There’s always someone in the family who drinks too much. During the holidays, they may cause a scene at Grandma’s house and embarrass themselves and everyone else. You don’t have to let it ruin your holidays.
Here are some strategies to make it a little easier when you’re dealing with the family alcoholic. Do you need an outpatient Wilmington alcohol rehab center for the holidays? Legacy can help! Call now for more information.
Dealing with Family Drunks During Christmas
1. Don’t feel obligated to show up.
If there’s one event that always culminates in drama because of someone over drinking, decide if it’s worth it to go. You don’t have to go to everything you are invited to, especially if you dread it every year. If there are people in attendance you only see at that event, invite them to something separately so you can have a chance to spend time with them without the problems caused by your alcoholic relative. Start a new tradition.
2. Don’t invite the family member with the drinking problem.
If you’re the one hosting the event, don’t invite the family member who drinks too much. If you speak to him beforehand, explain why. If he shows up anyway, stop him at the door and set some boundaries. Express what you expect from him and tell him he will be asked to leave if he doesn’t follow your wishes.
3. Get rid of the booze.
If you and the rest of the family are tired of dealing with people who drink too much, then have a dry party. Serve hot cider, mocktails or hot chocolate instead of beer and liquor. Don’t mention it in the invitations to the ones who tend to overindulge, otherwise they may show up already buzzed. If they are upset to find no alcohol when they get there, they can deal with it or leave.
4. Have a heart-to-heart conversation.
You don’t have to have an intervention for your family member with the alcohol problem, but you can express your concern over his behavior. Tell him that you and the rest of the family enjoy spending time with him but that you think things could be more enjoyable if he didn’t drink so much. He may not think he drinks too much and may be offended by the suggestion, but he may also take it into consideration.
5. Chalk it up to tradition.
If no one gets hurt, physically or emotionally, when the alcoholic starts his drama, step back and laugh about it. It’s probably already become family tradition that Uncle Joe will drink too much and almost knock over the Christmas tree. If it’s harmless, accept it for what it is. You can’t control the antics of others, but you can control how you react to them. Don’t let it stress you out if no one is in harm’s way.
Remember that you and your family deserve a memorable holiday that isn’t filled with negative memories. Don’t be afraid to change the way you do things in order to have a better experience this year.
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