View Full Version : Keeping Your Holiday Season Sober and Joyous

Butterfly Woman
12-03-2010, 07:39 PM
Twelve Tips on Keeping Your Holiday Season Sober and Joyous

1. Line up extra A.A. activities for the holiday season. Arrange to take newcomers to meetings, answer the phones at a clubhouse or central office, speak, help with dishes or visit the alcoholic ward at a hospital.

2. Be host to A.A. friends, especially newcomers. If you don't have a place where you can throw a formal party, take one person to a diner and spring for the coffee.

3. Keep your A.A. telephone list with you all the time. If a drinking urge or panic comes - postpone everything else until you've called an A.A.

4. Find out about the special holiday parties, meetings, or other celebrations given by groups in your area, and go. If you're timid, take someone newer than you are.

5. Skip any drinking occasion you are nervous about. Remember how clever you were at excuses when drinking? Now put the talent to good use. No office party is as important as saving your life.

6. If you have to go to a drinking party and can't take an A.A. with you, keep some candy handy.

7. Don't think you have to stay late. Plan in advance an "important date" you have to keep.

8. Worship in your own way.

9. Don't sit around brooding. Catch up on those books, museums, walks, and letters.

10. Don't start now getting worked up about all those holiday temptations. Remember - "one day at a time".

11. Enjoy the true beauty of holiday love and joy. Maybe you cannot give material gifts - but this year, you can give love.

12. "Having had a..." No need to spell out the Twelfth Step here, since you already know it.

- from Box 459, Winter issue 2010

Butterfly Woman
12-03-2010, 07:44 PM
Tis the Season - Season Survival Guide
First and foremost, If you're new to AA and/or sobriety and trying not to drink, don't drink. Carry your contact list right next to your phone. Go to lots of meetings. Don't be a yutz. See what you can BRING to an occasion for a change.

My favorite 7 words in the Big Book: "go or stay away, whichever seems best'. If you're not sure whets best, call your sponsor or go to a meeting.

Family gatherings can be a source of tension regardless of the time of year. Couple of suggestions if you decide to attend.

A. ALWAYS drive yourself (if you're lucky enough to have a car or a license!) Riding along with Cousin Vicki might seem like a good idea at the time, but you're at her mercy. Never a good idea to be stuck someplace you really don't want to be.

B. Always have an escape strategy. Park your car where you'll be sure it won't get blocked in. Have enough cash for cabfare. Have your sponsor on standby to come and get you. Feeling 'trapped' someplace has led to many a relapse. Try to plan ahead.

C. If you're at a gathering and it's time for a meeting, get up and go. No need to announce your plans, if you quietly slip out a side door, go to your meeting, and quietly slip back in chances are nobody will have noticed your absence anyway. Just be cool, yule!

D. ALWAYS have something to drink in your hand. Most hosts are more concerned with their guests well-being and could care less what you're drinking. If there's an open bar, go over and get a soda, or whatever, and pour it yourself. Wrap a napkin around it if you feel self-conscious. NEVER accept a drink from a well meaning friend or relative. They may not know about your condition and may just be trying to be hospitable. Go get your own drinks.

E. Watch the desserts. For some reason holiday treats are sometimes loaded with booze, so when in doubt, have a handful of grapes instead of the canoles. Better for you anyway. Same goes for dinnertime. When in doubt, ask. Quietly.

F. Sometimes well meaning folks can get pushy about getting you a cocktail. Keep your cool, come up with some kind but firm way to say thanks but no thanks. My personal favorite is: "You know, I'd better not drink anything, I have to be home in April". Usually gets a laugh, and they leave you alone.

G. When in doubt, leave. Don't make a scene, don't tell your favorite Aunt that you can't handle the pressure, don't slam the door, don't kneel on the living room floor and beg forgiveness. Find your coat, find the side door, and ease on down, ease on down the road.

H. Don't really care what your sponsor says, Holiday parties are NOT the time to make any amends. Sorry guys. If there's something you really need to say to somebody who will be attending, try to get it done before the party. Remember, no pressure on yourself or ANYBODY ELSE.

I. Lots of AA Clubs have open houses this time of year. Volunteer to work a shift. Amazing what hanging out with a bunch of recovering folks will do for your Holiday Spirits.

J. If this is your first Holiday Season sober after years of drunky boozy nasty-ass behavior, you may think there are a lot of eyes on you. There are. There may be folks there that would be happier if you didn't attend. No worries. If you're invited, go. If you're not, DON'T.

K. Stay loose, but alert. Try to enjoy the occasion you've decided to attend. If Uncle Johnny gets in his cups and wonders why you're not hamming it up with him, smile, ask him if he's having any fun yet, and LEAVE. This isn't the time to push your comfort zone.

L. Try to remember the reason for the season, whatever you celebrate
(or don't celebrate). Many of us have darn good reasons for disliking this time of year, keep in mind that the odds of ever having a better past are ZERO. Move forward, try to do the next right thing, and keep smiling. It'll make folks wonder what you've been up to.

M. When at a family shindig or work party where therre might be alcohol...remember that procelin pot that we used to kneel at when we were drinking...It can now be used asa prayer chair... Go to the rest room...talk to God...ask for the next right thing...ask for the strength to refuse that drink,

N. Offer to be the designated driver of those that are drinkning...let it be your way of being of service