Christmas is loaded to its eyeballs.

With what?

On the surface, it is a beautiful, joyous space in the calendar that we use to come together to spread peace, exchange gifts, and celebrate much.

Don’t get me wrong. That does happen, and I LOVE Christmas for those reasons and more.

There is much more to this international holiday than this glossy, superficial headline.

Christmas is catalytic.

It has the power to facilitate changes in individuals, positively and negatively.

It is armed to its teeth with this potential.

Approach with caution.

Scrooge is an example, transformed from a sad place to a happy one.

Elf, in his movie, takes his joy from being averagely amazing to stratospheric.

What if I find myself outside of the last two categories?

Supposing I am in an uncomfortable place, with my head down, trying to get through something important, like breaking an addiction, dealing with loss, or coping with feelings of loneliness?

What if I have pre-existing issues with any on the mental health spectrum?

What if I can’t or don’t want to celebrate?

What if I thought it would be in my best interests if Christmas didn’t happen, for me, this year?

Suppose I am not at ease around other people drinking and being loud? Yet.

What if I don’t feel the power to confront the tsunami wave of mass public opinion around this subject, the judgment I may feel toward my choice to step back this year, or my inability to step up sufficiently?

What do I do with the demands and guilt trips thrust upon me by the ads, shop windows, films, etc., which shout for me to get over myself, be merry, have friends suddenly, complete my recovery on the spot, and join the throng?

The season is indeed locked and loaded.

Christmas’ arsenal suddenly appears much more sinister.

Many of us in early recovery may be facing a dilemma.

If I can find it, turning to the Truth is always my default fix.

Here’s one:

NOTHING is more essential or needs more prioritizing now, today, and definitely over Christmas than my beautiful sobriety.

Mine is four months and needs care and attention.

This babe-in-arms sobriety is what I intend to be the foundation of the rest of my life. So naturally, its health, well-being, and survival are 100% deserving of priority status.


I will permit myself to do Christmas in a way that suits me this year.

I will allow myself to change the plan at any given moment based solely on what feels suitable for me.

Be kind to me as well as others.

Keep the bar low.

Avoid overwhelm.