Celebrating New Years: Have Fun Without Drinking

Submitted by Rebecca M., Sprout Contributor

December has finally come, that means it is time for all those holiday parties everyone has waited for all year. December is the time of year to be with the people you love most, usually those people are your family and friends. It is easier for adults to go to holiday parties and have a good time because there is a very high chance there will be alcohol. This makes it hard to find a good holiday party for teens under the age of 21. This time of the year, underage drinking can be very tempting for many teens because they see their family drinking the famous ‘homemade eggnog,’ with a little something else added to it; they see all the ads online tempting them to try the new special winter drinks.

Sometimes teens might wish they were 21 so they could just go out with friends instead of not knowing what to do with them. The truth is, there are a ton of different things teens can do for parties, without the temptation of underage drinking. They just have to be a little creative and like to have fun at the same time. I know it might sound a little stupid to get creative for a holiday party, especially when the ‘popular kids’ are having a great time drinking at their parties.

But stop and ask yourself, do you really want to wake up the next morning with a hangover? Or would you rather wake up and still remember what happened at your party, and call your best friend and laugh about the party? I’d go with waking up, calling my best friend and laughing.

Another thing to think about with these parties is the fact that the roads are most likely going to be either icy, wet, or covered with snow. If you are a new driver you don’t want to be drinking and driving on icy roads. Driving on icy roads is risky enough without drinking, but drinking and driving on icy roads has DANGER written all over it.

So you and your friends are going to have a party without alcohol, what do you do? There is plenty of stuff do at holiday parties.

If all your friends celebrate Christmas, do a small gift exchange. Make it into a game so everyone in the group leaves with a gift. Make fun rules for the game, like saying the wrapping paper has to have black and white on it, or the gift has to have something red on it. If you really want to turn it into a contest, give prizes for the best gift and the best (and maybe even worse) wrapping.

I know a lot of teens are not working right now, so maybe the gift exchange is out of the question. If so, what about a movie night? Try watching holiday movies, making holiday cookies and getting pizza with all your friends. This way your friends can have fun and enjoy themselves without the worries of anyone getting hurt while drinking.

You can also try playing games. I love playing board games with my friends, and this time of year you can find holiday games online to make a party even more fun. Try playing charades, but instead of trying to act out the normal cat, dog, and baby stuff, try acting out Christmas Songs. I recently went to a Christmas party where none of the college students were old enough to drink, and we had a great time making homemade ice cream and playing games. Sometimes it is ok to be a kid again.

I know the holidays are a time to spend with family and friends. So why not make it a good holiday this year and share memories? This may sound silly, but as I get older I love hearing some of the stuff I did as a kid. I have so many memories with some of my best friends and family members, and even some memories I can’t believe they would share that with my friends.

My favorite Christmas memory is with a best I have had since second grade. Every year I go to her house and help decorate the house and tree. Her mom bakes cookies, the house smells like a bakery, and we sneak into the kitchen and take cookies off the cooling rack two at time when her mom isn’t looking. Sharing memories this time of year can be great because you stop and realize what you are thankful for in life. When I was home for break, I once again put up decorations and watched movies with my best friend.

New Years is the same way. If you have a few friends over, try asking your parents to make some snacks. Every year I go to dinner with my best friends family, and then we go back to her house to eat snacks and watch the ball drop. It is much more fun remembering the start of a brand new year, rather than waking up with a hangover and headache.

May everyone have a blessed Holiday and Happy New Year.