December 2019 Table of Contents


Read the Letter from the Editor
On the Cover:
Sober Holidays

A bit of cheer in a tough place
With tape, cardboard and delicious chocolate cookies, a member helps his cellmates share a little joy

A cold December night
Watching two AA guys on a Twelfth Step call was a Christmas Eve gift he’ll never forget

Oops, wrong bar!
The day after Christmas, two new guys stroll into his AA meeting. It’s a toss-up on who was more surprised

Special Section:
Remote Communities
Start with a prayer
With love and lots of determination, a member tries to carry the AA message to a remote community in New Mexico

Far from home
A newcomer’s move to the other side of the world forces her to dive deep and search for every tool she can to stay sober

Operation Desert Love
Within two weeks I was receiving 20 to 50 letters every night. One letter was even written in Spanish!

Closer than you think
Service led her to online meetings, where she now gets to help others who can’t reach us

Words Matter
Some transgender alcoholics have met with resistance when they come into AA seeking our help. Here we can practice Traditions Three and Five

Steps and Traditions
I cried as much as he did
He didn’t like hospitals—not the smells nor the food. But this day, he discovered something really special that made him want to come back

The Desperate Wife
I received a call that really brought me down to earth. It was a call from a wife on behalf of her husband, who was a serious drinker

Watch your aim!
After a meeting takes a wrong turn, a member has a few thoughts about “principles before personalities”

Our Personal Stories
Up from coal country
Quarterback, student, military dropout, bellhop. He kept digging his way to the bottle

One Man’s Kindness
He’d stand on the porch watching as I straggled up the steps. Every time he saw me slink inside, he’d look right at me. I wasn’t used to receiving such warmth

One won’t hurt
An outing with old friends, a nice restaurant and a delicious martini. What could possibly go wrong

AA extra strength, long-lasting
A member provides detailed directions for his daily medicine

One foot in front of the other
Sober since 1968, she recalls her start in AA and remembers how brave the earliest members were

What’s On Your Mind?
Time to shake some hands
One member says that when the treatment vans pull up, we have some work to do

Big smile, bigger heart
He and the coach could not have been more different, but they made it work. Just ask Miss Myrna

In every issue
Letter from the editor
Dear Grapevine
Discussion Topic
AA News
At Wit’s End


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