For many people, the holidays are a time for sharing and giving. But for alcoholics, it can be dangerous because the urge to drink may be enhanced. This is especially true for the alcoholic in alcoholic families. Parties and holiday activities involve the use of alcohol and many people receive alcohol as a gift. People who are lonely may have the urge to drink.

We live in a drinking society with certain activities that promote the use of alcohol and are glorified in the media. Examples include sports: the Superbowl and the World Series to name a few. Many liquor ads show young people having fun with handsome actors and actresses. This is to promote the idea if we drink a certain brand or beverage we will be transported to an exotic backdrop where everyone is having a great time. Reality is much different. Holiday beer and beverage ads do not show all the problems that alcoholism and excessive drinking cause. People who are not alcoholic can enjoy a few drinks and the closeness that is a component of social drinking.

The holidays can be a dangerous time for the alcoholic. One can easily be fooled by the celebrating spirit of the holiday season and forget that alcohol has an adverse effect on them. Even people who don’t have a drinking problem can drink too much during the holiday season and get into trouble.
The alcoholic can still enjoy the holidays without drinking.

Here are some tips on having a sober, safe, and fun holiday season:

  • Do not go where others are drinking if you have the urge
  • Call a sober friend if you are feeling lonely
  • Go to a 12-step meeting
  • Go to a safe place if you are wanting to drink
  • Ask your host for a non-alcoholic drink or bring it with you
  • Give reasons as to why you don’t want a drink, you can give any reason you want
  • Go out with sober friends to support each other in drinking environments
  • Make sure you are not too hungry, angry, lonely or tired (HALT) when you go out
  • Go to a sobriety party -many 12-step clubs have sober Christmas parties

Your recovery must be your number one priority regardless of the time of the year. If you look back on other times when you drank during the holidays, you may find that drinking inhibited your ability to have fun. It is the alcoholic’s responsibility to live life on life’s terms without taking a drink.


We at Exult can help by giving you a safe place and encouragement. Please join our Sober Holidays support group if you are interested in having a group to talk to about holiday stress while in recovery. Our group will meet Wednesdays at 6pm. It is free to attend. If you are interested in signing up, please call 469-714-0006 or email us at

James Fox, Exult Healthcare