Christmas, and let's face it, the entirety of December is often a period of indulgence and sometimes drinking to excess. Whether it is mulled wine at a German market, a fizzy pre-dinner aperitif, a glass of wine with your meal or a post-dinner Baileys, alcohol is EVERYWHERE you look (and we aren't exactly complaining TBH).
If you are pregnant at Christmas and are off the booze or are sober for health reasons it can be difficult to know how to fully embrace the festive season.
Not only this but to avoid unleashing your inner Grinch you can check out our tips on how to help you enjoy Christmas sober. We let you know how to make the most of your new-found free-time now that you will no longer be spending it drinking or hungover!
9 tips to help you enjoy an alcohol-free Christmas:
If before now you loved going out for drinks with the girls, it is easy enough to replace your fave past-time with a delicious dinner with friends instead. Your friends can still drink but you won't feel as left out. You'll be saving the calories that you'd normally be consuming with alcohol so you can afford to have a treat. Bonding over food or sharing plates is just as lovely and you won't have a hangover the next day (although it might be replaced with a food coma!).
1) Go for dinner instead of drinks
Being the designated driver means you will be less likely to give into temptation and people won't be able to badger you to have a drink if they don't know you're pregnant or sober. It is also a nice treat for your family and friends to have a personal chauffeur!
2) Be the designated driver
Gone are the days where you could only get a limited selection of alcohol-free drinks. No more orange juice, lemonade or coke. Now most bars have mocktails and there are great alcohol-free beers, wines and the first alcohol-free distilled spirit Seedlip entered the market a few years ago. These drinks will really make being sober interesting and spice up your options.
3) Find an alcohol-free alternative
Being sober at Christmas can be difficult so don't be hard on yourself if you are a bit sulky and not quite in the Christmas spirit. With all the money you'll be saving you can afford to treat yourself a little. Why not buy a new outfit, treat a friend to a spa day or indulge in an afternoon tea. It is important to reward your behaviour to make you feel good about your achievements - as long as you don't go too crazy.
4) Treat yourself
If you would prefer not to treat yourself by spending money and would rather save those extra pennies, there are plenty of other ways to treat yourself. Have a bath and pamper yourself with all your favourite products or sit down with a good book. If you're pregnant, these little moments of peace will be few and far between once your little one is born, so make the most of the downtime while you have it. This will also help replenish your energy and remove that feeling of stress which often surrounds the holidays.
Now that you aren't groggy with a hangover from the night before and you're turning down a few events that you know will be impossible to enjoy sober, you're bound to have more free time. You can do fun activities with family instead of lying on the sofa. Or use this as an opportunity to get organised for the festive season. Be productive and write those Christmas cards that you never normally get round to, organise shopping lists or do some extravagant wrapping.
6) Get organising
Hangover-free means that you can get up before lunchtime and seize the day. Go for a crisp morning walk and enjoy the outdoors or stay in and practise some yoga. If you get up and get moving you're bound to feel better (and perhaps a little bit smug!).
7) Exercise and get outside
If most of your Christmas traditions or events revolve around alcohol, this is a chance to make new ones. Visit Christmas markets, go on a mini-break to a different winter city, make Christmas cards with your friends or children, visit Winter Wonderland or pop on some ice skates (obviously not if you're heavily pregnant or uneasy on the ice).
8) Make new traditions
If every event revolves around alcohol, you can make the effort to organise events without it. Luckily, Christmas is a time of great TV drama and festive movies. Replace your boozy nights out with special nights in. Invite all your friends round, get some delicious snacks and snuggle down for the night. Good friends won't mind missing out on one night of drinking for some quality time. If not a night in with movies what about a dinner party or board games?
9) Make staying in special
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