Creating New Traditions for a Sober New Year’s Eve
Well, ladies and gents, New Year’s Eve is fast approaching! I think this may just be, by all accounts, the biggest drinking day in the entire world! And here we are sober! Oh, hot damn, how do we get through this night sober!?
I have read lots of advice/comments on how to survive the New Year’s sober, everything from just sleeping through it, or pretending that it’s an ordinary day in the week, to actually going out drinking, and then starting over on the 1st. Ugh. Not taking that advice!
For a long time in early sobriety, I dreaded the New Year’s!! I still wanted to celebrate it and celebrate it BIG, you know, party like a rockstar, of course totally forgetting that I am 40+, mom of three and I haven’t partied like a rock star, since, probably never, but I sure would like to think that I did!! So back then being sober seemed like, very boring, and there was no way to celebrate anything big and actually have a good time because celebrating always equaled drinking!
This is by far the biggest misconception about getting sober!!! We somehow start believing that all the fun is now over, it all got poured down the drain with the booze, we are now condemned to live a glum and boring life, forever! But that is absolutely not true!
In fact, now that we are sober, we can actually do anything we want, and any way we want it. So instead of getting depressed about not “partying” on New Year’s, I recommend creating some new, fun, and special traditions to help you celebrate this awesome night sober! This way you, and your loved ones can start building new sober memories!
Our new tradition for New Year’s Eve, is the “My favorite things” night! Basically we all wear our favorite clothes, eat our favorite foods, and play our favorite games. This is the one night when I let the kids eat the worst of all junk foods, and wear absolutely whatever they want! (Ugh, this can get pretty scary too!)
I start by asking what everyone’s favorite things to drink and eat were in 2017:
Some favorites on the kids menu are: Cheese Balls, Nacho Cheese Doritos, Mac and Cheese, Garlic Butter Shrimp, Smore’s Pop-Tarts, REESE’S® Peanut Butter Cups ice cream with whipped cream, orange soda and chocolate milk! That sounds like a bad stomach-ache, doesn’t it!
I will have snow crabs, lobster bisque and steak with garlic butter, surf and turf! Yummy!!! And of course I’ll be sharing (maybe LOL)!
We also have a bunch of new games that we got for Xmas this year. Our very favorite is the Just Dance for Wii U Console series, where players follow the on-screen dancer to earn points. Each year there is a new version released with the most recent Top 40 songs! We also love The Game Of Life: this game simulates a person’s travels through his or her life, from college to retirement, with jobs, marriage, and possible children along the way. Beat The Parents: this game brings the kids together with their parents to go head to head in the fun filled family trivia game. HedBanz Game: In this game kids use their heads in more ways than one while asking yes or no questions to figure out if the cartoon on their head. Be the first player to guess what you are and win. (All descriptions from game makers websites.)
All right! Now for some fun drinks! I don’t usually like non-alcoholic versions of normally alcoholic drinks, like the Bloody Mary or the Mojito, so I prefer to make drinks that are not the virgin versions of the alcoholic drinks. (Does that make scene? LOL!)
Here are my 2 favorites – I found these great and easy recipes on the HGTV website:
One 12-oz. bag frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1/2 cup coconut milk, plus more if needed
juice of 2 limes
lime and mango slices, for garnish, optional
Put the mango, cream of coconut, coconut milk and lime juice in the blender and puree until silky smooth. Add additional coconut milk, a tablespoon at a time, if needed to get the mixture moving in the blender. Pour into two hurricane glasses, garnish with mango and lime slices; serve immediately.
Spicy Raspberry Lemon Cooler
2 cups frozen raspberries
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
2 bottles ginger beer
fresh raspberries or lemon wedges for garnish, optional
Put the raspberries, honey, lemon juice and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the fruit has completely broken down, about five minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until cool. Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer set over a pitcher. Press the fruit solids with a rubber spatula to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard the fruit pulp. To serve, fill a Collins glass with ice and pour three tablespoons of the raspberry syrup into the glass. Fill with ginger beer, stir, garnish with raspberries or a lemon wedge and serve immediately.
***Note: Ginger beer is non-alcoholic despite its name, and can be found in the beverage/soda section of your supermarket.
Having fun in sobriety can be a whole new learning process. Like a toddler learning how to walk, being sober means re-learning everything we thought we once knew how to do only while drinking. So, start with a few things and keep trying others. The greatest part of this process is that you may find some new things that are actually really fun to do sober!
And of course, you can’t forget to watch the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.
Happy New Year Sober!!!
For great tips on how to stay sober during New Year’s, check out my post: Bringing In The New Year
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)*, please check out the Sober Courage menu at the top of this page for an extensive list of support groups and recovery related articles.
*Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using (Ref: NIAAA).