Have yourself a merry little Christmas with an Alcoholic

Christmas at Mom and Dad’s used to be easy, full of joy and wonder as children. The tree trimmed, carols sung and the candles glowing. Our laughter was contagious and the memories unforgettable. As kids, our hearts were open books to one another; sharing our deepest joys and fears, dreaming about what the future might have for us as we braved the wide world of possibilities. You were the life of our family, the skip in our step. You had a way of making the holidays, especially Christmas, that much more joyful and there was almost never a moment without laughter.

The years grew longer and you drew further away. The distance between your heart and mine was subtle. The calls became fewer and the conversations only grazed the surface, masking the pain and awkwardness we were both feeling. The only thing I have felt from you for years is anger and confusion. How I yearn for the closeness and vulnerability of our souls to connect, even just for a moment.

For just one moment, for one Christmas, to be merry again; for a Christmas without alcohol.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on your troubles will be out of sight.

Your heart is weighed down with so much anger and fright. If just for one day, for one Christmas, you would get clean and feel the clarity of true joy and peace; for us to be a family just one more time, for the laughter to fill our home again.


Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the Yuletide gay
From now on your troubles will be miles away.

I miss your heart, your laughter and your presence. I miss the light in your eyes. I wish you could see how much we all miss you; how vital you are in the very depths of our family.


Here we are as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore.

I remember as kids how we fondly talked about bringing together our own adult families for Christmas. How we dreamed big dreams in love and friendship. How we laughed until we cried and how we promised to keep close as we aged. And then you started to slip away, our promises forgotten. It all happened when you started to drink.

Faithful friends who are dear to us
gather near to us once more.

You aren’t here. You choose to not be here. You choose to be there, with your alcohol. You choose it over us, over me. When will you come back? I miss you so much it hurts.


Through the years we all will be together and
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bow.

It breaks my heart the most that you don’t know your nieces. What breaks my heart even more is that I see so much of you in them. And as long as you keep drinking, they will never be able to see you in themselves. They will never know your true smile, your sense of humor or your warmth. As long as you keep drinking, they will never know the beautiful person you are. The beautiful person you were before alcohol.

But what happens if one Christmas you aren’t here? What if one Christmas, it will forever take you away from us? I’m not sure what’s worse; your shell sitting in the corner completely numb to us, fidgeting in your seat and craving a drink or you being six feet under, our hearts eternally separated from one another because of your choice to drink. Both thoughts are just too much to bear. But one of them will be our reality again this Christmas.

This year, I am choosing to cling to what’s left of you and to hope, hope that one day, we will…

have ourselves a merry little Christmas now.


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