It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to practice mindful drinking  

Drinkaware, the national charity working to prevent and reduce alcohol misuse, wants to support the public with tips and advice on how to host a merry and mindful Christmas gathering.

The Drinkaware annual Barometer for 2022 found that 35% of adults who drink have made small positive changes in their drinking habits, and that 30% of adults who drink want to drink less. Additionally, the Drinkaware Drinks Calculator has had over 320,000 visits this year.

Visits to the Drinkaware ‘Explore Sober Curious and Mindful Drinking’ webpage have increased by over 140% this year, and in September, the sold-out public webinar on ‘Mindful Drinking and Mental Health’ produced by the charity proved popular with the public. It’s clear that more and more, people in Ireland are wanting to explore sober-curious and mindful drinking and feel the benefits of drinking less first-hand.

Drinkaware is encouraging the public to be mindful this holiday season by hosting a merry yet mindful festive gathering this Christmas. If you’re hosting a Christmas get-together this year, Drinkaware has some tips for event hosting to ensure you and your guests have an enjoyable, festive and mindful time.

Think of ‘SANTA’ to prepare with Drinkaware’s top tips for event hosting this Christmas: Serve food, accurate measuring, Non-alcoholic, tap water, and alcohol-free activities.


Serve food

From mince pies to gingerbread men, don’t forget to keep the Christmas snacks replenished! Eating while drinking alcohol helps to slow down how much you drink, but also slows down how quickly alcohol is absorbed into your body. Your guests won’t feel the impact of the alcohol as quickly as they would if they were drinking and not eating.


Accurate measuring

Free-pouring drinks can lead to drinking above the HSE low-risk guidelines for alcohol. The guidelines state that men should have no more than seventeen units and women no more than eleven units of standard drinks a week, and these should be spread out over the seven days with two alcohol-free days. You can order a free measuring cup from to help your guests keep track of what they drink, or use whatever you have on hand at home.



An increasing number of your favourite drinks have a non-alcoholic alternative. Get the taste without the alcohol and offer these drinks at your party! They’re becoming more popular than ever so why not leave one out for Santa, as he should never drink alcohol and drive a sleigh of reindeer. Guests can also make a safe journey home with no alcohol in their system.


Tap water

It’s essential! Give your guests some water so that they can stay hydrated. Keep a jug of water close to hand and make sure it’s topped up with water throughout the event. Alternating each drink with a glass of water is a great way to cut down on how much you drink.


Alcohol-free activities

Create some fun this Christmas without drinking. Why not stock up on your favourite nostalgic family games? Monopoly, Mario Party, Cluedo, and charades etc. – a playing a good board game can bring your guests together this festive season.

A Christmas party with less alcohol doesn’t mean less fun, and drinking this Christmas doesn’t mean you have to be less safe. Visit to find more information, and have a merry and mindful Christmas!