The holidays are a time to be spent with friends and family, eating too much, and being thankful for what you have in life. It is a favorite time of year for many, but with the excitement comes the difficulty of staying sober. Odds are, many people will spend their holidays toasting with champagne or opening a vintage cabernet to share over dinner, inviting you to join in on the celebration. In that moment, it is difficult to decline such an invitation and continue your path toward sobriety. But it doesn’t have to be. The reality is, the holiday season is what you make of it and there are plenty of festive activities to fill your time and help ensure you stay sober this season.

Here is a list of this season’s top holiday activities that you and your loved ones can enjoy together that will help keep you sober.


Holiday Cookie Baking and Decorating.

Nothing says the holidays like gingerbread houses and frosted cookies. This holiday season, supply your kitchen with cookie cutters, and an arsenal of frostings and decorations, then invite your loved ones to join you in decorating a plethora of cookies. It does not matter whether they are made from scratch or pulled from the freezer aisle at your local grocery store. What matters is you’re building memories and traditions that you will remember forever, one cookie at a time. This is an excellent holiday activity, as kids and adults of all ages can join in on the fun. And to make it more enjoyable, at nights end, everyone can enjoy the beautifully decorated cookies they created, and if you happen to decorate a few too many, no neighbor would turn down such a thoughtful holiday gift.


Warm Up Your Vocal Chords and Go Caroling

You do not have to be an operatic trained singer to spread holiday join with the gift of caroling. All you need is a group of friends or family, some sheet music (which can be obtained for free online) and a neighborhood to sing to. Many people can be embarrassed at the thought of singing in front of strangers, but there is something empowering about spreading joy one door at a time. Being around happy people that love you, and seeing strangers’ faces light up when they hear your songs, will keep you in a positive mind frame locked in on your sobriety. It will also become a memory you will forever cherish.


Lend a Helping Hand

The holidays are all about giving back and what better way than helping those who need it most? Wherever you may live, there are bound to be countless charities that you can donate your time to. Whether you are feeding the homeless, participating in a toy-drive for underprivileged kids, or making holiday cards for patients at your local hospital, all time is well spent. Lending your hand to those who are less fortunate will serve as a reminder that life is precious and we need to look out for one another. This is also a great activity to do alone or with a group, and an even better way to meet new friends.


Create Personalized Gifts

Much of the holiday stress stems from having to fork out so much cash for gifts during the holiday season, but you can eliminate that stress by making your own gifts for your friends and family. It may be a bit more time consuming, but the impression it will leave will stick with your loved ones forever. There is no limit on what you can make and the holidays are the perfect time to put your creative hat on. You can create personalized photo books with stories and memories inscribed in each, or use fun decorations from your local craft store and make custom ornaments. If you have someone who spends a lot of time in their garden, a small wood box can easily be upgraded to make the perfect birdhouse. Or, if you are looking for something that will please everyone, cookies in a jar are delicious and always a crowd pleaser. The time and energy you put into making such thoughtful gifts are sure to keep your mind occupied and your stress level near zero.

The holidays can be an overwhelming time, but by surrounding yourself with loved ones and planning some festive activities, you will quickly find yourself forgetting all about your stresses and remembering all the incredible memories you have created. Not only are these activities enjoyable and festive, and will certainly become a tradition moving forward, but they are sure to keep you on your path to sobriety.