Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Dad drinking during Christmas

Hey Sam,

Obviously, its almost christmas. and i freaking hate christmas. my dad is sober now but in the past christmas was always an excuse to go and drink 7 freaking bottles of baileys.

and now my mum is horrid to me and i dont like her always shouting at me.

i hate going for holidays. i wish school went on for the whole year. i hate christmas. i hate new years. i hate the summer holidays.

i have freaking PTSD from last christmas. im crying just trying to type these words.

i hate the holidays and i want to stay at school. school is safe. home is god knows what.

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Christmas can be a stressful time for some families and not everyone enjoys this time of year. It can be especially difficult when you have unhappy memories.

Spending more time together can make family problems seem bigger and harder to deal with.

Alcohol can be a big part of Christmas and other holidays, and it can affect the rest of the family, especially when someone drinks a lot. If a person can’t control how much alcohol they have, they might behave differently or badly. A drinking problem is where someone drinks too much and they’re not able to stop. Alcoholism is an illness that needs treatment.

It might feel like a relief when someone with a drinking problem has stopped, but it can also feel confusing if you’re not sure what to expect.

It doesn’t always mean that things will get better straight away. It can take time for someone to recover from alcoholism. Even if things feel calmer at home, you might still feel scared that things will go back to how they used to be when they were drinking.

It can sometimes be hard to forget how they used to behave and it might be difficult to forgive them if they’ve hurt you in the past. It’s okay to take your time to adjust to the changes and decide whether you’re able to trust them.

Other family members might also be feeling confused and worried about what to expect when it’s a parent’s first sober Christmas.

However they’re feeling, they should still be supporting you and not reacting by shouting if they feel stressed or upset.

Sometimes the person who’s stopped drinking might also feel stressed or pressured about staying sober, especially at times like Christmas and New Year when they might have drunk a lot in the past.

They might be worried that they’ll start drinking again. They might find being sober a struggle to begin with and that can mean they’ll focus a lot of their attention on not drinking rather than joining in with family celebrations.

If things aren’t going well over Christmas and you need to talk, Childline is here for you. You can get in touch all through the Christmas period as we’re open all of the time.

Thank you for writing to me.


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter