How to Have the Best Alcohol-Free Christmas

Woman holding a hot Christmas drink with an orange slice

It’s Christmas day, and you walk bleary-eyed into the kitchen wearing your polar bear pyjamas. The radio is singing carols, and someone’s wearing a Santa hat. Before you know it, a Bucks Fizz is in your hand before 8 am. And so it begins. But what if you want a no alcohol Christmas day?

In this article, we’ll give you tips on how not to drink at Christmas and the best non-alcoholic Christmas drink ideas. Not drinking may feel challenging on the day. But you’ll thank us when you wake up on Boxing Day feeling refreshed (just try not to be too smug about it).

How to Get Through Christmas Without Alcohol

No alcohol Christmas drink with gingerbread men

Alcohol is a big deal over the festive season. Baileys, mulled wine, and whiskey are just a few alcoholic beverages people indulge in during Christmas. But you can still enjoy a wholesome holiday without reaching for the brandy. Here’s how.

Remind Yourself Why You’re Not Drinking

Orange Christmas drink in a glass

You need to remind yourself why you’re going alcohol-free on Christmas day. Otherwise, your resolve flies out of the window as soon as the question, ‘Anyone want a drink?’ enters the room. Below are the most common reasons you might want non-alcoholic beverages.

  • You’re struggling with your mental health - Anxiety and depression don’t mix well with alcohol. After a heavy day of drinking, you could experience panic attacks or low moods. If that’s something you want to avoid, skip alcoholic beverages to improve your mental health in winter.

  • You are dependent on alcohol - If you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, you might decide to cut out alcohol over Christmas. And if so, good for you! It’ll be worth it in the long run.

  • You want to look after your health - Reducing alcohol will increase your blood flow and look after your heart. It's also beneficial for gut health. Or, maybe you want to start the New Year right. Either way, end the year strong with an alcohol-free Christmas to nurture your overall health.


Read more: How to Look After Your Health at Christmas.

Bring a Selection of Non-Alcoholic Christmas Drinks

Woman in a Christmas jumper holding a red mug with thyme and an orange slice for a Christmas drink

Plenty of people love the buzz Christmas brings but would prefer to skip feeling bloated and headachey the following day. That’s why the range of high-quality no alcohol Christmas drinks has exploded over the past few years. 

Christmas mocktails

Mocktails for Christmas are the perfect way to join in the festivities without downing the gin. You can relax with a cocktail glass in your hand and not feel left out. There are loads of great Christmas mocktail recipes, so browse for your favourite non alcoholic Christmas cocktails.

Opt for hot Christmas drinks

Christmas hot chocolate drink with mini marshmallows

Non alcoholic winter drinks are heart-warming and nourishing. And there’s nothing more cosy than snuggling in front of a crackling fire with a hot drink. Here are a few of our favourite hot drinks for Christmas:

  • Mulled apple juice
  • Hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows
  • Coffee and non-alcoholic Baileys
  • Pumpkin pie flavoured latte
  • Cranberry-spiced tea

Bring non-alcoholic versions of drinks

Non alcoholic beverages are easy to get, and they even taste good! You can find 0% alcohol cider, wine, lager and beer. Traditional Christmas drinks also include ginger beer, which you can have alcohol-free. If you don’t like alcohol replacements, kombucha, rose lemonade or other fizzy drinks are fantastic options.

Tell People Beforehand That You’re Not Drinking

Woman wearing a Christmas hat holding a Christmas drink with a candy cane

If you’re usually a drinker, it can surprise people if you say no to alcohol. So, avoid the hassle by telling people beforehand. It’s particularly important to notify the host because they may have bought extra alcohol or your favourite beverages. 

Read more: 10 Best Healthy Christmas Stocking Fillers for a Wonderful Holiday.

We understand that despite informing people before seeing them on Christmas, they may still offer you a tempting drink. Here are some tips to navigate telling people on Christmas day:

  • Find a non-drinking buddy - If someone else in your life also wants an alcohol-free Christmas, ensure you keep in touch during the festive season. Check in with each other throughout the day for encouragement.

Friends smiling at Christmas

  • Repeat the phrase, ‘No, thank you. I’m not drinking.’ - Some people may forget that you’re not drinking alcohol or try pressuring you to change your mind. You don’t have to explain yourself each time. Instead, just repeat that you’re not drinking.

  • Avoid toxic people - Not everyone is supportive when you choose no alcohol. If that’s the case, try avoiding seeing them over Christmas or minimise your time interacting with them.

Read more: 5 Reliable Ways to Avoid Christmas Stress.

Focus on Other Christmas Joys

Half-eaten gingerbread man at Christmas

It’s easy to think that the day won’t be fun if you have an alcohol-free Christmas. But there are plenty of other things to love. Enjoy the food, presents and socialisation (even if your family ends up arguing over the rules of Monopoly). 

If you find yourself focusing on alcohol, try distracting yourself. Get some fresh air, pick up a good book or suggest a game of Christmas charades. 

What to Do if You Slip Up

Christmas presents and Christmas boxes

It’s normal to stumble when you’re trying something new. This is especially true when you’re surrounded by people who are drinking. So, here are our tips if you do experience a slip-up.

  • Don’t give up - It’s easy to fall into the thought pattern, ‘Oh well, I’ve had one now, might as well drink as much as I like.’ But it will feel much better going to bed thinking, ‘I only had one drink today. That’s amazing.’ Rather than nursing a sore head after a bottle of rum.

  • Try drinking less - If you’re finding it too hard to stick to no alcohol, drink less instead. Start drinking later in the day, water down your spirits, have smaller glasses of wine and drink water between each alcoholic beverage.

  • Be kind to yourself - Berating yourself for saying yes to a glass of Bucks Fizz helps no one. Practice being kind to yourself by saying, ‘It’s okay. I’m doing my best right now, and that’s what matters.’

Embrace the Joy of Christmas With Non-Alcoholic Christmas Drinks

Hot Christmas drink with gingerbread star

Drinks at Christmas don’t have to include alcohol for you to have a good time. Mix up Christmas mocktails and sip on non alcoholic winter drinks during the festivities. In the long run, you’ll feel better for it and end the year on a healthy, non-hangover high.

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Written by Emma Carey for Arella Beauty.

Emma is a holistic beauty and wellness writer. She has three years of experience in the well-being industry and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Wellness. Check out her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.