Why Zoe won't be drinking this Christmas...

I don’t drink. Not even at Christmas. The reasons are not medical or religious. I can handle the taste. I have no moral objection to getting a bit tipsy. I think a small amount of alcohol is probably good for us.

So, "why?" I hear you scream at the top of your lungs, as if not drinking is akin to giving up air or shoes or inner peace. It’s obviously a thing which needs to be explained. I exist so far outside the normal spectrum on this one, there would be those who would slap a diagnosis on me and lock me in one of those sealed off spaces where they put people who might be contagious.

And that’s sort of the point. That’s why I don’t drink. I just think there are better things for a culture to obsess over, like world peace and Brexit and maybe Wifi. There are other things in life besides working and drinking. I therefore consider myself a human antidote to the intoxication infatuation. You’re welcome.

Perhaps it makes me more interesting at parties when I politely refuse an alcoholic beverage, although my puny explanation seldom goes down well. Other people might smile and nod but it’s obvious they don’t really get what I’m talking about. They change the subject pretty quickly and there is usually a lot of looking down and playing with hair or bits of imaginary lint. It feels a bit like what might happen if you tried to explain algebra to a leopard.

I bet you’re wondering what I drink instead, aren’t you? Perhaps not, but I shall enlighten you anyway. I will mostly be drinking cups of tea and then occasionally some cold stuff containing elderflower and other nice-sounding ingredients. You can’t beat an ingredient which sounds nice, especially if it is accompanied by a nice picture on the bottle. 

And if at any time in history an ingredient has been labelled as having any sort of health benefit (even if it’s one I don’t currently need), all the better. For example, ginger is good for all sorts of things, none of which I actually have, but that won’t stop me having some ginger and feeling like I’ll benefit. 

See, I’m pretty certain that anyone can be criticised for the kind of liquid refreshment they choose to celebrate. This holiday, whether you’re drinking fruity-flowery-nice-things, with or without ginger, or just getting pleasantly sozzled on mulled wine and sherry like most normal folk, please enjoy your beverage. 

My one advantage over my drinking buddies is that I never have to have that conversation where I rub my hand over my forehead and swear I will never drink again only to be doing just that by 4pm the same day. No, the only thing I have to fear, apart from fear itself, is a possible sugar-rush from all the concentrated fruit juice I’ll be swigging. I’ll try not to go too crazy on the elderflower; I don’t want to make a fool of myself from downing too much now, do I?

Thanks for reading,

Zoe x