Kate's Blog

5 Mindset Tips For An Amazing, Alcohol Free Christmas

When I was struggling with my drinking, I couldn’t get my head around the idea of an alcohol free Christmas and New Year. 

Booze is such a big part of the festive season, and I was convinced that not drinking would inevitably mean not having any fun either.
Fortunately, I was completely wrong about that!
I’ve had some of my best Christmases since I quit drinking, and I want to make sure that you do too. 
The key is to approach this time of year with the right mindset and the right attitude.

Here are 5 secrets to an amazing alcohol free Christmas:


Get clear on what makes Christmas special

A drug like alcohol isn’t the magic ingredient that transforms Christmas into something fun. Just look at the people who love this time of year the most – children! Do they need a drug like alcohol in order to have an incredible time? No way.
It’s not booze that creates that sense of specialness – how can a drug that numbs and dulls you do that? It can’t. The festive season is special because of 101 other things, e.g. the chance to spend time with people you care about and enjoy some time off work. 

Remember why you quit drinking 

Something I get all my students to do is to write a proper list of all the reasons why they’ve decided to ditch alcohol. (I explained how to do this here). It takes time to complete this exercise properly but it is incredibly worthwhile.
If you find yourself romanticising or glamorising alcohol, return to your list and remind yourself of the reality of your drinking. You deserve an alcohol free Christmas. It’s so much better than hangovers, guilt, remorse and regrets. 

Get excited about the new experiences you’re going to have

You already know what a boozy Christmas feels like. You’ve been there and done that. This year, you’re not going to waste time drinking – you’ll tick things off your to do list in good time and feel good because it’s not a stressful, hungover rush. 
This will be the year you discover that you don’t need a mind-altering drug in order to have a good time. This will be the year you create crystal clear new memories, show up for the people you care about, push yourself out of your comfort zone and feel incredibly proud of yourself. 

Know that you’re stronger than you think

Life is rarely like a Christmas card – things go wrong, or we have annoying relatives and family dramas. But alcohol doesn’t help with any of that. Instead, it makes us more argumentative and less resilient to stress. As coping mechanisms go, it’s a pretty bad one. 
An alcohol free Christmas makes it easier to face tricky situations head on. You can observe what does and doesn’t work for you with a clear head, which puts you in a more empowered position for next year. Jane – one of my Getting Unstuck students – recently shared this:
“Because I was sober, I realised that I don’t actually like roast dinners… and I don’t want to spend Christmas Eve peeling veggies for a roast dinner I don’t want to eat. This Christmas I will be in France, skiing with my kids and ignoring the relatives I can’t seem to please.”

Create new rituals

If you always have champagne on Christmas morning, now’s the time to decide how you’re going to handle that. Or if you’ve always drunk your way through boring afternoons with relatives, this could be a great opportunity to mix things up and create a new routine.
You could buy alcohol-free fizz for Christmas morning or make fancy hot chocolates with the kids; set up a mocktail bar, go out for a walk, find the best festive lights in your neighbourhood, take a trip somewhere, play a game or do something completely indulgent. This is your alcohol free Christmas and you deserve to have fun!
If you’d like some help to quit drinking and create an alcohol-free life you love, click here for details of my online course.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


17 responses

  1. Thanks Kate! I’m on the waitlist for your January class, but I’m aiming to have an alcohol free xmas too, so I appreciate these tips. Last year I missed so much of Christmas day because I felt ill, being hungover really ruined it. I don’t want to experience that again.

  2. Hi Kate, I’m now 45 days AF and absolutely dreading Christmas, it’s a big drinking time for my family and most of them don’t even know I’m trying to quit, got through my work Christmas party last Friday night but spent the whole night explaining that I didn’t want a drink…… it was endless, ended up going home early, I am going to try and concentrate on item 2 on your list because I have so many regrets and embarrassing situations I could write a book, here’s to hopefully an alcohol free Christmas and no hassle

    1. I am141 days AF. Absolutely delighted with myself. Still struggle in certain situations however the mindset I have now instilled in me is helping me cope so much. Looking forward to a booze free Xmas. Thank you for all the encouragement you give to us all.

      1. This will be my 4th sober Christmas after taking your October 2017 course. I love everything about Christmas now, more time and energy to spend with the family having genuine fun and remembering everything!

  3. Thank you for this helpful post. I am on day 131 and feeling great but the festivities so far have definitely made it harder and I’ve found myself romanticising about my old friend wine. I will get through this and have the best Christmas ever! ❤️

    1. It’s easy to do that at this time of year, when alcohol is glamorised more than ever! Congratulations on your 131 days Claire. You’ve come too far to only come this far… keep going! 🙂

  4. I’m loving you attitude towards alcohol, it’s so important not to feel hard done by, especially this time of year. It’s good to celebrate the benefits of being alcohol (poison!) free.
    I’ve pre ordered your book and am looking forward to reading it.

    1. Hi Kathy, it sounds as if you might be romanticising alcohol and projecting qualities on to it that it doesn’t have. When we think alcohol provides certain benefits, we’re bound to feel deprived without it! My online course tackles this exact issue, so you can quit without feeling so miserable. Here are some details about the next class: https://thesoberschool.com/course

  5. I look forward to my Tuesday morning coffee time and your new blog post every week!! This is such a great way to approach the Christmas season and to be honest every season! I am only 44 days alcohol free, and working very hard to change my mindset everyday. So far I have said NO to a work social event event that centered around a fancy dinner and lots of wine. I made it through another work dinner with no desire to drink which was a relief and this past weekend was a huge family gathering without any alcohol for me, while everyone else got smashed. This past weekend was not at all what I was expecting as I thought a few of my relatives were AF, but that was not the case. In the end, I was grateful I was not drinking! Now I have several more holiday gatherings to manage and will keep your tips close at hand. I would not have been able to get this far without your blog and all the encouraging responses from your readers. Thanks Kate and all your readers, you are an amazing gift!

  6. Hi Kate, thank you for this post.
    I’m 48 and I think I have only had 2 sober Christmases in all that time, one pregnant and the next breastfeeding! This year I really want to do it for me but it’s hard to explain to family why I don’t want to drink when noone thinks I have a problem with alcohol.I managed 7 months sober earlier this year but started again, now on just 15 days so feeling a bit vulnerable x

  7. I’m coming up to a year alcohol free. I was in your January 2019 class. I’ve had several challenging times since then where most around me were drinking lots but I didn’t give in including a wedding. I’m grateful for the clear headedness and lack of guilt and remorse if I’d given in. Looking forward to celebrating without booze and a year alcohol free.

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