December is well and truly under way now. With Christmas just a few weeks away, brands spend millions on advertising. I used to think that the festive period was an advertiser’s dream for children. I have a young child myself, who wants everything that comes on the adverts, whether he is genuinely interested or not. From things he is clearly far too old to play with now, to puzzles with a thousand pieces, everything has the potential to be added to his Christmas list.
At least I have some control over what he sees. I can choose to watch a channel which does not have adverts. I can choose to have the television off.
Christmas means eating and drinking to excess as well. The aisles of alcohol in the supermarket seem to have multiplied over the last month or so, with more choice than ever before and offers making it seem cheaper than ever before. There are adverts everywhere, that are not so easy to avoid. In the supermarket, on the sides of buses, at bus stops, pop ups on the Internet.
I don’t work and have very few friends so I don’t have the social pressure so much. I do have a large family with whom we will be spending Christmas. A large family who like to drink. Last year there was a whole table full of various alcohol; wine, lager, beer, spirits and champagne all set up outside because there was no room in the fridge. There is the pre-Christmas gathering, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Through it all I need to deal with my husband as well. He has a few months of being dry, then thinks he can drink normally again and inevitably doesn’t manage to. Towards the end of last week I felt like he was stirring things between us, trying to deliberately cause an argument to give him an excuse to storm off to drown his sorrows in the pub. I didn’t rise to it and I am proud of myself and the way I handled it but it highlighted yet again that it is only a matter of time.
As of right now, I am optimistic that I can get through Christmas sober, without feeling too stressed out. Yet that is still just under three weeks away; anything could happen before then.
My first Christmas sober (aside from the one I was pregnant for!) is an exciting prospect but one that makes me nervous.