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Hoosiers Can Finally Buy Liquor On Christmas-If They Can Find Somewhere That Sells

Richard Elzey

Thanks to a new law, for the first time in decades, Hoosiers will be able to buy alcohol on Christmas Day.

Before the bill allowing Christmas alcohol sales was passed last spring, Hoosiers who ran out of wassail or eggnog on Christmas had to wait until Boxing Day to buy re-enforcements. The old law, stricter than current Sunday alcohol restrictions, meant people couldn’t even buy a drink in a restaurant—one of the main reasons bill author Rep. Tom Dermody thought the rule needed to be revisited.

“You start asking restaurants and so forth, and they say yes it’s hard to have people come in and when they ask for wine,” he says. “They’d always say, hey by the way it’s silly that I can’t take my family out to dinner and we can’t have a glass of wine on Christmas day with our meal.”

But when it comes to liquor stores, many local retailers say they aren’t changing their tradition of closing on the holiday. Village Bottle Shoppe Manager Dave Platteter says Christmas is a slow sales day, anyway.

“You know you’re only really selling to people who either forgot or ran out, or last-second shoppers,” Platteter says, “and it’s not the end of the world."

Indianapolis-based retailer 21st Amendment founder Jim James echoes many retailers’ opinions when he says he doesn’t want to make his employees come in on a holiday.

“I think the legislature didn’t think this thing through at all,” he says. “Groceries stores aren’t [even] open, I don’t think, on Christmas. The only people that are going to profit by this are gas stations, so they’ll be pumping gas and selling beer.”

James says he thinks gasoline and beer is a dangerous recipe.

Even if residents can find a store that’s open, they might want to start planning ahead. Next year, Christmas falls on Sunday, and the long-standing law on Sunday sales still applies. 

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