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BONUS BLOG: Amateur Night

December 31, 2019

As a sober alcoholic, my dad called New Year’s Eve “Amateur Night.”

(I learned a lot from him, and wow did I ever inherit a lot from him, too.)

Chet Harris is a friend and colleague in Ohio who has graciously given me permission to share with you something he wrote earlier today. I think my dad would have agreed with Chet — 

Suggestions for all who drink alcohol at New Year Eve gatherings

1. Designated driver is not an option. Make arrangements for one.
2. If you host a party take responsibility and provide a totally sober driver to deliver your friends home safe and sound.
3. If you are not a drinker of alcohol, tonight is not the time to begin.
4. Do not keep offering a person more alcohol after they have said, “I have had enough.”
5. Do not encourage a non-drinker to take just one at midnight.
6. If you are a party host provide plenty of non-alcoholic drinks.
7. It is not funny to spike the punch and laugh at the person who gets light headed.
8. If you have recovering alcoholics at your party do not dare to say, “One will not hurt.” Respect the courage and discipline of the person in recovery.
9. Parents if you have alcohol in your home and you are attending a party away from home, I suggest you lock up or place in your trunk all your alcohol. Your children will be tempted to follow your example on this night of toasting with alcohol. It is better to be safe on this one.
10. If your under age children are attending a party, check it out. Visit the location and express your concern with the hosting adults(parents). If alcohol is offered only to age appropriate guest, find another party for your children.
11. If you are non a drinker offer to shuttle people to and from parties. Some people have suggested to contact the police and offer their services to people they stop for drunk driving.
12. Remember wine is alcohol and for many a sip will slip them into addiction and abuse, especially on this evening.

I am certain additional suggestions could be offered and I welcome additions to the list. After 43 years in ministry I realize many people will drink and my chiding of the practice will not deter them. I truly desire people to gather tonight at non-alcoholic parties, but I deal in reality.

If you find yourself in the hospital tonight please feel welcome to contact me. I have spent many new years eve in the emergency room with people I serve and love in Christ.

Prayer: Almighty God, tonight is an evening of celebration, joy, laughter, and amusement as the New Year is welcomed into our lives.

I pray a great hedge of protection and covering of prayer over all tonight.

Gently remind all attending parties to remain respectful in language, thought, and action toward everyone.

Nudge each person toward making the right decision before driving home.

Keep our children safe on this night of extremes.

May all followers of Jesus bring in the new year with prayer and praise seeking the purpose of God in their lives for 2020.

Let this be a year of great spiritual revival, renewed discipline as followers of Jesus, and outreach to those who have yet said yes to Jesus as Savior. In the name of Jesus. Amen.


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