Skip links

How to Celebrate a Sober Thanksgiving

Enjoying a Sober Thanksgiving

Tips to help you succeed

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with friends and family. It can also be a challenging time to stay sober. Here are some tips to help you enjoy a sober Thanksgiving.

Plan What to Say if You’re Offered Alcohol

Set yourself up for success by planning your sober Thanksgiving in advance.

If you are new to recovery and celebrate with family or friends that drink, prepare how you will respond if you are offered alcohol. You don’t need to divulge that you aren’t drinking because you are in recovery from alcohol, unless you choose to. Instead, you can say you don’t drink for health reasons or because you have plans and have to wake up early the next day. 

If you feel comfortable, confide in someone who will be at Thanksgiving with you and can support you when you say no. That family member or friend may even commit to not drinking with you. Having a supportive friend or family member always helps. 

Work with your sponsor or counselor on what you want to say if you are offered alcohol in advance. That way you won’t feel uncomfortable or caught off guard in the moment. 

Enjoy a Sober Thanksgiving with Friends

Find like-minded people to enjoy a sober Thanksgiving with

The thought of being around alcohol at Thanksgiving may be overwhelming, especially if you are newly sober. Or you may have alcoholic friends or family members that will be at Thanksgiving that pose a real challenge to your sobriety. If you feel overwhelmed by your traditional Thanksgiving plans, feel free to make new ones. Put yourself and your sobriety first by celebrating a sober Thanksgiving with people in recovery. 

Plus, because the holidays can be so challenging, many Alcoholics Anonymous groups are open all day on Thanksgiving. Often, members bring food and celebrate the day eating and having meetings together. Spending Thanksgiving with other people whose sole purpose is to enjoy a sober holiday is fun and safeguards your recovery. 

Being a Sober Friend to Thanksgiving

You don’t have to go it alone!

Alcoholics Anonymous is a We program. The saying “we can do together what we cannot do alone” is true. (Learn more about how people in AA stay sober together.)

If you are concerned about staying sober through the Thanksgiving holiday, it may help to invite a sober friend. There’s always someone in recovery who would love an invitation to a Thanksgiving dinner. And, having a sober friend with you at the table is a great way to enjoy the gifts of Thanksgiving without jeopardizing your sobriety.

Have an Exit Plan

If you need to leave early, make it easy on yourself.

f this is your first Thanksgiving in sobriety, bring your own transportation. If you begin to feel uncomfortable at any time, having the ability to leave on your own terms is important. If you don’t drive, you can use Uber or Lyft to call for a ride home. 

Keep Your Network on Speed Dial

Remember to step away and make a phone call, if needed.

Use your network and call your sponsor or friends from Alcoholics Anonymous for support.
Nobody understands the challenges of staying sober through the holidays better than someone in the program.  Rely on your network and experience rewards of one alcoholic helping another!

Are You Ready to Start a New Life in Recovery?

Breakthrough Recovery Outreach is here to help you.

At Breakthrough Recovery Outreach, we are committed to helping teens and adults find a new way to live without the need for drugs and alcohols. Our residential recovery programs offer a safe environment for patients to learn how to live life sober.

If you’re ready to break the chains of addiction and experience freedom, contact us today!