Alcoholics Anonymous gives this advice to its members to help them stay sober during the holiday season.
Holiday parties without liquid spirits may still seem a dreary prospect to new members of Alcoholics Anonymous, but many have enjoyed the happiest holidays of their lives sober - an idea they would never have dreamed of, wanted, or believed possible when drinking. Here are some tips for having an all-round ball without a drop of alcohol.
- Line up extra AA 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.
- Be host to AA 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.
- Keep your AA telephone list with you all the time. If a drinking urge or panic comes, postpone everything else until you've called an AA member.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you have to go to a drinking party and can't take an AA member with you, keep some candy handy.
- Don't think you have to stay late. Plan in advance an "important date"you have to keep.
- Worship in your own way.
- Don't sit around brooding. Catch up on those books, museums, walks and letters.
- Don't start getting worked up about all those holiday temptations. Remember, to take one day at a time.
- Enjoy the true beauty of holiday love and joy. Maybe you cannot give material gifts but this year, you can give love.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.