Holiday parties without liquid spirits may still seem a dreary prospect to new A.A.s. But many of us have enjoyed the happiest holidays of our lives sober – an idea we would never have dreamed of, wanted, or believed possible when drinking. Here are some tips for having an all-around ball without a drop of alcohol.
1. Line up extra A.A. activities for the holiday season. Arrange to take newcomers to meetings, answer the phones at a clubhouse or central office, speak, help with dishes, or visit the alcoholic ward at a hospital.
2. Be host to A.A. friends, especially newcomers. If you don’t have a place where you can throw a formal party, take one person to a diner and spring for the coffee.
3. Keep your A.A. telephone list with you all the time. If a drinking urge or panic comes—postpone everything else until you’ve called an A.A.
4. Find out about the special holiday parties, meetings, or other celebrations given by groups in your area, and go. If you’re timid, take someone newer than you are.
5. Skip any drinking occasion you are nervous about. Remember how clever you were at excuses when drinking? Now put the talent to good use. No office party is as important as saving your life.
6. If you have to go to a drinking party and can’t take an A.A. with you, keep some candy handy.
7. Don’t think you have to stay late. Plan in advance an “important date” you have to keep.
8. Worship in your own way.
9. Don’t sit around brooding. Catch up on those books, museums, walks, and letters.
10. Don’t start now getting worked up about all those holiday temptations. Remember— “one day at a time.”
11. Enjoy the true beauty of holiday love and joy. Maybe you cannot give material gifts—but this year, you can give love.
12. “Having had a . . .” No need to spell out the Twelfth Step here, since you already know it.
Reprinted from Box 4-5-9, Holiday Issue 2015 (PDF), with permission from A. A. World Services, Inc. Subscribe to Box 459.