Celebrate With Care

As we enter a busy holiday season, Westford Against Substance Abuse (WASA) encourages the residents of Westford to make the most of holiday celebrations. Celebrate With Care. The holiday season is a paradoxical period of overwhelming responsibilities, bustling activity, increased stress and magical moments of joy, anticipation and wonder.

In our society, consumption of alcohol and celebrations traditionally go hand in hand. Anyone can experience problems when drinking alcohol. We all make choices about how much and how often we consume. Alcohol is a depressant. Use may affect cognitive ability, coordination and physical health. During a season when energy levels need to be high, stress levels tend to rise and social opportunities abound, we need to keep in mind the importance of celebrating with care.

The following are some tips to make hosting or attending a holiday party a healthy, safe and fun celebration.

As a host of a party, make the most of your celebration:

” Provide attractive, appetizing non-alcoholic beverages
” Create a relaxed atmosphere
” Never insist someone drink alcoholic beverages
” Plan activities to keep guests entertained
” Serve plenty of food and limit any salty, thirst provoking items
” REMEMBER: Serving any person under the age of 21 is ILLEGAL

When attending a holiday party:

” Make healthy decisions about drinking alcohol
” Prior to attending any party or social event, think about yourself first
” Take your own non-alcoholic beverage of choice to the party
” It is not necessary to explain why you have chosen not to drink
” If going with a friend, make a pact that you will not abandon each other
” Adopt the attitude that drinking does not need to be the focus of the party
” Ask yourself how drinking affects your health, others, and control

Look for bookmarks with tips for hosting a fun, successful party and cards with recipes for non-alcoholic beverages and other holiday ideas at Fletcher Library, Town Hall, Westford Police Department and Roudenbush Community Center. For more information, call Ray Peachey, Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, at 978-399-2528.

Non-alcoholic recipes:

Frosty Mocha1/2 gal. chocolate ice cream, softened
8 cups coffee, chilled
1 pint half-and-half
1 tsp. almond extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1 square semi-sweet chocolate, grated
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
With mixer at low speed, beat ice cream and 3 cups coffee until smooth. In chilled 5-6 qt. punch bowl, stir ice cream mixture, half-and-half, almond extract, salt, and 5 cups of coffee until blended. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and cinnamon. Makes 16 8 oz. servings.
No-Tequila Margarita12 oz. can thawed lemonade concentrate
12 oz. can thawed limeade concentrate
1 cup powdered sugar
4 egg whites
6 cups crushed ice
1 qt. club soda
coarse salt (optional)
In 4-quart non-metal container, thoroughly mix the first five ingredients. Cover and freeze, stirring occasionally. Remove container from freezer 30 minutes before serving. Spoon 2 cups of the slush mixture into blender; add 1 cup of club soda. Blend until frothy. To serve, rub rim of glass with lime slice, and, if desired, dip rim in coarse salt; fill glass. Garnish with lime slices. Makes 24 servings.
Lemon-Strawberry Punch1 can (6 oz.) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 pkg. frozen sliced strawberries
1 can (6 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate
1 quart carbonated water
1 quart ginger ale
sliced bananas (garnish)
sliced oranges or lemons (garnish)
Combine frozen lemonade, strawberries (half-thawed with juice), and orange juice. Place in a punchbowl with ice. Just before serving, add carbonated water and ginger ale. Garnish with thin slices of orange or lemon. Serves 20.