Holiday Celebrations with Recovering Loved Ones

We are still a few weeks out from Halloween, which means we are only a few months away from Thanksgiving and then Christmas.

This time of year is a time that many people look forward to as it is filled with family, friends, decorations, food, presents, and much more. It is a time to just enjoy each other’s company and reflect on the year and be thankful for your blessings.

But, while most people do enjoy this time of year, there are also several people who dread this time of year…

For some, the holidays bring sorrow and sadness, anxiety and pain…

Often times, addicts will not show up at family gatherings. Maybe it is because they feel someone there does not approve of them or maybe it is because the thought of seeing their entire family is just too overwhelming.

Regardless of the reasoning, even once they are in recovery they can still find it hard to make an appearance at family gatherings during the holiday. And, that can leave you feeling down as well – rather it is your child, parent, or even just a cousin.

christmas, christmas tree, decoration

But, during this sensitive time, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. If you are serving alcohol, check with them first. Of course, you are not required to tailor your party just to their liking – that might actually make them uncomfortable. But, you do not want to enable or tempt them. So, if a recovering addict is attending your gathering, just privately check with them first if alcohol at the gathering is okay. It could make all the difference. And, isn’t their presence more important than your glass of champagne?
  2. Provide a place for alone time. Typically, this is a given. Everyone will not be hanging out in every area of the house – your room, your child’s room, both bathrooms, the living room, and the dining room. But, just privately make it known to that family member that if they are feeling overwhelmed, they are more than welcome to catch their breath in a designated room of the house.
  3. Ask yourself if you are all really ready to celebrate together. Has there been some animosity between you? Is there a more likely than not chance that a fight or argument might break out? A hostile or depressing environment is not good for the person recovering or anyone else involved. So, before inviting them, ask yourself and your family if you are ready to celebrate with them. Then, if you decide you are, privately ask that person if they are ready to see you as well.

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