Raise a Glass, or Not

You may give attendees the option to fill their own glass before the toast.

New Year’s Eve is known for many things, including the champagne toast at midnight. But there are plenty of folks who choose not to raise a glass of bubbly when the clock strikes 12.

Check out some ways to encourage responsible drinking while ensuring all of your guests feel welcome:

Stock the Bar with Non-Alcoholic Beverages: If you’re hosting in your home, remember to add juices and sodas to your shopping list. If folks are looking for an alternative to alcohol, you want to ensure it’s easy to find.

Host a Toast, Without Requiring Champagne: A toast at midnight is a classic way to ring in the New Year. But, a glass raised doesn’t have to be filled with alcohol. Offer plenty of non-alcoholic options for those flutes. Either give attendees the option to fill their own glass, or, if your party is catered, make sure that the non-alcoholic glasses are clearly labeled and easy to grab.

Keep it Clear: If you or your caterers are serving any communal beverages, such as a bowl of punch, make sure that it is clearly labeled with the ingredients. You don’t want to put the designated driver in the awkward position of pouring a glass, only to find that it includes spirits.

Ensure People are Getting Home Safe: Remind people that you want them to be responsible drivers. Of course, if you believe someone is not fit to drive home, tactfully offer to help arrange a ride on his or her behalf.

Don’t Make a Big Deal of It: People choose not to have a drink for all sorts of reasons. As host, it’s your job to make sure that everyone is having a good time and feels safe and comfortable; don’t feel as though you need to ask why a person is selecting not to imbibe, and don’t feel bad or self-conscious about it.

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