As is well known, January is a good time for abstinence of any kind: renouncing meat, renouncing carbohydrates, renouncing make-up and renouncing fun are on the New Year's menu for many celebrations that are still shaken by Christmas.

It's called "Veganuary", for example, and it's certainly good for the body after the Christmas roast as well as for the environment.

Or the classic: the Dry January.

Johanna Dürrholz

Editor in the “Germany and the World” department.

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That, too, makes perfect sense: In December you just swim in merrymaking, whiz from Christmas party to Christmas party, sedate your hangover at the Advent brunch the next morning with counter-sparkling wine and sometimes your relatives have to drink nicer on the holidays.

Then New Year's Eve - and you've been drinking far too much and far too regularly for a whole month.

After that, abstinence from alcohol for a month, that's the idea.

I accidentally did it the wrong way around last year: Dry December – and how dry it was.

After a successful start to the session in Cologne, I urgently needed a break - and announced full-bodiedly that I would not drink alcohol "until Christmas" (fortunately, this can be interpreted generously).

At first it wasn't difficult at all.

As a Cologne resident by choice, I'm often in a good mood, like to be around people and, as the cliché goes, I really don't need alcohol to have fun - good company is enough for me.

Then the Advent season began

I celebrated my boyfriend's 35th birthday alcohol-free, went to pub nights without drinking a drop and stayed sober at our resort Christmas dinner in early December.

I don't want to brag, but: no problem!

But then the Advent season began and with it came one Christmas party after the other.

In the FAZ, preparations were made for our long-awaited move, which almost every day meant only one thing: demolition party!

I bravely went everywhere.

But while I was running on the dance floors almost euphorically at the first celebrations because of my willpower and the fact that I was in a good mood and was cackling loudly in loud cackling crowds, I got tired in the long run.

I caught myself squinting at the clock from 8 p.m. at what was actually a very nice celebration.

How I danced along half-heartedly when a Taylor Swift song was on.

But as I kept thinking to myself: Actually, nothing new has happened for hours.

We're actually (not just literally) going in circles.

At some point I looked over at my colleague, who was dancing in ecstasy with her mouth slightly open and her eyes blurred, just like that, Taylor-style, she shook everything off and away.

She thought the party was great.

And to be honest, I was bored.

This is of course a chilling, literally sobering realization: I, who love festivals and celebrations, amuse myself so much because I like to drink two or three glasses of sparkling wine.

That's certainly not bad, but it would be better without it, right?

I have a new plan for 2023: I will do everything in moderation from now on.

This applies not only to drinking, but also to giving up.

So the dry January can come, but I can't recommend a dry December: I lasted five weeks of abstinence.

For the last two Christmas parties, I lifted my self-imposed ban.

The hangover was terrible.