I’m Not a Grinch, But…


Day 49

What if Christmas, she thought, didn’t come from a liquor store…What if Christmas, perhaps, meant a little bit more?


The holidays are here.  Which means so are the parties.  God help me. 

I figure I’ll go to some.  Or I won’t.  It will depend on the party, on the people going, and on how strong or how susceptible I happen to feel on that particular day.  But one thing I know for sure – if I go, and end up irritated and feeling sorry for myself because I can’t drink and everyone else can, then I’d be better off leaving early or just staying home entirely.  

No one wants to be a Debbie Downer, especially me.  But  I’m beginning to realize that really drunk people are only entertaining when you yourself are really drunk.  If not, then they are actually annoying as shit.   

Being curled up in my PJ’s with some Ben & Jerry’s on my lap and and Love Actually on the tube would definitely be a better option for both of us.  Me – so I don’t have to punch you in the face, and you – so you don’t have to see this particular expression staring back at you:

Yes, please do tell me again about that time you were so plastered you stole baby Jesus from the church’s nativity scene.

If I do decide to partake in the holiday merriment this year, then navigating the dangerous minefields of mistletoe, spiked eggnog and folks a-wassailing will not be an easy task.

First, I will need to do some reconnaissance beforehand.  This will include identifying my allies – aka, sober soulmates.  I need to know if any of them will be attending the party so that I will have someone to commiserate with – and by that I mean latch myself onto  like a bloodthirsty tick.

I may also need to do a drive-by beforehand to identify all potential hazards.  Is there a large, temperamental beast in the yard that might prevent me from jumping the back fence as a quick means of escape in a pinch?  Is Kid Rock’s tour bus inexplicably parked out front?  Does the Christmas tree in their front window look like this?


If it appears the coast is clear, and all the stars have aligned, then I might actually go to a party or two.

Look for me and say hello.  If you’re not sure what I look like, I will be the one standing stiffly in the corner,  looking like a deer in the headlights.  I might be wearing a santa cap slightly askew to make it appear like I’m getting my drink on, but in reality I will have a death grip on my unadulterated cranberry La Croix.

If you’re looking for Drunky McDrunk-Face Anna, don’t hold your breath.

I will not be passing out on the couch, puking in my Uber driver’s back seat on the way home, slurring through a loud tirade about the causal relationship between global warming and the preponderance of flocked Christmas trees,  proposing extremely inappropriate reindeer games, or calling for shots of Peppermint Schnapps at 2am.

Actually –  I intend to wake up early, sans hangover, the next morning.  Because I’m starting to like the way that feels, and I’ve got shit to do.

So don’t feel sorry for me if I appear far too uptight in my new sobriety to have as much fun as you’re obviously having.  After all, someone has to remember every detail of your amazing night for future reference.  Might as well be me.    Ho, Ho, Ho.

Oh, I’ll be making plenty of notes on the Naughty List…don’t you worry.



  1. Anna, I so enjoy your posts; you have an incredible writing style! I know David. Would love to meet you one of these days!

  2. Such a fun and sobering read. Don’t have to stop drinking but choosing not too as of late. It’s not all that fun anymore. You are not alone.

  3. It is always surprised to see that many others aren’t falling down drunk either.
    I, of course, always thought everyone was sloshed. Turns out that is not true.
    I still often say no. My time is precious and I can only handle so much chatting before my anxiety exhausts me.
    And I know now I am not missing anything anywa!

    Great post!

  4. Anna,
    So glad I found you, Anna, and your writing! I just made it through my 11th Christmas office party SOBER and they don’t get much easier but without sounding patronizing, I’m so proud of you! This year’s Christmas “mingling and drinking dinner” was actually okay; now that I know that most of them won’t even remember what they said to me the next day. It does make me laugh that they always have it on a weekday; every alcoholic knows they won’t be at work the next morning!
    Especially, when you mentioned waking up and feeling “good.” For almost exactly 20 years I woke up hungover. That’s incorrect. I woke up so incredibly hungover every single morning, without fail, for 20 years, that if I did NOT puke, it was going to be a great day.
    When I wake up now and actually feel okay (never feels great getting out of a warm bed), it’s an amazing change. And a change I never thought would happen.
    I can’t wait to dive in and read more!

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