The requisite Christmas post

It’s funny, I keep seeing posts around here, and in the mainstream media, with the same theme; Christmas is hard to cope with if you’re sober, here are some coping strategies, and remember it’s for your health!

Christmas sober, my friends, is really fucking awesome.

Christmas evening, my husband said to me ‘Gosh, I’m tired. It’s the big lunch and drinking during the day, I guess’. I just looked at him, smugly, because I’m obnoxious like that.

But honestly. Who the hell decided that drinking at Christmas was even a good idea? You have to wrap presents, with little fiddly bits of sticky tape and ribbon! You have to assemble bicycles using arcane instructions badly translated from the Chinese! You have to remember to sneak into a small child’s bedroom at midnight and put presents in stockings in complete silence, and also to artfully scatter mince pie crumbs on your floor, and THEN you have to get up at, like, dawn, and usually your alarm clock takes the form of a small child jumping on your stomach! Why would anyone think that being drunk and then hungover was a good idea?


There is so much work to do at Christmas, you guys. We just had a quiet one, with my Mum and my little family of four, and even then LH and I spent hours tag teaming in the kitchen. There was wrapping paper everywhere and small overexcited children to placate and dishes to time precisely with one another, and how would I have dealt with any of that drunk?

Oh, God, and not to mention the queues at the liquor stores and worrying about whether to buy enough to get through the holiday shutdown period. Remember those queues and that worry?

There were Skype calls with various relatives, most of which required high level diplomatic skills (“Little Girl, tell Grandma how much you liked your presents from her!” “I DIDN’T LIKE ANYFINK!” “Ha ha ha! Kids, eh? She’s afraid that someone will take things away if she admits loving them, which she does. Really!”) and gratitude to be demonstrated for well meaning gifts of my own. There was any number of minor emergencies..


In the evening, there was leftover Christmas pudding ice cream (soak dried fruit and peel in orange juice, mix into softened vanilla ice cream, pour marinated cherries over the top and sprinkle some chocolate shavings over the lot) and gossipy debriefing and cuddling on the couch and there is no liquid in the world that would have made that better.

There was, basically, your average Christmas. Which is work, and care, and details, and family, and love.

Even LH, who drinks quite happily and without any guilt, agreed that he’d have had a better time sober.

Put aside the serious worries about relapse and impropriety and well-I’m-missing-out-but-it’s-better-in-the-long-run and look at it logically.

Christmas is better sober. Christmas is better by every measure, for everyone, sober

Merry Christmas, guys. Next year will be a good one.


7 thoughts on “The requisite Christmas post

  1. I agree with every word too….and yet, that was incredibly hard for me to read because I am feeling sad, remorseful, tired, and cranky after drinking every night for the past week over xmas with family and friends. My skin looks terrible and I’m sure I’m at least five kgs heavier thanks to my ‘what the hell’ attitude to food when tipsy.

    I’m ashamed to report I also slipped on a toy and fell over in front of guests after a couple of champagnes. I didn’t break any bones thankgod and I told myself it was just becuase the toy was in the wrong place, but maybe it was yet another whisper from the universe to say ‘enough now, enough with the drinking’.

    The thing that makes me saddest is thinking of the moments I missed – the little subtle exchanges between my kids and their cousins, or the actual taste of the pudding my mum made, noticing what my mum wore, or the chance to cuddle up and read to all my neices and nephews. That’s what alcohol does, I guess. It makes you miss out on your own life.

    Allie, I want my next xmas to be sober like yours. Thanks again for the inspiration.

    • Thanks for sharing this, Grace (may I call you Grace?); this is such a great comment. “That’s what alcohol does, I guess. It makes you miss out on your own life” is EXACTLY it, and I could write a sermon based on that text alone.

      Tomorrow is a new year. Will you make it a sober one and see what it can be like?

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