Twelve Steps to a Better Holiday Season

1. We admitted that Thanksgiving and Christmas have a deeper meaning than drinking, drugging and overeating.

2. We came to believe that God, a power greater than ourselves, could help us see and celebrate the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

3. We came to believe that God could help us appreciate the joyfulness of the season as intended by Him.

4. We made a searching and thorough examination of our relationship with our addictions, obsessions and overindulgences during the holidays.

5. We admitted to God the exact nature of our addictive habits and overindulgences during holiday seasons past.

6. We became entirely ready to allow God, a power higher than us, to remove our attachment to alcohol, drugs and food as a necessity of the holidays.

7. We humbly asked Him to remove our desire to partake of holiday drinks, drugs and excessive eating.

8. We made a list of all persons whose presence makes the holiday season joyful for us and with whom we would like to share our joy.

9. We made plans to spend time with those people whenever possible, except when to do so would remove us of our primary purpose of recovery.

10. We continued to enjoy the company of friends and family and other aspects of the season.

11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our appreciation of the season, praying for knowledge of its true meaning and the joy we feel at this time.

12. Having realized that sharing the joy of this season with others far outlasts the fleeting pleasures of drinking, drugging and/or overeating. We give ourselves the gift of recovery throughout the holidays, and gave others the gift of our sobriety/abstinence and the gift of our full attention, love and appreciation.

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This is an edited and revised version of
“Twelve Steps to a Better Holiday Season”
originally from the December 2007 Newsletter
of the AA Intergroup in Barrie, Ontario, Canada