Happy Sober Easter

This article was written by Alyssa and published by Faith in Recovery.


Easter is right around the corner. If you’re in addiction recovery from alcoholism, there are certain things to keep in mind before jumping into the festivities. Some days, staying sober can be harder than others, even on religious holidays like Easter. Especially when you’re used to drinking to cope with the holidays or when you’re around family, having a happy sober Easter can be a challenge. If you can relate, our Christian drug rehabilitation center shares a few tips on how to stay sober on Easter.

What Is Easter?

Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion. The earliest recorded observance or celebration of Easter is in the 2nd century, though commemoration of Jesus’ Resurrection likely occurred earlier.1

Like Christmas, Easter has accumulated many traditions over the years, some of which have little to do with the celebration of the Resurrection but instead derive from folk customs. The custom of the Easter lamb represents both the designation used for Jesus in Scripture (“behold the lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world,” John 1:29) and the lamb’s role as a sacrificial animal in Israel.

In antiquity, Christians placed lamb meat under the altar, had it blessed, and then ate it on Easter. Since the 12th century, Lent has ended on Easter with meals including eggs, ham, cheeses, bread, and sweets that have been blessed for the custom.1 However, you might associate painted eggs and rabbits with Easter more so than the lamb of God.

It wasn’t until the 13th century that the painting and decorating of Easter eggs were first recorded.1 At the time, the church prohibited the eating of eggs during Holy Week, but since chickens continued to lay eggs, the custom of decorating them for Easter was introduced.

Eventually, the association of the rabbit or bunny with Easter arose in Protestant areas in Europe around the 17th century but didn’t become common until 2 centuries later.1 The Easter rabbit is said to lay eggs, decorate, and hide them. In the U.S., the Easter rabbit is also believed to leave children baskets with toys and candies to enjoy on Easter.

Can You Buy Alcohol on Easter Sunday?

As is the case with Lent, many people wonder if you can buy alcohol on Easter Sunday. However, you cannot. No sales of alcohol by liquor stores or tap rooms are permitted during Easter, among other holidays.

Again, as is the case with Lent, buying alcohol on Easter Sunday is usually only possible if it’s purchased with food. However, wines made on-site or with ingredients sourced from a nearby farm can be sold on Easter.

Although Lent takes place in the same week as Easter Sunday, it ends on Holy Saturday (the day before). This means that many individuals may not feel the need to hold back on their alcohol intake because Lent is over. This can lead to heavy drinking during the holiday, despite its highly religious background.

How to Stay Sober on Easter

Aside from egg decorating, many people also celebrate Easter by getting together. This is especially common in families who are religious or celebrate Easter every year. They may get together and celebrate with family, an occasion that often involves drinking.

Although drinking alcohol is not banned on Easter, for those who struggle with alcoholism or heavy drinking, it’s best to enjoy a happy sober Easter than to expose themselves to potential relapse. If you can relate, below are some tips for staying sober on Easter that can help:

  • Attend a 12-step meeting before celebrating somewhere where there’s alcohol for some advice and motivation
  • Have an accountability partner with you who will keep you on track
  • Find your own transportation or hitch a ride with someone who’s also sober
  • Don’t be afraid to leave early from an event if you feel stressed
  • Be prepared to encounter difficult family members if you celebrate with others
  • Prepare to politely refuse alcohol at any social gatherings
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your sobriety in social gatherings
  • Have an escape plan if you find yourself in a stressful or tempting situation
  • Do volunteer work

While Easter celebrations may not seem like they can become as “wild” as Christmas or Thanksgiving get-togethers, for many people, any holiday is an easy excuse to drink heavily. Any holiday can also come with exposure to alcohol and relapse triggers, which is why you can never be too careful when it comes to your sobriety.

On that note, if you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction and has yet to seek help, look no further. Our Christ-centered addiction treatment is offered on various levels of care and incorporates services like medical detox, individual therapy, and support groups to aid clients in both physical and mental recovery.

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