I well remember the pressure of making sure that “Santa” knew what each of my children really wanted most, and cooking all the favorite special holiday dishes that everyone counted on. This, while cleaning, decorating, sending greeting cards. . . To keep some gifts a secret, they had to be assembled after the kids were asleep on Christmas eve. To keep going into the night there were a few too many sips of holiday libations, so of course, I wasn’t as full of joy as my sons were when they woke up early to see what Santa had left under the tree.

Commit to Recovery has some great suggestions for planning ahead to ensure sobriety through the holidays. My favorites are “Keeping It Simple!,” with tips like-

“Do only what gives you pleasure and what time reasonably allows. This is a good opportunity to recognize your needs and practice setting boundaries.

For example, stress and overwhelm are my biggest triggers for wanting to drink. I dislike cooking so I’ve given up on giving dinner parties and baking 5 different kinds of cookies. I don’t barbecue my 4th of July meat anymore, I buy it already grilled at the local market.

I’ve learned to say no to some invitations. Try to avoid too much explaining or feeling guilty. Whatever it takes for you to keep your sobriety has to be your main priority!”