BYO Mocktail: The First Thanksgiving Sangria (AF)

BYO Mocktail: The First Thanksgiving Sangria (AF)

Hello again all!

We are starting that descent into the holiday season which can often cause anxiety for those of us in sobriety. No matter how much time you have there can be triggers everywhere that threaten to derail you.

First up: Thanksgiving.

 

For all my Canadian Sober friends, yes I know REAL Thanksgiving was last month.
Sangria

 

I quit drinking in August of 2018 and pretty much on October 1st of that year I started panicking about what I was going to do for Thanksgiving. My husband Jay and I spend Thanksgiving with his family, and it was always filled with wine, specialty cocktails and after-dinner shots. That year was different, I had been trying to get sober for 2 years and the determination I had for this round of sobriety felt stronger.

 

So, I turned to my favorite place on the internet… Pinterest. Frantically searching for the best mocktail that looked enough like an alcohol-filled cocktail that no one would really ask too many questions. I wasn’t ready yet to talk about the fact I had quit drinking, so my plan was just to fake it for a little bit longer. There were so many different recipes for Sangria! Taking ideas from a few recipes, my own imagination and taste buds, I created Sangria minus the booze.

 

Recovery Elevator Mocktail Blog

 

I wish I could go back and tell Past Kate that it would be ok and that no one really cared what I was drinking, they were just focusing on what they were drinking on Thanksgiving. That first holiday, I’m pleased to say, for me was a success. When my sister-in-law asked “What are you drinking?” I confidently replied “Sangria!” and I didn’t have to lie.

Today I’m giving you The First Thanksgiving Sangria.

Recovery Elevator Mocktail Blog

The First Thanksgiving Sangria (AF)

Serves 8
Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium apples, diced
  • 2 medium pears, diced
  • 2 medium oranges, skins removed, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups brewed green citrus tea (cooled) *
  • 1 750 ml bottle non-alcoholic sparking apple cider

Using a large pitcher, add the fruit, cinnamon sticks, and tea.
Stir to combine and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Pour into your favorite fancy glass, adding the sparkling cider as a topper to taste.

*I used this tea.

Sangria

 

Love and Mocktails,

Kate

Sober COVID Holidays

Sober COVID Holidays

A layered cake.  That’s what I picture when I think about the next couple months.  The bottom layer is the upcoming holiday season.  And during a ‘normal’ year the holiday season can be stressful because…

…because of feeling overwhelmed, not getting everything on your todo list done.  

…because family.  Nuff said.

…because your vision of what the holidays ‘should’ look like, looks nothing like what yours actually do look like.

…because what once looked so far away, the year’s end, is now right before your eyes…and you are still standing there with a list of unmet goals.

…because you’re lonely.  You don’t do well in crowds.  You’re exhausted.  You’re broke.

Now take all that ‘normal’ year holiday stuff and add on another layer…a big fat layer of global pandemic.  

 

Hold up…not done yet!  Let’s go ahead and add one more layer…the “I want to stay sober through it all’ layer.  

If you are newly sober, and this will be your first sober holiday season, you may be feeling a little (maybe a lot) nervous and anxious…that’s normal, and you are not alone.  Stay with me here and we’ll get to some tips that can help.  

For those of you that have some sober time under your belt, you know how good it feels, and what that inner freedom feels like, when you get through a holiday season alcohol free.  These tips may help you too.  

Self care is a must.  You’ve ditched the booze!  That’s a grande size of self care!!  But there is more you can do in the self care arena, and taking care of your body, mind and soul is important during these stressful times.  Healthy eats, plenty of water, enough sleep, physical activity, slowing down, stopping to breath, and making time for meditation.  All very important and will help you get through the season.   Here is a 5 minute meditation you can do anywhere!  

Be mindful of what you’re drinking and thinking.  (Not to be confused with ‘mindful drinking’, which is a movement I’ll explore in a later blog.)  When headed to a social gathering or holiday party don’t go empty handed.  Bring your own NA beverage or, if you know there will be NA options there get one right away.  When you are prepared and have a beverage in hand people won’t be constantly asking you if you want a drink.  Having a drink in your hand also helps you not look so awkward when you don’t know what to do with your hands.   

Plan ahead.  There are a number of simple things you can do ahead of time…before you get to the party…that will help reduce your angst.  Drive yourself, so you can leave when YOU need to.  Arrive late, leave early.  Yes you are sober, but no that does not mean you have to be the designated driver, that can be triggering…drunk people are annoying (shocker!) and you may not like your drunk friends the next day.   Have a friend or two on standby that you can call or text if needed.  

You are going to be asked why, so have your response ready.  “You’re not drinking? Why aren’t you drinking? For how long aren’t you drinking?  You are never drinking again?!?!”  They are going to ask…the questions will come.  Because in this backwards society we live in, where drinking is the norm…if you decide to go alcohol free…you’re the odd one.  You don’t owe anyone an answer.  But not being prepared when this question is thrown at you can make the situation even more uncomfortable.  Keep it short and simple if you want.  “Why aren’t you drinking?”  “Because.”  The end. 

Out with the old, in with the new…create new traditions.   Change the setting.  If you’ve always spent Thanksgiving dinner over at Aunt Mary’s…where you would have a little turkey with a lot of wine, then maybe you should offer to host the dinner at your house.  Change the time.  4 pm Christmas dinner at the in-laws with all 20 cousins too much, try going over there for brunch.  Do something completely different from your familiar holiday activities.  Go volunteer at a homeless shelter or to walk the dogs at your local animal shelter.  Giving and being of service is one of the best things you can do during the holidays, it helps you get out of your own head and focus on others.  

First and foremost, make your sobriety your top priority, because it is.  Every morning set your intention..tell yourself that you are not going to drink.  No matter what.  Eliminate the option of drinking altogether.  Remind yourself why you made the decision to live a life without alcohol…and that your ongoing sobriety is the biggest, most important, gift of the season.  

 

And always eat the cake. 

Until next time, be well,

Kerri Mac 🤟🏽

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