Celebrating the Holidays with Family while Staying Sober

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

The upcoming holiday season should be a time of gratitude, relaxation, and celebration with family and friends. For those of us experiencing these holidays for the first time in sobriety, there may be some additional stress and friction during the festivities presenting a risk of relapse. This potential pressure on your recovery does not mean you need to avoid spending time with family and friends, just that you should take a few precautionary measures to ensure your sobriety remains intact. Here are a few things to consider before attending holiday gatherings.

First, given the relative novelty of your sobriety it is very likely your relationship with your family remains brittle or strained. Hopefully they are mature enough to set aside any negative feelings towards you so you may all enjoy the holidays together, but it is possible their resentments may surface at some point during your time together. Disengage yourself from any confrontations that may arise during the course of the family gathering, especially if those confronting you have been drinking or abusing substances. If you have a feeling there will be a family member in attendance who will seek out an argument with you, it may be best to skip that particular event. Try to arrange a gathering at a different time consisting of those who support your recovery efforts and will not seek to quarrel with you.

Despite the fact that you have made the decision to abstain from alcohol and drugs, your family members who do not suffer from the disease of addiction are still free to imbibe. If this is the case, you should have a plan of action in place in case a craving strikes while you have access to alcohol or other substances. Let your sponsor and sober friends know of your holiday plans, and if possible invite someone with at least a year of continuous sobriety to accompany you for additional support. If you are unable to bring anyone along with you, make sure you have several people available to call in case you begin feeling unstable and tempted to take a drink.

It is possible for you to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends while protecting and maintaining your sobriety. Due to your inexperience with attending family functions, there are a few proactive steps you should take before jumping in to this potentially trigging scenario, but there is no reason you cannot enjoy your family, friends, and the holiday spirit as a sober individual!


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit www.evolutionstreatment.com