People at an outdoor barbecue. The image is overlaid with American flags.

Come One, Come All! Navigating Holiday Parties With Friends And Family in Recovery

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Holidays, such as the 4th of July, can be tricky for both people in recovery and their loved ones. 

How do you maneuver including your sober friends or family members when you’re hosting parties where alcohol will be served? You want to be able to include them without making a big deal about them not drinking.

Here are 3 ways you can include everyone in your party plans while still being sensitive to your friends and family members that are in recovery:

Provide non-alcoholic options.

  • Have something like lemonade in fun containers with added fruit.  It makes it a festive and fun thing to drink.
  • For those guests that do drink, you can have liquor options that would pair well with your lemonade. That way having a lemonade doesn’t spotlight someone as a non-drinker.
  • Offer recipes for mocktails along with your cocktail recipes. That way no one is left out of the special drinks. 
  • If you don’t want to provide alcohol at your gathering, allow guests to bring their own. If you like, you can provide mixers. In my friend group, the majority of them keep their liquor in coolers off to the side.  That way there is not as much temptation for our sober friends.

Take the focus off of the drinking, and have plenty of activities for your guests.

  • Make fun 4th of July-themed foods, such as appetizers and desserts that look like flags or firecrackers. Festive food is just as fun as festive drinks! 
  • Provide fun games to take the focus off of drinking while allowing guests to interact with each other. 

Encourage your guests to bring a friend.

  • Allow your guests in recovery to bring a sober buddy. That way they have support if they feel they need it.

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday weekend!

Karen Damian has a son in recovery and feels that it is a privilege to share the ups and downs of addiction with other parents.

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