Many of you are busy right now preparing for the days ahead. Christmas celebrates family and friends, laughter, long talks, and great food. The pantry is stalked with our favorite goodies. You’re making a list and checking it twice. You do all the right things and go through the motions. But when you love someone struggling with addiction, Christmas can be an agonizing experience.

It’s like making holiday plans while waiting for a hand grenade to explode.

You may have difficulties sleeping, wondering if your addicted loved one will appear over the holiday season. If they do, will they be sober or high?

Should you buy them presents, or will they pawn them?

Will they even get a Christmas dinner if they don’t come home?

Will they be alone?

Just thinking about them makes you feel anxious. Christmas music stops being festive. There is no ‘Holly Jolly,’ only worry, worry, and more worry.

And what about alcohol? Should glasses ring out in good cheer if someone is struggling with addiction?

A bang at the door interrupts your worries. Your non-addicted child has arrived with your grandchild. Like it or not, Christmas is on.

Your granddaughter enters the room, prancing around in her new pink tutu, and reaches for your hand. Excitement has turned her cheeks pink. Her eyes sparkle, big and wide, as she whispers. ‘Grandma, only two more sleeps until Santa is here!’

Your grandbabies excitement is contagious, and for a minute, you forget. From her point of view, Christmas is a wondrous experience.

You join hands with this precious child and waltz across the kitchen floor. Her tutu flounces in the air, and a tear comes to your eye as you smile with insight.

We don’t abandon our addicted loved ones by making new and precious memories. We honor them. We are saying I love you and am here for you. If and when you come home, you will return to a healthy family. One who waits with open arms. A family who has never given up hope or succumbed to your addiction. We won’t be bitter, or miserable. Addiction will not rob us of enjoying our holidays.

Yes, addiction takes hostages, but only if you’re willing.

This Christmas, make new and beautiful memories with friends and family. Enjoy your time, for it is precious and soon gone.

Don’t let addiction steal one more minute. Give your worries to God, pray for your addicted loved one, and look after yourself.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Lorelie Rozzano.
(c) 2014 Jagged Little Edges All Rights Reserved