Every year since I can remember, I have hosted an annual Cinco de Mayo party at my house. I began having it not so much because of culture and tradition but because my kitchen was decorated in chili peppers and it seemed like a good fit. It has become my signature holiday! I provide tacos and fajitas,
make a mean Mexican Lasagna and yes, serve margaritas.
Working for Council for Drug Free Youth has heightened my awareness of how prevalent alcohol is in our community. I recently attended an event in which alcohol was mentioned in a plethora of contexts. When it was my turn to speak, I took the opportunity to inform everyone that April is Alcohol Awareness Month and suggested we all take a look at what role alcohol plays in our lives.
My friend, Jim Dyke, suggested that I host this year’s Cinco de Mayo party alcohol free and to be honest, I didn’t jump right on board with the idea. Margaritas weren’t the main attraction of my Cinco de Mayo party, after all. But then I thought about the Celebrate Sober Campaign CDFY just launched. We distributed Celebrate Sober cards to local florists and Samuel’s Tuxedo’s to be included with corsages and rented tuxedos encouraging youth to celebrate sober during Prom.
I thought to myself, if we are asking our youth to celebrate sober, why don’t we, as adults, expect the same from ourselves?
This year I have chosen to celebrate sober by hosting #SoberCinco17. I have invited community leaders to attend and set an example to our youth that we as adults can celebrate sober too. The focus will be on food and friendship. There will be fun. There will be photos. But I also want to get the conversation going. I want guests to be aware of the absence of alcohol and focus on what that feels like and post these thoughts and feelings on social media under the hashtag #SoberCinco17.
To be honest, some friends have already said they will not be attending my Cinco de Mayo party because there won’t be any alcohol. So, I ask this question: What does alcohol mean to you? Is it a necessary ingredient in your daily life? Are you willing to attend events that don’t serve alcohol? What kind of example are we setting for our youth?
And finally, are you willing to celebrate sober?