How I Survived My First Sober Christmas

“So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear…”

Christmas is upon us once again and the above is my favorite song at this time of year. John Lennon certainly had a talent for finding lyrics that make us consider his point of view.

Christmas however, can be a rough time for the newly sober. Wine with the main meal and eggnog liqueurs to keep the party going are bountiful. I found that I was able to discuss my concerns prior to the big day with family members. Having others support my commitment to sobriety was extremely helpful, but alcohol was never far from my thoughts.

My First Sober Christmas

I recall my first Christmas as a sober lady. I looked around at the people celebrating, drink in hand, and assumed that their merriment was out of reach for me.

As the day progressed, something incredible took place, though. The spirit of the holiday, the birth of my savior, overtook the “poor me’ doldrums that I had been experiencing. I focused on the crèche and relived the amazing story. Mother Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the holy star brought me to tears as I felt the power of the event.

Our Lord was born that day and brought solace to all. I repeatedly thought about “Peace on earth, good will toward men” and found that my cravings slowly lessened. I began to realize that I was truly blessed and that I had received the best gift of all; a clear head and an ability to interact with my loved ones in a manner that did not include drinking drama.

I allowed myself to join in the carols, the feast, and the opening of gifts. I looked at this day as a celebration of my love for my Higher Power and thanked him for my precious gift.

5 Tips for a Sober Holiday

Enjoy your holidays by planning ahead. It may take a bit of time, but recall the consequences of your drinking or drugging. Here are 5 things I’ve found helpful over the years in maintaining my sobriety over the holidays;

  1. Bring a sober friend to the Christmas party if you can.
  2. Have a list of your sober fellows’ phone numbers. Excuse yourself to use the bathroom or to get some fresh air and call on your cell phone if need be.
  3. Speak with your sponsor before you leave.
  4. Get to a meeting prior to your departure and share your concerns.
  5. Remember that your sobriety comes first. If you feel that it is in jeopardy, don’t go to the event!’

…And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun.”
~ John Lennon

Embrace your sobriety and see it as the blessed gift that it is.

Merry, merry Christmas to all!

Author: Katie H. is a writer, recovering addict, and mother based in Connecticut.