The holidays can be a mixed season for families and friends of alcoholics. They can be a time of great joy and gratitude for families and friends who have found the blessings of recovery. They can also bring painful disappointments to those who are still experiencing active phases of the family disease.

Al-Anon members who offer a warm welcome to newcomers during the holiday season provide a very special service. Those of us who have received their comfort and hope during the holidays, and even on the holidays, have memories we will never forget.

People who noticed Al-Anon billboards, posters, newspaper items, Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism magazines or public service announcements during the holidays, will catch Al-Anon phone numbers or web addresses and reach out for help.

When people call Al-Anon or view an Al-Anon website, they count on the meeting information they receive. When they find the building where Al-Anon meets, they count on finding the right room. When they reach the room, they count on finding a meeting, or at least a note on the door that says, “Sorry, we aren’t meeting tonight. Please come back next week.”

Please be sure your meeting information is up to date, not just on the local meeting schedule, but on the AIS, Area and WSO websites as well. Before someone can receive a printed schedule at a local meeting, first they need to find a meeting. Please notify your AIS, Area and WSO Group Records Coordinators so they can update any changes in your meeting time or location.

People who feel desperate over the holidays need your help. Please be the hand that reaches out and says, “Let It Begin with Me.” Your thoughtfulness will give families a holiday gift that can last for generations.