Tis the season to be tipsy..amirite?
As if the daily pandemic stress, job stress, kids at home (again) stress isn’t enough, now we have to worry about Thanksgiving and living up to the Pinterest moms and their turkey-shaped organic veggie platters. Can they get a life already? The endless charcuterie boards are giving me anxiety. Can’t we just bust out some Stove Top and Hungry Jack and call it a day? I don’t know about you, but I’m tired.
The only “good thing” about this pandemic (and the holidays) is that it’s perfectly acceptable to day drink. I know this because I can’t swing a cat without hitting a wine meme, or shirt at Kohl’s, or coffee mug, or fuzzy pajamas covered in reasons why mommy drinks and why we need and deserve it, damn it.
Case in point:
But is it really so “cute”? And what exactly is it that we “deserve”?
Not being present with our children? Numbing out? Hangovers and anxiety?
One of the biggest things I hear from sober-curious women testing out sobriety is how they are questioned, even badgered about why on earth they would ever want to quit drinking…especially now! During this pandemic. During the holidays. On a day that ends in “Y”.
Drinking as a woman has become a rite of passage. If you’ve got babies in a carriage, you’ve got Bordeaux in the cabinet. Can’t have that career without copious amounts of Cabernet. And what’s that show? “Toddlers and Tequila…?”
We need our drinks, damn it. We’ve earned it!
So when you tell your friends and family that you’re not drinking this Thanksgiving, chances are you’ll get some push-back. Trust me, I’ve dealt with it for the past few years now.
But there are really GOOD reasons to think about loosening your grip on the wine stem this Thanksgiving – and the holidays in general. You can do it and I can almost guarantee – you’ll be glad you did.
Below are 5 GOOD REASONS TO think before you drink this Thanksgiving.
Join me for Dry December:
A 21-Day Bootcamp!
- Avoiding TENSION.
There’s no real way around it. Tensions in the home have been higher than ever in 2020. Being in close quarters, working from home, and trying to take care of work, children, spouses, and parents is enough to make even Carole Brady mainline the Merlot.
Fold in a half dozen additional family members, a few dashes of political unrest, no-filter Bob (Aunt Joyce’s third boyfriend this year), and a few bottles of wine and things are likely to get sticky.
I don’t know when you last celebrated Thanksgiving 100% sober. I know for me, I couldn’t remember at first. But now that I’ve done it a few times, I can promise you, it’s SO much better. I actually engage in conversations and can give thoughtful feedback (even to no-filter Bob).
I go “check the gravy” when things start getting weird, instead of running my own mouth and getting hot and bothered over really nothing (then forgetting half of what I said).
I’m much more able to watch the time and control the activities, like clearing plates and putting out coffee (instead of letting the night drag on, bottle after bottle).
And my favorite part, engaging with the kids! Which brings me to my next point.
- Precious TIME
I know that as a society, we’ve normalized boozy holidays so much that we don’t even see it anymore, but look at it through your children’s eyes.
Is it really that “normal” for adults to get completely inebriated, loud, and “celebrate” family time by getting drunk?We talk a big game about family values here in the U.S., but most of our holidays are spent in an alcohol haze while our kids are sent to play in the other room or met with a curt, “Hold on, mommy’s talking,” breathing booze fumes in their little faces.
You might think it’s not that bad. Or that your kids don’t notice. They do.
You might say “My kids know I drink. It doesn’t bother them.” Ok. So, they’ve likely grown used to it. But we don’t get to decide what does and doesn’t bother someone else.
You might say, “This is just what our family does. The kids know this by now.” That’s right. And they also know that holidays mean drinking, often to excess. And they will continue to “know” that as they grow into adults and raise children of their own.
Real talk: kids find it very unnerving when adults – especially their adults – become intoxicated. Even if you’re just buzzed. Even if you’re a “fun” drunk. You’re not “YOU” to them and that is frightening, even though they won’t tell you that. It creates anxiety in their little bodies and they have to learn to manage that on their own.
This Thanksgiving, consider laying off the drink, even a little, so you can be fully present with the children in your home. You’ll see how quickly you become the anchor to their reality; a safe place. And I guarantee that talking, playing, and being present will give you the gift of your most fulfilling Thanksgiving yet.
- TRAGIC Accidents.
Ooof. She’s going there? I’m going there.
Thanksgiving Eve, Thanksgiving Day, and the entire Black Friday weekend are the deadliest 5 days on the road in the United States. DUI’s and fatal accidents due to “buzzed” driving spike in less than one week from now. Look at the statistics yourself if you don’t believe me.Even if you’re staying home, Thanksgiving is infamous for serious accidents in the home and being under the influence only makes this accident-prone holiday even worse.
I personally have a friend from high school whose mom lost her grip on a pan of hot grease on Thanksgiving day (after two glasses of wine of course) and she still has burn scars on her leg to this day.
House fires, slips and falls while cooking or hanging Christmas lights, you name it. If you’ve ever had a few glasses of wine and almost grabbed a hot baking dish that you JUST pulled out of the oven with your bare hands, you know what I’m getting at. Not worth it, friends.
Peace. Rest. Downtime.
Isn’t this what we’re always after?
Granted, Thanksgiving may be a “busy” holiday with cooking and family, but it’s still a holiday – a day for rest, enjoyment, and tranquility.We’re so conditioned to making holidays stressful and over-busying ourselves that we create the need for help from the cork crutch.
But what if we just did the best we felt we had the energy for, no more no less? What if we bought nice plastic plates this year or ordered food instead of cooking?
If we eliminate a lot of the stressors, we make room for more rest and downtime to just “be”. We don’t always need to hustle. The hustle is often a self-induced trap. Just stop. Take it easy this year.
Try a new tea, make cider from scratch, buy a new board game, let everyone come to dinner in their PJ’s. Not drinking will actually ease a lot of your anxiety and allow you to be truly tranquil, from the inside out.
- New TRADITIONS
Hands down, one of the coolest side effects of sober holidays has been the creation of new traditions.
Volunteering is a big one for me. My son and I started cooking and bringing meals to families in need about 7 years ago and now I don’t remember what Thanksgiving was like without it.
We also come up with new traditions every year.
For instance, one year we decided to go see drive-through Christmas lights on Thanksgiving night and Eminem happened to be playing in the car. Have you ever gazed at twinkling snow angels and Santas while rapping to 8-mile?
It was just one of those crazy fun moments and now “Eminem and Christmas lights” is a tradition.The best traditions are when you are just present and showing up for your own life. Fun things happen, laughs are had, and memories are made. Effortlessly.
Before I quit drinking, I lost a lot of those opportunities for memory-making, quality time, new traditions, peaceful holidays and showing up to be a good example to my son. I lost them down a black hole of wine buzz and hangovers. Don’t get me wrong, I was there…I checked all the boxes…but was I really, fully THERE?
I can’t get that back.
But I can do more today. And so can you.
I PROMISE YOU: it’s WORTH IT.If you’re up for a booze-free Thanksgiving this year,let me know in the comments below!
Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in