As Maritimers, we’re known for rolling out the welcome wagon during the holiday season. Our hospitality is legendary, and quite frankly, we know how to throw a party.
But while some of us can’t wait to partake in some festive drinks together, there are a growing number of Maritimers working through recovery.
To make sure they feel welcome, comfortable, and supported at your next holiday shindig, here are a few simple ideas that may make your party more recovery-friendly.
Change The Time
Most of us throw our parties on weekends during the evening. Those are also a popular time for drinking alcohol, and as a result, they’re also trigger times for people in recovery.
Hosting a party in the later morning or early afternoon can go a long way in reducing those triggers and subtly curbing expectations for there to be booze at the party.
Change The Place
Surprisingly, hosting at home where it’s safe and comfortable may actually be a trigger for some of your guests. Especially if your place has a well-stocked bar or you have a history of throwing wild parties there.
You can eliminate that connection to alcohol by having the party somewhere else. Maybe it’s ice skating on the local pond or a bonfire in the backyard while the kids go sliding. Whatever your idea, fresh air and sunshine make for a great backdrop.
Focus on the Food
We love to eat! And during the holidays, a little more focus on food can take the focus off of alcohol. Start with small finger foods and have lots of snacks and appetizers so your guests always have a plate in their hands. That way they’re less likely to feel empty-handed and reach for a drink.
And if you really want to make things fun and easy, try a potluck where everyone brings their favorite dish and hand out prizes for the ones your guests liked best. A little competitive spirit can also take the focus off the booze and onto the food.
Provide Variety—But Lose the Mocktails
It can be hard to feel “festive” if you’re toting around lukewarm water in a plain plastic cup. So take things up a notch.
Have sparkling water or pop in a variety of colours and flavors. And maybe include a few “exotic” ones from the foreign food section at your local grocery store. You can even make your own punch with premium fruit juice and Sprite and encourage people to guess the “secret ingredient”.
The more color and variety you have, the more festive your atmosphere. One thing not to do? Non-alcoholic beers, ciders, or mocktails. They’re close enough to the real thing that it could very well trigger a craving.
The bottom line is you don’t need alcohol at your party for people to have fun. So, if you can’t make your event alcohol-free, then switch things up so it’s not the focus.
Your guests might just find it refreshing.
We Can Help You
Ledgehill’s two facilities in Annapolis County, Nova Scotia, provide gender-specific treatment for men and women who need to heal in a peaceful, supportive environment free from fear or distraction. If you’d like to learn more about the addiction and mental health treatment programs provided by Ledgehill, enrol yourself in one of our programs, or refer someone else, please call us at 800-676-3393.