Abstinence, vaccination may be best gifts this Christmas

Friday, December 17, 2021

Thanksgiving has the reputation for putting stress on extended family dynamics, but Christmas and New Year’s must be in close contention.

This isn’t the first holiday season of the pandemic, but it’s unlikely many of us have changed those attitudes or opinions that create conflict when we come in contact with relatives outside our usual household.

Not surprisingly, alcohol plays a role in family conflict, and is usually not a positive one.

Number crunchers have a few facts to put things in perspective.

According to a Detox.net survey, one-fourth of Nebraskans’ yearly alcohol consumption takes place over the six-week holiday season

• 22 of drinkers say they mentally prepare themselves prior to the drinking season. 

• 1/4 of drinkers said they will drink more this upcoming festive season as compared to previous years due to the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Not surprisingly, one in five Nebraska gatherings will descend into drunken arguments over Christmas.

• 38% say family arguments involve the presence of alcohol. 

• Politics is typically the main reason for family arguments over the Christmas period.

• 4 in 5 have at least one extended family member who annoys them.

According to a survey by American Addiction Centers, 15% of Nebraska family gatherings involve drunken arguments over the holiday season, slightly better than the national average of 21%.

Of all the family feuds there have been in the family over the years, the average Nebraskan said 38% of them involved alcohol.

The Cornhusker state’s lower numbers may be explained by the fact that most Nebraskans consider 2:19 p.m. to be the “acceptable” time for drinking to begin over the holidays, compared to Nebraska, where the corks are popped half past noon, according to Detox.net. Hawaiians are apparently more laid back, putting off drinking until 4:11 p.m.

Tipsy or not, it will be hard to avoid someone with an opinion on a hot-button issue that’s opposite to ours.

According to Duffy & Duffy, 45% of Nebraska households are considering not inviting unvaccinated guests to their family get-togethers, to protect the elderly.

That’s significant because a recent poll found that nearly one in five (19%) people still say they don’t intend to get vaccinated.

It’s always a struggle to decide what to give a loved one, but this year, perhaps the best gift is to lay off the alcohol and get that first, second or third vaccination shot, or, if that’s not acceptable, just stay home.

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