We get a lot of mixed messages from the holidays. We see ads that tell us the perfect gift will make the holiday an exceptionally happy one for the receiver of that perfect gift.
I remember as a kid the Sears' Christmas catalog was poured over by my siblings and I. When my kids were young, it was the Toys R Us flyer.
Now it is Facebook and other social media outlets tempting us with more than gifts.
As an adult, the number one theory I see being paraded in front of us is this:
"Without alcohol, your holiday is not complete."
I’m not here today to preach or get on my I-don’t-drink soapbox, but I would like to make you aware of something.
Alcohol has never enhanced my holiday, and it won’t brighten yours either. It didn’t make my holiday more special with family. It didn’t make me more productive. It didn’t help me survive the holiday as so many ads promise it will.
In fact, it did just the opposite in all of those scenarios.
I don’t want to survive the holiday, I want to thrive. Social media tells us a different story. If you're not drinking wine to celebrate the season, you are obviously missing out.
That wine bottle with the child on it? Ouch. I guarantee you that kid is going to have some issues when he grows up.
I get that these can seem amusing and make most moms say, “Yes, please.” But it's not amusing to me and not for the reason you might think. It bothers me because I know how many people drink to get through the holidays. How they experience more shame and regret than the other eleven months of the year. The struggle of trying to limit the amount you imbibe and the awful feeling the next morning of having drank too much the night before. I’m not just talking physical here, the mental game is brutal as well.
I guess what I am asking here is to be aware. Before you share the quote you think is funny. Before you are a hostess with the mostess (alcohol that is.) Before you determine the success of your party based on the amount of alcohol served. At every gathering, there is someone who has a struggle with alcohol and most times you don’t have a clue who that is. So maybe give some thought to this. Do we really need alcohol at our family gathering? Do I need to drink with my kids for us to have a good time?
Our Christmas Eve party is a dry one. I used to tell myself that is just the way it has to be. Now I am glad. Our time together is more authentic, real, genuine. Our evening is enhanced more than ever with the absence of alcohol.
How would I feel if I overheard my family say, "I need a drink to get through Sherry’s birthday." Or how about this one? "I just need to survive Sherry’s birthday."
Isn't that what all these messages are sending us though? We just need to survive the birthday of our Savior. Get through it? Shame on us, for taking a day that should be celebrated and honored and making it into a day and season that we need the buffer of alcohol for.
Again, I’m just asking you to be aware of the possibility that you might be able to make this season easier for someone and you might never know who that is.
Think about being the light in a time that is dark for so many.
I saw on Facebook the other day an ad for the perfect purse. You could hide the bag from box wine in it making the pour spout easily accessible. I’ll be honest, my first thought was, “Why didn't this exist ten years ago!” Probably a good thing because if I needed to somehow hide a box of wine in my purse chances are I shouldn’t be drinking it.
Peace on your weekend,