Christmas Celebrations & Alcohol

Plans are being made to get together with family and friends and our calendar is filling up quickly. We are hosting Christmas dinner for 17 this year and my Mum andI are frantically planning the menu.
In past years I would have also planned the bar; ensuring that the beverages suited the meal and each person's drink tastes and glass choice were available. Since I've gotten honest and admitted I'm an alcoholic all of that has changed, I no longer worry about matching the wine with the food or how I'll get up with the kids the morning after.
This year my father has generously offered to take care of bar and I will prepare a gorgeous Mocktail Bar for my non-drinking guests.
Having non-alcoholic beverages available to guests is nothing new; the difference is that I am actually putting some thought into it. In past, the choices would have been quite limited; tea, coffee, pop, juice or water. Nowadays I love to have fancy schmancy bevvies for those who don't partake in my drink choices of days gone by.
Listen friends, it's time to get honest! If you are hosting an event over the holidays you need to be aware of your guests' alcohol consumption and lack thereof. Many of us are non-drinkers, for many different reasons and if you're looking to provide a comfortable, welcoming environment where fond memories will be made you need to focus upon that.
If you're from Canada you live in a culture where alcohol is ingrained within our culture as an accepted mainstay of the celebration. The ever-written Facebook status updates "Is it beer o'clock" or "Cannot wait to uncork the bottle at 5pm" are testaments to that fact. We accept that alcoholic drinks are a token of a state of unwind. This is not necessarily a negative situation, but there are risks involved.
As a host you must be aware of the ramifications, the legal issues should something unexpected happen...guests becoming ill...behavioral issues...the list goes on.
Are you conscious of these as you make your purchases for the bar this year? Have you plans to provide for your non-drinkers this year?
The Holidays show statistically that alcohol related driving accidents rise, as do hospital visits associated with alcohol intake. Isn't it time that we stop the madness and focus upon what our memories should be founded upon?
Today I challenge you, not to eliminate alcohol from your events, but to provide alternatives and to be open with your guests about this. Can you consider asking people who is driving openly when they arrive? Will you help take the stigma off of those who choose not to imbibe?
I certainly hope so. It's my opinion that if we speak openly about the risks associated with alcohol we'll become more aware. Having someone foolishly tipsy before dinner shouldn't be acceptable and it's time that we uphold a higher standard.
As you gaze around the room before the guests arrive, ask yourself what the focus is upon. If your bar takes up half of the space, perhaps you want to think about the message you're sending.
From my family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas!


With 15yrs invested in a high-paced corporate career, Julie's life changed drastically after facing her alcoholism and being involved in a car accident. This recovering alcoholic Mom/Wife shares her journey with rawhonesty in a humorous, shoot from the hip approach. Julie reminds us that wecan find Serenity amidst the chaos of life.