be aware of the ramifications, the legal issues should something unexpected happen…guests becoming ill…behavioral issues…the list goes on.
Are you conscious of these as you make your purchases for the bar this year? Have you plans to provide for your non-drinkers this year?
The Holidays show statistically that alcohol related driving accidents rise, as do hospital visits associated with alcohol intake. Isn’t it time that we stop the madness and focus upon what our memories should be founded upon?
Today I challenge you, not to eliminate alcohol from your events, but to provide alternatives and to be open with your guests about this. Can you consider asking people who is driving openly when they arrive? Will you help take the stigma off of those who choose not to imbibe?
I certainly hope so.
It’s my opinion that if we speak openly about the risks associated with alcohol we’ll become more aware.
Having someone foolishly tipsy before dinner shouldn’t be acceptable and it’s time that we uphold a higher standard.
As you gaze around the room before the guests arrive, ask yourself what the focus is upon. If your bar takes up half of the space, perhaps you want to think about the message you’re sending.
From my family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas!
Great sites for Mocktail recipes:
LCBO Social Responsibility Mocktail Page
Mrs D says
This is my first sober Christmas and we’re hosting all my family some of whom are still heavy drinkers. We’ve basically said that everyone should take care of buying their own booze and I am making a huge mix of fresh ginger beer and also planning a fresh lime, crushed mint & soda drink. Lucky my sister is pregnant so she’ll be joining me. I actually can’t wait to do the whole thing sober and show that it is entirely possible and in fact better that way!
I know how you feel, my first sober Christmas was difficult to anticipate but really there are so many people who are actually not “drunk” that I was surprised. When I was drinking I think I was in a bubble where I assumed everyone needed an alcoholic bevvie to celebrate but that’s just not the case at all.
You’ll have a Merry Christmas!!
We had a big family Christmas party and it was great to see designated drivers as well we had many nonalcoholic options. Some of my family had to drive, some work midnights, some recently quit smoking and drinking was a trigger as well we have a few members who do not drink. I was happy to see everyone was happy and enjoyed themselves :)
Now that’s what I call a GREAT Hostess!
Jody @ Mommy Moment says
I think this is wonderful. I wish more parties would have mocktail options!
I agree Jody, it just makes things easier. I was recently at a conference event where my only choice was tapwater…serious.
Multi-Testing Mommy says
You are right – now-a-days, mocktails can look and taste just as yummy as cocktails :) Hook me up dude!
hahaha get over here and we’ll have a Mocktail night!
Great information, something we are always concerned about here.
We always have some fun mocktail options, special ones for the kids too!! Who doesn’t love a Shirley Temple ;)
Oh I hate them lol. I drank so many as a child sitting in a pub…well that’s another story ;) My girls LOVE them
really great post Julie, people should really make more of an effort in the non alcoholic bevvy dept. it should be fun too! I always felt kind of left out when I was preggers when everyone else had fun drinks and I was sipping on water
Needless to say Jennifer I felt the same way while preggers…but then I prob should have seen the signs hahaha
I so appreciate this. People look at me like I have two heads when I tell them that I spend the entirety of the holidays completely sober. Like, how do you do it? Well, it’s not easy. But the alternative is not pretty.
I applaud you for talking openly about alcoholism on your blog. This is one subject that I haven’t fully opened up about. It’s a serious problem for me. Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to share my story.
It’s a very private thing but for some reason I’m inclined to be VERY open about it. So gald you’re here Molly!!
Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) says
Just stumbled here…
Great post… it’s so important to think through the responsibilities we have as party throwers.
Hey Susan, thanks so much for stumbling here ;) I dig your site too