"Red or white?" is the traditional question. When your answer is "neither," it can throw a wrench in the gears of festivity.
I remember standing in the fancy kitchen of a fancy home before a fancy dinner party. Our hostess, bottle in each hand, realized that she had a guest who, astonishingly, did not drink. She looked desperately around, then ended up sloshing tap water into a cut crystal glass and thrusting it into my hand.
The holidays are upon us. With the biggest drinking holiday of the year lining up with Saturday night, some people are trying to navigate the arrival of New Year's without ending the weekend in the hospital.
Doing publicity for my new book on recovery, I've had a number of hosts — TV, radio, podcasts — ask, "How do you cope with the holidays?" I offer some glib reply, but what I really want to say is, "You know Scott, the very same not-drinking-today strategy I use on March 2 and Sept. 3 also works amazingly well on Christmas and Dec. 31."
But that's condescending. And simplistic. I understand it's hard for many people to get their heads around going to a holiday party and not drinking. It's like going to the movies and hanging out in the lobby. What's the point?
A few tips.
First, recognize it is possible. People do it....
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