I hope you’ve all enjoyed the Holidays!

The winter sure is a special time of the year. A lot of people have had vacation during Christmas, Hanukkah and/ or New Years.
Unfortunately, I must say, the Alcohol Industry does not go on vacation. Just in time for Christmas (which some see as just another excuse for using alcohol) the Swedish Alcohol Monopoly launched on try the online alcohol shop. The online alcohol shop makes it easier for people to buy alcohol, delivers it to your door and has aggressive marketing on the internet.

I was very curious to see if they’d still be able to keep the age limit and so was UNF (the Swedish Youth Temperance Association). Therefore, under-aged members of UNF tried to buy alcohol online and get it delivered to them. In 6 out of in total 9 cases minors succeeded in purchasing alcohol and getting it delivered to their homes.

After this sad news, I sincerely hope that the Swedish Alcohol Monopoly will reconsider their online alcohol shop. More retailers equal a higher consumption of alcohol and a higher consumption of alcohol equals bigger problems for the society.

In Sweden we pay 1,1 million Euros in alcohol taxes every year, but the damage alcohol costs society is 16 billion Euros each year. Just something to keep in mind.

At the same time of the above developments, we, the Swedish Temperance movement (IOGT-NTO, UNF, Junis, NSF), have had our traditional campaign called Vit Jul or in English: “White Christmas” – during the month of December and it’ll keep on running until approx. the 6th of January.

I know that even in other countries than Sweden the campaign is being conducted to protect children and make Christmas nicer for everybody: Finland, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Slovakia, Faroe Islands. The “White Christmas” -campaign is a campaign that the Sobriety Movement holds every year to encourage adults not to use alcohol during the Christmas holidays, because when adults use alcohol the children who are around feel bad, insecure, afraid and way too many children suffer from this emotioanl and even physical harm when grown-ups get drunk.

Our campaign is about the message  that Christmas really is the children’s holiday! So we arrange a lot of activities all over the country and we encourage everyone to stay sober during Christmas, if not for their own sake, then for the children’s sake. A wonderful campaign worth spreading!

So I hope that you’ve all enjoyed a white Christmas with the ones nearest and dearest to you and may 2012 be the beginning of something greater than 2011!