If you’re like many sober people, you know how difficult it can be to explain to family members and friends why you choose to keep your home alcohol-free. Just because the adult members of your family don’t drink doesn’t mean you can’t entertain, however — yet announcing “my family doesn’t drink” seems a bit blunt. Is there a better way to keep events in your home fun and alcohol-free at the same time?
Keeping It Real
The best way to maintain your sobriety and an alcohol-free home is to keep your sobriety habits out in the open. Hiding sobriety implies shame, and living sober is something to be proud of — and the loved ones who care for you the most will understand and appreciate that.
You don’t have to make your sobriety the centerpiece of every conversation, but if you’re planning to entertain, it’s fine to say: “We keep our home alcohol-free for a variety of reasons. When we entertain, we offer our guests alcohol-free alternatives that are still fun.” If you feel uncomfortable discussing it further, change the subject to a favorite dish or dessert you enjoy preparing.
Options When Entertaining in an Alcohol-Free Home
You know the drill: Friends and family come over, and they expect alcohol — especially during a dinner party or when viewing a sporting event such as the Superbowl. Plan to inform your guests well in advance of your event that it will be alcohol-free.
You don’t have to get into the details; simply say, “For health reasons, we don’t have alcohol in our home.” You can also include this straightforward explanation as a footnote on any invitations you plan to send.
It’s best if your guests abstain from drinking during your event to limit temptation, so plan to offer a festive alcohol-free alternative. With basic ingredients such as flavored club soda and fruit juice, you can create fun-to-drink beverages that are just as enjoyable as their alcoholic counterparts.
If you have a guest who doesn’t take the hint and brings alcohol — and drinks it — anyway, ask him or her to move it to a safer place. When the event ends, ask your guests to take with them any alcoholic drinks they may have brought.
Another option is limiting entertaining to events where alcohol is not an expectation. For example, if your family has children, consider hosting a party where entertainment such as a magician or a castle bouncer is the main event. Invite friends with young children and host your party in the middle of the day — when alcohol is not as widely expected. The same rules for notifying and supplying fun non-alcoholic beverages apply.
If kids aren’t your speed, try inviting friends for late-afternoon tea, when homemade treats and savories — but no alcohol — are the main menu items. More options include brunch (with sparkling cider-infused drinks) or meeting up to take a hike or go to yoga. Keeping your focus on events that are naturally alcohol-free will get you accustomed to spending time entertaining without feeling awkward about not drinking.