It’s 11am on Christmas Day and you may well be on your second – third, even? – glass of Champagne. At midday, you might have a break with a pint of hoppy ale before imbibing wine with Christmas lunch. Your relative has brought a few of bottles of Pouilly-Fumé and there’s some Chianti lurking about. You spotted it earlier when you pinched a sausage. Later, indulgences will continue with a brandy or two, or a whisky. And then a Baileys, probably. Why not? It’s Christmas, and the limitations you might normally live by are so far out the window thanks to the numerous Christmas parties you’ve had to attend, they may as well be in the next town.
There’s always dry January to sort yourself out. Such traditional excess appears to be dying down, however. Turning teetotal The youth of today, specifically 18 to 24-year-olds, are drinking less, numerous studies suggest. Spirited as Christmas might be, a lot of young people – some millennials, but more Generation Zeros – are teetotal. They won’t even have a mulled wine. More than 25 per cent of young people classed themselves as “non drinkers” in a report by the science journal BMC Public Health. Researchers at University College London said data suggests Britain’s loving, often wanton relationship with booze is changing. Using data from the annual health survey for England, scientists found the number of 16 to 24-year-olds who choose not to drink alcohol has risen from 18 per cent in 2005 to 29 per cent in 2015.
“After a heavier than usual Christmas and New Year period last year, and having woke up on 1 January with a horrible hangover and little recollection of the night before, I took the leap to go cold turkey and completely cut out alcohol. “There wasn’t any real deep thought behind it, I just reached a point where I no longer saw the upside of drinking when compared with the negatives. I haven’t had alcohol since, and can’t see myself starting again any time soon.” ‘It tasted like a hospital’ Mr Spooner says his Christmas will be happy nonetheless: “There will definitely be more social events than usual, but I’ve managed 340 days without any real pressure, so I don’t imagine Christmas will be anything but more of the same. I’ll manage. Hopefully I’ll get invited to something by somebody who accepts me and my teetotal ways. “I still do nights out, go to the pub, go to gigs – all of the usual stuff. And in a weird way, I actually enjoy myself more, not least because I can remember everything the morning after.”
“On my 18th birthday I had some sips of some blue drink with vodka in it and it tasted like a hospital. My grandmother ended up drinking the rest of it.” She says Christmas will be excessive enough: “We’ll have a nice big family lunch together. I’ll probably sing along to Cher and eat until I vomit.” To some young people, it seems a Christmas doesn’t have to be “merry” to be good.
Christmas tends to shine a spotlight on those who choose to stay sober. But she says: “I don’t necessarily feel pressure to join in. Think of all the extra pudding I can consume without all the alcohol in the way.”
‘Friends find it hard to accept’ Kaitlin Cavaciuti, 23, an English teacher from Bournemouth, gave up drinking three years ago because of her Christian faith. “I felt like God was challenging me to stop drinking,” she says. Ms Cavaciuti says her friends have struggled with her choice, and it also has a bearing on how she views those close to her – she says she feels sad for them when they make mistakes, or do things they regret when drunk. She is well aware of what’s ahead this Christmas. She says some of her friends are “particularly bad” at trying to force alcohol on her. She’ll enjoy non-alcoholic mulled apple juice and non-alcoholic mulled wine in lieu of booze. Ms Cavaciuti says sobriety won’t change her celebrations, however, which will involve a big party on Christmas Day and mountains of food.
Article from: inews.co.uk