LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. - If you're planning on having big holiday gatherings this Christmas or New Years' Eve, you're going to have to plan ahead, especially if you live in the state of Tennessee.
Unlike Alabama, the State of Tennessee bans wine and liquor sales on Sundays.
The way the calendar falls this year, both Christmas Eve and New Years' Eve are observed on Sundays, meaning there can't be any last-minute dashes to the store in the Volunteer State.
It's ironic, considering when the lottery gets hot, usually it's Alabamians flocking to the state line for something they aren't allowed to buy.
This holiday season, it's Alabama grocery and liquor stores that have the hot ticket items, wine and spirits available for sale.
“We are prohibited by law from selling wine and spirits on Sundays and on 5 holidays throughout the year," says Rob Ikard, the President of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association. “On Christmas Eve and NYE this year, shoppers who are looking for one-stop shop for their wine and groceries are very likely to do their shopping in Huntsville as opposed to Fayetteville”
Just last year, the law changed to allow Tennessee grocery stores to sell wine. Now the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association is ready for lawmakers to take another bold step - allow wine and liquor sales on Sundays and major holidays - if the store wants to be open.
"We expect there will be a lot of customers on New Years' Eve who will be stocking up on food for their New Year’s party and will reach for wine on the wine shelf and will have to put it back," predicted Ikard.
His organization helped write legislation that would do just that in 2017, but it didn't get passed.
“We think that 2018 will be the year that we align alcohol sales across the board and let people buy their alcohol when they do their shopping," he says.
In the meantime, Tennesseans will either have to plan ahead, or plan a road trip to Sweet Home Alabama.
“They're going to have to if they want to have alcohol at their New Years' Eve party for sure," says Ikard.
In the state of Alabama, all grocery stores and private liquor stores that want to be open, are allowed to sell wine and liquor during the holidays.
However, all state-run liquor stores will be closed on Christmas and New Years' Day.