Facing Christmas Without Alcohol (Transcript)
How’re you doing? I’m Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery. Today I’m talking about facing Christmas without alcohol.
Regardless of what you think about Christmas in terms of religion or commercialization, it’s a very busy time. I think it’s a very happy time for a lot of people, but it’s definitely a time when alcohol is probably drunk at its most. The whole Western world sort of shuts down and everyone gets together, whole families get together, spend time with each other. We eat too much, we drink too much, we watch too much TV, there’s no work, except for the few.
A Drinking Festival
I think what most of us have is that we tend to treat Christmas as an alcohol fest because we’ve got no work the next day – the next few days – because in general we have no responsibilities, we’re not doing anything. It just tends to be one long drinking festival, and we end up after Christmas in the New Year with awful hangovers as a result of days and days of drinking.
It’s no wonder that so many people actually quit drinking in the New Year and have to resolve to go for a few weeks or a month or a couple of months even.
People, Not Alcohol, is What Makes Christmas
A thing to remember if you’re trying to quit before Christmas or you’re facing Christmas without drinking and you just don’t want to drink, is that it’s not the alcohol that gives you the good time. It’s not the alcohol that makes you laugh, it’s not the alcohol that pushes you into high spirits, it’s the people that you’re around.
It’s all the other things about Christmas, all the beauty of Christmas. I love Christmas, going down to my sisters and seeing the kids opening their presents, oh it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s getting together around the Christmas dinner table, everyone is together, a lot of people who you wouldn’t normally see on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis. It’s just a good time.
When you look at it in light of day, it’s alcohol that does a lot to spoil it. I mean, how many Christmases has alcohol spoiled?
Good Time Vs Bad Time? You Decide
One of the real tricks to facing Christmas without alcohol is to approach it with that in mind, that you’re going to enjoy yourself, that it is a time of happiness, and that you don’t need a drink for it. If you approach it like the Grinch – if you don’t know what the Grinch is, it’s a children’s cartoon character from Dr. Zeus or a comic book, and he’s basically a miserable bastard who wants to try and spoil Christmas for everyone else.
So if you approach it like that, you approach it like it’s gonna be an awful time for you, then generally, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and you’ll have a miserable time. If you start out thinking that you’re gonna have a good time, then you’re on the first step. Half the battle with quitting alcohol, regardless of the time of the year that you’re trying to do it, is to do with your own personal attitude and how you look at it. And there’s basically two ways to look at quitting drinking or anything else in life, and that’s with a positive outlook or a negative one.
If you go into Christmas thinking that it’s going to be fun and enjoyment and you’re going to enjoy every moment, and at the end, remember – REMEMBER every moment (which is what I’m looking forward to for the first time in a long time), then it’s a great thing.
Believe it or Not, Christmas IS Changeable
Another thing to keep in mind is that Christmas is not this unchangeable feast. It happens the same time every year, but you don’t have to do everything the same way.
If you need to, then have a dry Christmas. Make sure that everyone else is having a dry Christmas. I don’t think that will go down too well, but there’s no harm in trying. If you change enough of the elements that you previously associated with your drinking Christmas, then there might be enough just to take the edge off it.
If you’re like me, off the alcohol for a year and you’re facing Christmas Day, I don’t think you should have any problems at all. It’s just a question of a completely different mindset. If you keep the growth mindset, know that there’s no chance that you’re gonna have a drink. Regardless of what then, there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Alternatives to Drinking
There’s plenty of things that you can drink as well, plenty of party drinks. There’s a lot of alcohol-free cocktails that you can find on the internet. There’s loads of them – there’s no point in me telling you. It’s all gonna depend on your taste. Me, for one, I’m gonna drink some Coke at Christmas. I don’t drink it normally, but I love the taste of Coke so…
Another thing that you can do to help yourself on Christmas Day – especially at the dinner table – is to refuse to allow people to have drink bottles on the table. So everyone can drink what they want, but they have to go into a different room to get their drinks, if that helps you.
If Worse Comes to Worst…
At the end of the day, if you feel like you can’t get through Christmas without a drink because of the way your family are gonna be or your friends are gonna be, just have it on your own. Is that a price too much to pay? It’s one Christmas out of how many? If you really can’t face Christmas without drinking then it’s something to at least think about. Staying on your own, holing yourself up in a hotel for a couple of days or just getting away from it all.
For what it’s worth, that’s facing Christmas without alcohol.
I can’t really say too much about it at this stage because I haven’t done it myself. It’s a long, long, long time.
The last time I faced Christmas without alcohol, I was waiting for Santa Claus to come down the chimney. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.
I’ll see you again soon.
I’m Kevin O’Hara for Alcohol Mastery.
Onwards and upwards!
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Until next time…
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