Yes, yes I know New Year's Eve is the champagne holiday of the year, but I promise you, it doesn't have to be as scary as you think. No alcohol? No problem! Here's how to prepare yourself for any drinking festivity; including NYE.
With a few simple sober life hacks, you will glide through the midnight hour; glass slippers intact.
The first step in taking away the power something has over me, is to first understand it. So before I try to start solving the problem, I'd like to know where the whole thing originated. Why do we celebrate New Year's with champagne?
In all actuality, the discovery of champagne was an accident and possibly a stroke of genius in the then non-existent marketing world. You see, yeast is activated by heat, and the wine then carried in barrels and fermented with yeast, would go through constant rates of change.
By laying dormant in the cold and then by agitating in the heat, the yeast began to release carbon inside the barrels. Instead of throwing out the now 'ruined' wine, the Frenchman who mulled it spiked the price, changed the name.
Before long, royalty across Europe was inquiring about the "sparkling wine". To this day, it's known as champagne.
So why do we celebrate with Alcohol now?
Well, as far back as the 16th century, champagne was considered the drink of the "royal elite". It was a lot harder to come by, and therefore a lot more expensive. The rich indulged to their heart's content. The poor often went with no alcohol or if any, the bottom of the barrel rot-gut stuff they made in their cellar.
Soon, holidays were divided secularly; using wine for the religious rituals, and champagne for the less religious celebrations. New Year's Eve fell into the latter of the two categories. To this day, bottles pop and bubbly flows as we countdown the final moments of the year.
It is said, we use it today as much for the symbolism of abundance, 'your cup runneth over' if you will.
Great, so now we have all this knowledge about champagne and we aren't even drinking, so what now?
The Game Plan
We know why everyone drinks it. Now, we know the meaning and history. How does all of that help us form the game plan to stay strong in our sobriety?
Well, these are just a few of the many ways, but when used correctly they have proven effective for me.
Bring Backup - I'm talking in the form of your own drinks, and since this holiday is about bubbling over, it won't be hard to find some sparkling water or soda to help you in this.
If you plan on getting too messy, make sure you are shaking up the sugar-free stuff to avoid the sticky clean-up. (FYI if you are at a bar, you are already at a disadvantage and I have no further advice until you extract yourself from that situation. If you are trying to stay sober this is the very last place you should be celebrating anything.)
Keep Your Glass Full - save the questions of, 'what are you having, I'll grab you one,' because that will launch a series of other questions about your drinking, why you quit, why you can't just have one, etc. Make sure to keep your own glass full and if you are worried about sugar intake, again, go for low sugar, sugar-free, or just live a little for a night.
Find A New Crowd - Don't fall into the same old thing you do every year only this time you will be the only one not drinking. I'm telling you from experience it will mess with your head whether you even want to drink or not. Before long you will be around a bunch of drunk people wondering why the heck you are even there. Find a group of friends that have planned activities, and who aren't drinking that much if at all.
You got this!
We are all adults now, and I'm guessing more of your friends work on January 1st than not. Check on some of your friends that have responsibilities that will prevent them, as well as you, from being out all night around booze. Make a plan to stick with them for a night of no alcohol.
The best part is, you don't have to do anything you don't want to, so if you just want to have a small pajama party at home you can do it up!
This NYE doesn't have to be intimidating if you form a game plan and stick to it.
No bubbly -no problem, because you are informed, have a plan, and came with back-up!