Holiday Survival Guide

UnPickled Holiday Survival Guide: Staying Alcohol-Free During the Festive Season is now available in paperback and ebook!

This book represents many lessons and insights from years of blogging and podcasting. It’s full of wisdom from guests and followers about navigating the holidays, plus has tips for friends and family on how to be supportive of sobriety.

US Customers:
Canadian Customers:
UK Customers:

I’m exhausted and proud and scared. My arms are tingling from so many hours on the computer these past weeks. My dog is gaining weight from the lack of walks.

But this project was laid on my heart with certainty and clarity; I couldn’t ignore the calling.

The book is a mix of practical tips for attending parties and events, plus it also looks at why this time of year can be so tricky. Topics include expectations, invitations, family gatherings, hosting, work events, socializing with friends, and transfer behaviours. Each chapter also ends with a reflection exercise, a recovery tool, tips for family and friends, and wise words from other people in recovery.

Thanks for all of the encouragement as this project came to life.

I hope you find it helpful!


  1. Hi Jean,
    I just celebrated 90 days of being AF. This is the longest I have gone in well over 10 years, since my last attempt at sobriety. I can’t say enough how your blog and podcast have helped me. Truly, profound. It’s been so lovely reading people’s comments as well. I had no idea that there was such an online support of sober living people. Like yourself, I’m a business owner in a small community. I had attended a few AA meetings in my mid twenties while living in a city. Feeling like there would be a decent chance I wouldn’t run into anyone I know. I am terrified to attend anything local here though. I listen to your pod cast every day. I feel like it’s like listening to a meeting. So often, I find myself nodding my head, gasping, crying thinking about the similarities of my story and some of your guests. It has been so inspiring. This is my first comment on any sober blog. I suppose I wanted to wait until I had the 90 days under my belt before I said anything. I want to thank you for the service you do for myself and all of your other readers and listeners. I want to thank you for helping to save my life, but also allowing me to see how amazing life can be living alcohol free. At 90 days, I feel I’ve just scratched the surface. The thought of how much can change in such a short time is so exciting. The potential for the next 90 days, and there on after. One day, I hope to be a guest on the bubble hour. I would love to give back and help others, the way I have been helped. In the mean time; I will continue on my AF path. Once I’m confident enough to email you my story.
    Thank you, thank you THANK YOU!! I’m at so excited to read your book. I must admit, going into the holidays is a bit unnerving to say the least. Best wishes to you Jean, and all of your readers and listeners ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

        • That would be amazing! I made it through Thanksgiving Day and night thankfully. Your book is a great go too.
          Normally, I would never drink during the festivities, only after the day was done late at night and usually wake up the next day feeling just awful. Instead, I woke up today, happy and feeling good and proud that I made it. I was so glad I had this space to come and write in.
          I will be honest the craving was strong but I thankfully do not store any alcohol in my house now and that was my salvation too. I listened to the bubble hour and went to sleep. One day at a time! And I listened to another podcast recommended by a person who posted under your Thanksgiving post. And the speaker said to think of Alcohol or whatever your addiction as a jail cell. Do you want to live in jail? Remove the addiction and you will never be in jail again. And really it resonated with me. It does feel like jail, paralyzing, shaming, lonely, scary, and lost. That’s my visual for now to stay free.


  2. I just ordered 3 to give as gifts. Listening to your Bubble Hour interviews and reading your blog got me through my very first sober holiday season last year and I felt so great having done it! Thanksgiving, December holidays, New Years and my February 57th birthday completely alcohol-free. It felt so great! Had a few slips since then and now on new day 81. Your Bubble Hour episodes and my coach, Casey Davidson of Hello Someday, and now your lil’ book will keep me strong and eager to see what’s next in my new sober life! Thanks Jean!

    Liked by 1 person

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