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      Love it or hate it Christmas is a bit of a milestone each year, a mile stone we all have to cross.
      I used to hate Christmas.  No, thinking about it, I used to LOVE Christmas, but not for the right reasons.  I loved it for the umpteen race meetings and sporting events they have on Boxing Day here in the UK.  It was Christmas day itself i used to hate.  Not being able to affrod presents, not being able to stand my round in the pub and having to "hide" any time it looked like drinks needed to be bought.  Then there would be Christmas dinner sat around the table with family.  With my mum being worried sick about what i had planned the next day and otehr family trying to avoid the subject so as not to spoil the day.  All the time of course with me thinking they were all idiots for worrying as I was going to win a fortune the next day!  I was always wrong of course, even on the odd occasion i did win it didnt last long.
      NOW I love Christmas.  I will be travelling down with my wife to stay at my mums over Christmas and spending Christmas lunch at my brothers with, I think, 18 members of a very extended family.  There will STILL be too much food!  All presents are bought, I will buy the first round if we go to the pub ( not all 18 will go hopefully!).  We will laugh at stupid Christmas Cracker Jokes, we will watch Dr Who and play charades and Jenga and sit chatting and enjoying each others company.  Im not religious myself so that is what Christmas is about for me – a time when most of my family aren’t working so can get together.
      It is also a BIG part of my recovery; it really highlights the difference between my time in the grip of addiction and my time in recovery.
      I know Christmas can also bring a lot of stress etc but love it or hate it it is still a hell of a lot better in recovery. 
      There is still support around over Christmas – this forum, as always, is available 24/7.  I hope some of you can join me in the various groupsthat are on later this evening(UK time) where i can wish you all personally a very merry Christmas.
      Stay strong everyone and have a very happy holidays.

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