Drunk for the Holidays

Flegel, visipix.com

Is it me or has “Drunk for the Holidays” trumped “Home for the Holidays?”  Maybe it’s always been that way.  Maybe I’ve been so distracted by the lights that I never noticed.

It’s not that I’m above alcohol.  I like my chardonnay at dinner; and my cider spiked at Thanksgiving; and a glass of Baileys by the tree; but there’s a difference between enjoying a seasonal beverage and getting bombed.

Even back in my party days, holidays were a time of familial devotion for me. I spent time with little ones or reconnected with the little one in me.  I visited elder relatives and sent cards. I shopped and cooked and made merry with rituals and connections.

During those college days, I remember visiting a friend over the Thanksgiving break, and was surprised to find that all her people got trashed. No doubt this was a tradition linked to homecoming and football; but what’s that connection all about?

I’m no sports fan, but in my assessment the diehards are so drunk that they miss the game, not to mention waste time and money in ridiculously long lines for $8 Budweisers, followed by bathroom lines twice as long.

But I digress.

It was my own alcoholic mother who taught me how to celebrate New Years without drunkeness. On this one night of the year, she asked me not to go out (she was afraid of the drunk drivers); and in exchange for my compliance, she let me have a handful of friends overnight for a fancy dinner. I even got to use the dining room and the china.

Staying in on New Years then became a lifetime pleasure.

It may seem cool to get drunk at 20; but by 30, it’s grown stale (whether you’ve noticed or not;) and if you’re still partying at 40, you’re fraying around the edges, and no one even wants to look after that.

Don’t tell me you’re having fun because fun isn’t slurring your words, and spilling your drinks, and waking up miserable. Fun isn’t a DUI at 45 or rehab at 17.

If you’re not an alcoholic, why act like one?

Maybe you can’t see yourself. Maybe it’s a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes; but ask any child, and she can tell you.  She sees the pain you’re hiding. And the sadness. Or the anger. And the fear. And the boredom. She knows how to play the fool without a substance that ultimately steals the joy.

Wake up! Why do you want to repeat what your parents did? You’re kidding yourself if you think you’re different.

When it comes to getting drunk, we’re all the same.

Kelly Salasin, December 29, 2011

Click here to see if AA is for you.

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4 thoughts on “Drunk for the Holidays

  1. my ex-husband, a recovering alcoholic, always said that New Year’s Eve was for amateurs. Not that I don’t ever indulge, but I could never figure out why starting the first day of the year with a hangover was a good idea???? Hope you are having a wonderful holiday and creating new memories with your own family. xo

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  2. Kelly, There’s no better feeling than to wake up feeling good on New Years Day, having been aware and available for others who needed help or attention the night before. I know. I joined the fellowship of AA over seven years ago. Women are especially vulnerable to alcohol addiction. I urge anyone interested in trying a new way of life to check it out. It changed my life. Thanks for pointing people to the resource.
    Happy New Year!

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  3. Hi Kel, it does seem like alcohol and the holidays go hand in hand. I think it’s always been that way at least it seems so. We try to stay home New Years tho, just to keep the kids from drinking and/or driving.

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