Celebrating This Season

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

For many people, alcohol has been synonymous with celebrating, especially around the holidays! Wine is often given as a gift, and bubbly is toasted at midnight on New Year’s Eve. It’s almost an expected “tradition.” But when children are present, concerns abound.

How do party-goers act around the children? Are children able to access the alcoholic drinks while adults may not be around? Are there designated drivers for everyone leaving? Are there children in the car, or about to be picked up from the sitters?

My family has chosen to omit alcohol from the holidays at our home. That way we don’t have to worry about who might drink too much, or ever give our teens the opportunity to “sneak” some. If we’re celebrating with friends or family, we are cognizant to only have one drink. We make certain the celebration is about being with our friends and family, and not about the alcohol.

Here are a few other quick tips you might want to consider:

■Check with the host/hostess before you bring alcohol to their home.
■Ask yourself if giving wine (or whatever beverage) is appropriate for this family. Could someone there be a recovering alcoholic, or have inquisitive pre-teens?
■Never give alcohol, even a sip, to someone else’s child. (Happened to us; family member who wanted to demonstrate that “a sip” was permissible by THEIR standards.)
■Arrange for a Designated Driver for yourselves…or arrange for a taxi. If necessary, make plans to stay overnight there at the host/hostess’s home.
■Lastly, don’t let others drive drunk (especially if they’ve got to pick up the kids from the sitter’s.)

Remember, celebrating doesn’t have to be about drinking; YOU are what people want more of! Spending time with each other is the real gift of the holidays. Make yours a Happy One!

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