Wow. Yesterday was the first Christmas morning since the age of 17 that I’ve not had a raging hangover. (Note: This is not counting the year I was in the early stages of pregnancy with my oldest boy, where I was obviously not actually hungover, but felt like I was, due to the combination of extreme tiredness and morning sickness. Oh, the irony).
It’s also the first Christmas for years where I’ve jumped out of bed with a fair degree of excitement. And then not started drinking at about 10am.
I was able to drive my little family over to my in-laws without a raging case of the uncertainty-jitters. (A condition characterised by probably not being still drunk, but having enough of a hangover for impaired decision making abilities, and therefore driving like Dougal when he’s stolen the milkfloat in that episode of Father Ted).
I enjoyed a fairly relaxed Christmas day, and had a lot more patience with the children. I was offered champagne, but also offered sparkling apple juice by my Dad-in-Law, so didn’t feel massively tempted to drink. Result!
The best (and worst) part came when it was time to make the journey home, on a dark and torrentially rainy night. We set off out of the village on our usual route, kids nodding, OH and I chatting happily. I crested a hill, only to be confronted with a large van abandoned in a dip under a bridge in about 3 feet of rising flood water. I managed to stop – just – in a safeish manner, turn around in the tight lane, alert other motorists to the problem, and find another safe route home.
I don’t really like to think about how my reaction speeds would have been had I been nursing a hangover, and if I’d accepted that glass of champagne (“It’s only one – it’ll be out of my system by the time I need to drive”). I’m not keen on thinking about having to get three small children out of the back of that car, if we’d got stuck.
We got home, got the kids to bed, and collapsed on the sofa to watch a film. I had a moment of temptation when OH opened a very good bottle of red and asked if I wanted to taste it, but it lasted merely a few minutes, and later when I caught a whiff from his glass, it actually smelt quite repulsive (despite him waxing lyrical about smoky tones!).
So the best part of my sober Christmas day was actually being able to keep my little family safe. Pretty good result really.
If you’re reading this, a very Happy Boxing Day to you. My goals for today will be trying to get the children to eat some food which isn’t chocolate, or ham, or chocolate-coated ham. And NOT drinking.