The 12 Steps of Christmas in Recovery: Step 9

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With only a few days let, we finally touch on Step 9 of the 12 Steps of Christmas series! This step takes more action, but for such an important time of year it helps us re-establish some very important connections.

By the way, tell your true love they are getting the hang of the gift giving thing. They threw a party and there are at least 9 ladies on the dance floor! Throw on jingle bell rock and get your collective grooves on.

Step 9: Made amends when it wouldn’t ruin someone else’s Christmas

After making our naughty list in Step 8 we realized that we had done plenty throughout the year to cause some grief to some people we cherish, and for the holiday we have a chance to be a better version of ourselves while spending time together.

While this might not be the appropriate venue to try and make all the wrongs we have done throughout our drug or alcohol use, it is a good opportunity to give as much of yourself as you can. As long as we are not in danger of ruining anyone’s Christmas, we can try to offer our amends to family or friends for the wrongs of Christmas past. Although sometimes it is best we not turn the celebration into a trip down bad-memory-lane. We should not make Christmas about us, but we can also try to do right in the holiday spirit.

Maybe your friend still isn’t over that time you caught his tree on fire last year. Don’t tell him to go deck his halls. Seriously, it’s just rude. Sometimes it isn’t as simple as going to someone and trying to make it right, because some people just aren’t ready for that yet.

Again, we don’t want to make the family gathering about everyone forgiving us or not. It might stir up unwanted hostility. Christmas is about sharing love and joy for everyone, so maybe make some indirect amends for your own naughty-by-nature Christmas past in the form of colorfully wrapped goodies.

The gifts we can give…

Material things aren’t really what the recovery community typically focuses on when it comes to making an amends. While financial amends or amends pertaining to property may sometimes be in someone’s experience, Christmas isn’t always the venue for that.

Still, who doesn’t enjoy a good gift? For those of us in recovery who have the opportunity and the resources, we can make an honest effort to do something nice for those we owe an amends. Everyone loves a good Christmas present, so some of us actually go out of our way to be a slightly less qualified Santa. But material things aren’t really what makes the difference. We have so much to give of ourselves.

We cannot say it enough, Christmas is about love and compassion; joy and humility; gratitude and hope. So give as much of that as you can to those you have harmed on your naughty list. Even if you go over the top with presents, the best gift is always the gift of your love and compassion.

So go through your naughty list and look for the opportunity to give to those you have wronged. When appropriate, you may even take this opportunity to make amends for your naughty ways. Just try your best to show that true gratitude and generosity in your actions and in your presence.

Spending Christmas facing the impacts of addiction on others can be extremely difficult, but take this opportunity to be more aware of what truly matters and what that means for your recovery. For those struggling this holiday season, ask for help; not just for your family but, for yourself. Give yourself and those who love you the most the best gift you can. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

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