Christmas is a time of cheer, yes? It's a time to be full of happiness, magic and hope. It's a fun time of year and a time to celebrate and love. It is one of my favourite times of year, without a doubt.
But there is one thing that I really dislike about the season.
And that is the assumption that to enjoy Christmas fully, you have to drink. Even if it is just one glass, drinking just seems to be an obligatory event of Christmas and people really struggle to take no for an answer.
This is something that people struggle to accept at any normal time but at Christmas it seems to be even more suspicious when you decline an alcoholic beverage.
Jenny mentioned this on her twitter the other day, which is what inspired me to write this blog post today. I was going to write this earlier in the year but never got around to it so thought it was the perfect time to bring this up now. Just to see if anyone else really struggles with this or if it is just me.
Being a non-drinker seems to be the one thing that a lot of people find really hard to accept. The minute the words "no, thank you" exit my mouth after I've been offered an alcoholic beverage of any kind, I always get a response which tries to change my mind. Often along the lines of:
- "You only have to have one."
- "But it is soo good, you have to try it!"
- "Are you sure? You're going to be missing out."
- "But it's free!"
- "I promise you won't regret it."
This can definitely get frustrating. At one point in time I actually used to respond with "I'm driving so I can't" or before I'm even offered would admit that I was the designated driver and that I don't drink and drive. But even sometimes with that in people's minds, I often still get a similar response. Sometimes it'll be that it's just one, sometimes that I'll be having food too or it's a long time before you leave so it's fine.
But it's not, is it?
Because I said no. And I mean no.
If someone offered you a cigarette and you said no, the person would just leave it be. But when it comes to alcohol, it just seems that people cannot take no for an answer and I really struggle to understand this mindset. Alcohol is a drug. It's a socially accepted drug but it is still a drug and if I tell you I don't want it, please do not shove it down my throat or keep mentioning it. I have made a decision and I demand that you accept that.
Sadly, I have gotten to the stage where I now admit I cannot drink because I'm on medication and that usually gets people to back off - but surprisingly not always - and it is just so frustrating that people don't just take no as an answer from the offset.
How is it possible that alcohol has become this thing that everyone must drink?
So if you hear someone say that they would not like to have any alcohol this Christmas - or at any other time in the year - can we all just please nod and accept that they have made a choice and will not change their mind, no matter how much you try to get them to?
Because, at the end of the day, we all have our own reasons for drinking or not drinking and we are entitled to our own opinions. So it's time to just respect that, right?