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I absolutely adore Christmas. It is hands down my favourite time of the year. Even more so since having children, it is filled with so much magic and excitement. This year, my eldest is 10 so I’m assuming will be the last year when both girls believe.

Since I gave up drinking in March this year my big worry has been Christmas. How will I get through this period without alcohol? How will I continue all the well practiced traditions without wine? Will it still be fun or will the magic have gone? I’ve furiously over-analysed these questions over the last few months and am relieved, if anything, to be out the other side.

Did I make it? Yes! Did I continue the traditions without the assistance of alcohol? Indeed! Was it still fun? Absolutely! In fact, and I did not expect this at all, this was the best Christmas I have ever had (except for Christmas 1998 when I had Roller Blades, but I was 14 and didn’t drink so that doesn’t count).  Here’s what I found:

  1. I do a much better job of wrapping Christmas presents if it doesn’t involve drinking copious amounts of Mulled Wine.
  2. The Christmas decorations can get done in one day if you start in the morning. I would never start the decorations until after lunch because I ‘needed’ to drink mulled wine while doing it. Apparently the very act of putting Christmas decorations up wasn’t Christmassy enough on its own, it needed to be accompanied by mulled wine.
  3. Elf on the shelf actually does some cool and funny things. In previous years the elf would do rubbish things like ‘hang from the light’ or be ‘resting as she was in exactly the same position as the previous morning’.
  4. Watching the kids open their Christmas presents is a much more pleasant experience without a headache.
  5. Having an AF drinks advent calendar can make you bound out of bed every morning like you’re a 6 year old.  
  6. Christmas Eve evening is so special when you keep your kids up a little later.

The most important thing I’ve learned is that Christmas is even more Christmassy without alcohol. You get all the joy, merriment and magic but without the hangover. What more could you want?