Do you hear that? It’s the faintest sound of sleighbells, which means Christmas must be right around the corner! This is usually the point in the year when people begin arranging their festive celebrations, making the necessary venue bookings and ensuring invitees carve out the appropriate time in their diaries.
For many Brits, the Christmas break is heavily associated with alcohol consumption; 61 per cent of drinkers over-indulge over the festive season more than they usually do. When it comes to office parties and family get-togethers centred on alcohol, this can potentially alienate those who abstain for personal and/or health reasons.
More people should be encouraged to look at different, sober ways to mark the joyous occasion. No idea where to start? Here are some suggestions to spark inspiration!
1) Wreath making
Christmas wreaths are a staple decorative feature for many Brits, and you and your guests can celebrate the season by making your very own. Choose an appropriate venue, and then make sure you have enough wreath-making supplies for all your party guests.
From there, let your creative festive juices flow and build your very own bespoke wreath to hang on your front door or to give to somebody as a gift. No party is complete without drinks and snacks, so make sure you have a selection of hot and cold beverages as well as some finger food, like sausage rolls and mince pies.
Festive ceramic making and painting is a fantastic alternative for work or family gatherings. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find a locally organised event that offers all the tools and materials you need, as well as expert advice and guidance from a workshop leader.
If you’d prefer to host the ceramics party in the office or at home, you can purchase your own kits from online retailers such as Amazon, Etsy, and The Craft Hen. Getting creative at Christmas has such a powerful feel-good factor, and you may even create something good enough to give to somebody as a gift. Don’t forget the hot beverages and mince pies!
3) Afternoon tea
‘Tis the season to relish delicious treats and enjoy hot beverages from our favourite mugs. Invite your guests over for a festive homemade afternoon tea, and celebrate the occasion with light cakes, scones, and sandwiches (with the crusts cut off, of course!).
As you nibble and sip with your favourite Christmas songs playing in the background, you can exchange gifts, discuss what you’re most looking forward to over the break, and perhaps even play some festive party games. Afternoon tea is the new bottomless brunch…
4) Murder mystery event
The words ‘murder’ and ‘Christmas’ don’t typically go together; however, we can make an exception for murder mystery events because they’re classic! Such games grew as a result of the introduction of murder mystery within fiction books in the 1800s. Now, themed events are held up and down the country all year round.
The consensus is that you and your party dress up in an outfit appropriate to a specific era, and then you work together to solve who committed a fictitious murder while at the party. Around this time of year, you should be able to find Christmas-themed murder mystery events. Hey, we’re not judging…
While the festive season is generally a joyous one for many, it can feel quite stressful at times. Tying up loose ends at work, purchasing multiple gifts, and meeting various expectations can all add weight onto our shoulders, meaning it’s important we take some time out to breathe and relax. With that in mind, doesn’t a spa trip sound great?
Get your colleagues or friends together and book a session at the local spa. Nothing says ‘Merry Christmas’ like a soothing hot stone massage and relaxing foot rub. The ultimate stress relief, you’ll leave the spa feeling recharged and ready to take on the festive madness!
6) Cooking class
There are many benefits to taking a cooking class, whether that’s a series of them or just a one-off. Not only can you improve your culinary skills and gain more confidence in the kitchen, but you can also have a great deal of fun while doing so. Therefore, cooking classes make a fantastic alternative Christmas party.
Find a class local to you and enjoy experimenting with new dishes and receiving expert advice and guidance. As it is Christmas, you might be able to find classes specifically focusing on festive dishes such as glazed ham, roast turkey, and chocolate yule log.
7) Mocktail night
Even though there will be no alcohol at this Christmas party, that doesn’t mean you can’t all indulge in delicious cocktails! Mocktails are a sober spin on some cocktail classics, such as Sex on the Beach, Mojito, and Strawberry Daquiri.
All you need is an at-home mixology kit and the necessary ingredients for your chosen drinks, and ta-da! Delicious beverages and an opportunity for all your guests to gain some hands-on experience in mixology. Play some Christmas songs in the background while you shake and drink, and that’s a successful festive do for sure.
8) Movie night
We all have that one specific festive movie that officially signifies the beginning of Christmas for us. Why not get a list of everyone’s favourite Christmas films and arrange for a movie night with popcorn, cupcakes, hot chocolate, and sweets.
If this is a work party, you could gather everyone to the office and project the festive films onto the wall – just make sure there’s comfy seating available instead of the standard desk chairs. Alternatively, if this is a celebratory event with friends and family, invite them over and turn your living room floor into a huge bed with blankets, cushions, and duvets.
Who said you need alcohol to have fun?
Whether you’re arranging a sober Christmas party for your own benefit or for somebody else’s, we hope we’ve proven that you don’t need alcohol to have fun! Christmas is about getting creative, spending time with loved ones, and relaxing after a busy year. Try one (or all) of these suggestions out, and we’re sure you’ll have a very merry Christmas indeed.
Photo by Angelina Jollivet on Unsplash