I grew up in a home with no alcohol. My staunch Methodist grandfather was the most popular sailor in the Royal Navy as the man behind him in line got his own and my grandfather's. I thought my parents were squares. I asked my father about his choice for abstinence. He said he was afraid that one drink would drag him down the slippery slope of alcoholism. As a young parent with children and having joined the military that has historic challenges with alcohol, I followed my father's example. Christmas comes with alcohol abuse. Those of us in the helping professions have heard too many Christmas testimonies of smashed Christmas tress, broken gifts and fighting Christmas dinners. Words said and hurtful things done that never would have happened if people were sober. Those realities are miles from the glamorous life that alcohol advertisers promote.
People will drive drunk, lives will be lost and while the government collects massive dollars on the lucrative "sin" tax, millions of dollars are spent on all the assorted social and medical costs of alcohol abuse. I am sounding like the Christmas Grinch. Yes, I am dreaming - of an alcohol free or at least cut down in consumption Christmas. I wonder what positive difference that might make for you, your family or someone else. That choice may usher in the peace, hope, joy and love we long for at Christmas.
Jim Short can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.