How To Avoid Drinking At Holiday Parties

How To Avoid Drinking At Holiday Parties

Holiday parties can be stressful. People are in the middle of their busiest season, there's a lot to do and see, and everyone is just trying to unwind after a long year. But there is one thing that can make party-going even more stressful: alcohol consumption. So here are my tips for avoiding drinking at your next holiday party:

Show up early to avoid being tempted.

Show up early to avoid being tempted.

If you're worried about being tempted by alcohol, it's a good idea to arrive at your party as early as possible. This way, you’re not caught up in the rush of people arriving and trying to find someone to talk with or get stuck having to wait in line for drinks while everyone around you is merrily imbibing. Arriving early also gives you time alone with the hosts, which can help alleviate any anxiety about entering into unfamiliar territory (and possibly feeling out of place).

Eat before you go.

  • Eat before you go.

  • Avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat.

  • Eat something light, like a salad or soup.

  • Avoid eating too much so that you can be satisfied with the food that you have eaten and won't feel like drinking later on in the party (especially if there is free booze).

Bring your own alcohol-free beverages.

Bring your own alcohol-free beverages. If you have to go to a party that serves alcohol, bring your own bottle of wine—you can even ask the hostess if she'll chill it in advance so you don't have to worry about keeping it cool on your way over. Or, if you're feeling extra generous, bring a case of water for everyone at the party and make them all feel better about themselves by not having to drink as much as they'd planned on having without realizing that they were being impelled by social pressure into doing so!

Bringing your own alcohol-free wine like Zero Lush is also an excellent option!

Offer to drive.

  • Offer to drive before you have had any alcohol.

  • Don't offer to drive if you are drunk.

  • If you are going to drink, don't offer to drive (or let someone else drive).

  • If you are going to drive, don't drink at all!

Plan an escape route.

  • Plan an escape route. Decide on a safe spot in the party where you can go if you need to get away from the noise or other people. Make sure this spot is quiet and comfortable, and that there are no drinks available.

  • Leave at a reasonable time, even if it's before everyone else—or at the very least, make sure they know when you're leaving so they don't think you're mad at them or that anything is wrong. It’s okay to be honest with people about alcohol consumption, but saying “I need to leave now because I am too full of joy and happiness for this family gathering” sounds a lot better than “I need to leave now because I've had too much fun being around these happy people who love each other."

Go for a walk during the party.

If you're feeling overwhelmed and need a break, get some fresh air. If there's nearby space, take a walk around the block or go for a longer stroll. You can also think about walking to another venue (the store, for example) or just heading out on foot for coffee with someone else who's feeling stressed out by the party.

Don't overthink it.

When you're trying to avoid drinking at a party, it's easy to get caught up in all the ways that your plan could go wrong. You can start thinking about how you'll feel if someone forces a drink on you or starts making fun of your decision not to drink. You might worry about what other people will think when they see that the only thing you're drinking is sparkling water (hint: no one will care).

You should know from experience that these types of worries aren't worth giving any more attention than they deserve. No matter how nervous or anxious you are about avoiding alcohol at parties, there's no need for overthinking—that just makes things worse! So don't let your anxiety get the better of YOU!

If your family and friends know you're not drinking, they won't force it on you.

If you tell your family and friends that you're not drinking, they will respect your choice. They may be disappointed at first, but they will eventually warm up to the fact that it's a good idea for your health.

They'll also probably be more likely to talk to you if they know that they're not going to get in trouble if they ask questions or bring up a topic that might make some people uncomfortable.

And since you won't have alcohol on board, you can still enjoy yourself just as much—or even more! You can keep the energy high and make sure everyone has fun without having to worry about how alcohol affects their moods or behavior from one minute to the next. And with no hangover coming tomorrow morning either, there's no need for anyone else in attendance at this party either!


If you're going to a holiday party where alcohol will be served, there are definitely ways to avoid drinking. You can show up early in order to avoid being tempted by others' drinks and eat before you go so that you don't need the food there as an excuse for not drinking. Bringing your own alcohol-free wine or beverages is also helpful because then you won't have to worry about being pressured into one of those spiked eggnog mixes! If none of these tips sound like they'll work for you—or if it's simply too hard for them not to try when everyone else is drinking—it may be best just not attend at all. At least then there won't be any pressure on either side!

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