This Christmas, despite tough economic times, alcohol sales across Britain will undoubtedly be massive. When you think about the beer, wine and spirits purchased to be drunk at home; combined with drink sales in pubs, bars, hotels, and at functions, that all amounts to a pretty penny.
About ‘the in-between’
On the days between Christmas and New Year, alcohol consumption drops, of course, as people ‘take a break’ after all that Yuletide booze (not to mention the mince pies, Christmas pud, turkey sandwiches etc.). But it’s also a time when consumers take the opportunity to stock up again on alcohol in preparation for bringing in the New Year.
If you are one of this country’s hidden drinkers: a functioning alcoholic (a financially secure and well-educated professional) who has been trying desperately hard over the past few weeks or months to reduce your alcohol consumption – or even to finally kick the booze altogether – you’ll not be alone in dreading the festive season, and the bottled and canned temptations it brings.
But don’t completely despair just yet
Why? Because enjoying yourself without letting a single drop of alcohol pass your lips as another year draws to a close is entirely possible. What’s more, through refusing to succumb to external (and internal) pressures, you’ll be rewarded with a double pay-off:
1) No nasty hangovers, and no black moods, blackouts, increased stress levels or abrupt bouts of anxiety that can all occur as a result of binge drinking over a number of days (oh, and no sudden beer belly ‘enhancement’ to fret over!)
2) You’ll feel great about yourself, because you’ll have stuck to your guns: you refused to give in to alcohol’s power, its allure… And for once you didn’t turn up at parties and other Christmassy events reeking of booze and looking dishevelled and bleary eyed (not a good look at a Nativity play, is it?)
…And the key to achieving your alcohol-free Christmas goal?
Want Christmas with a clear head? THINK AHEAD
Let’s say you want to throw a Christmas party, but it’s to be an alcohol-free shindig where a good time can still be had by all. As a start, consider these ‘soft’ options:1
1. Tell all invited guests beforehand that it is to be an alcohol-free bash
2. Explain why – this will stop any awkward questions on the night (“there will be many children present”, “a reformed alcoholic is attending”… Explanations like that should do it)
3. Include a few alcohol-free drinks, such as beers, cocktails and spirit substitutes amongst your offerings, but beware of including de-alcoholised wines as, although these contain less than 0.5% alcohol-by-volume, they are still not strictly alcohol-free
4. Pull out all the stops (as far as your budget will allow) to ensure that all the other ‘party pieces’ are top-notch: delicious food, great music, fantastic decorations, fun games with decent prizes… All this will soon have guests forgetting about alcohol and enjoying themselves sober in ways they never thought possible.
Worried about the cost? Don’t be. You won’t have shelled out a penny on booze, remember. And you can look forward to returning to work in January 2013 looking bright-eyed, bushy tailed, and probably about a stone lighter than your colleagues.
Want to Get your Life Back on Track?
Are you struggling with alcoholism (or a drug addiction) and want to do something about it? Start here!