Faith: “Dry January” is a chance to start all over again, not limited to alcohol.

T. Carlos Anderson

Seven years ago, around Christmas time, our daughter Alex shared her upcoming New Year’s endeavor: The Druars.

I had never heard this word before, but I immediately understood it – dry January. Alex, a vegetarian and daily exerciser, continued her conversation with me and her mother, Denise, about the wisdom of detoxing in body and mind after the December season of excess.

It made an impression. A year later, Denise and I picked up Druary’s idea and thanked Alex for bringing the idea to life. Alex still practices Druary, as do the rest of the family. This year, Denise and I will perform Druary together for the sixth time.

As 2022 drew to a close, I was particularly looking forward to Druary’s break from drinking. Denise and I drink wine at most dinners…but due to being at home due to COVID and fewer evening meetings on my schedule, I am drinking more wine at dinners – and after them – than in previous years. Druariy not only gently clears psychological and physical conditions, but also provides an opportunity to reset them.

I’m in reset mode, and in addition, there are good historical reasons that make the case for Druary and his invitation to reclaim the wisdom of moderation.

T. Carlos Anderson is an Austin pastor who wrote "There's Balm in Huntsville: A True Story of Tragedy and Recovery from the Heart of the Texas Prison System."

The winter solstice on December 21 – the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere – has a deep cultural history associated with the rhythms of harvesting at the end of the year. For millennia, the period leading up to and following the solstice (what we modern people call October, November, December, and January) was a time of harvest, slaughter for fresh meat, and enjoyment of fermented products, beer, and wine. December was and still is a time of excess – eating, drinking, celebrating, resting – a time to enjoy the rewards of labor at the end of the year.

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