It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
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I absolutely love this time of year. However, there is one thing about the festive season that I don’t like. I can’t stand the endless, pro-booze marketing messages that seem to be everywhere right now.

The idea that you need to drink alcohol in order to be festive, ‘get into the Christmas spirit’ or celebrate properly is absolute nonsense.

It makes me so mad when I see people being tricked into this idea. Pouring a toxic, liquid drug down your neck is not the key to having fun or finding joy.

I think it’s worth remembering that not so long ago, cigarettes were often portrayed like this:

 

Nowadays, these ads seem silly and rather outrageous, don’t they? Glamorising and romanticising a dangerous, cancer-causing drug like tobacco just feels weird. 

So… why are we still glamorising and romanticising alcohol? It’s also a a dangerous, cancer-causing drug.
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I decided to take some photos of the crazy Christmas cards I’ve seen – and add in a few changes…

 

Drinking alcohol won’t help you survive Christmas – it will make it harder!

Adding booze into the mix makes everything more stressful, not less. Alcohol does NOT have magic, stress-busting qualities. Contrary to popular opinion, drinking actually increases stress. (I explained why here.)

The jokey nature of these cards makes it easy to ignore what we’re really doing when we drink – we’re consuming a mind-altering, toxic drug in order to numb out from our lives.

Rather than having to drink in order to survive life, wouldn’t it be better to create a life that feels so good, you don’t want to numb out from it?  

 

If there’s one thing guaranteed to make Christmas a less-than-special, messy blur, it’s drinking your way through it.

For a lot of people, alcohol comes with terrible side effects: it increases their anxiety levels and makes them feel depressed.

It’s hard to feel ‘bright’ when you’re seriously hungover and your body is struggling to process a powerful drug. 

 

It absolutely is a fun, happy time of year – but that has nothing to do with alcohol.

We’ve all been to parties where it doesn’t matter how much we drink, we still don’t have fun.

We’ve all had times when drinking has left us feeling sad and emotional. Or we’ve become irrationally angry and picked a fight for no reason.

Alcohol is not magic joy juice – we must stop giving it all the credit for the fun times in life.

 

It’s hard for me to alter this card. It’s just rubbish!

I can’t think of any good stories that start with “that one time I meant to drink one glass of wine but ended up knocking back an entire bottle… before passing out on the sofa and then waking up in the early hours, feeling terrible.”

For a lot of us, that is the reality of our drinking – and it isn’t very funny.

This card reminds me of something the columnist Giles Coren wrote recently. He said:

‘Don’t tell me booze makes parties go with a swing. If you can’t enjoy a party sober, you should stay home and do origami. And don’t give me “it loosens my tongue” because if you can’t talk without a beer in your hand you should stay silent, for you have nothing to say. And as for “Dutch courage”, Jesus. If you’re not brave enough to do something sober, it is because it is not a good thing to do.’

 

And finally… here’s one alcohol-themed Christmas card I think I approve of!

Alcohol is bad for your health, obviously. It’s also bad for your inner elf.

I’m talking about the bit of you that has to run around making the Christmas magic happen. Whether it’s buying presents, getting the food ready or organising a party… it’s all a hundred times easier (and more enjoyable) without a hangover.

 

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