Holiday Party Survival Guide

7 ways to save your dignity


It's that time of year again. Office parties, parties with friends, parties with friends you only party with around the holidays, and of course family events. You know what's going to happen. People are going to get caught up in the moment and over do it.

Are you the one who's going to wake up the morning after not knowing how you got home? Perhaps not even waking up in your own home? We all know how much fun it can be to get caught up in the moment, or to simply get lost during those chaotic family reunions with uncles passing gas and other people's kids throwing food at you. You sure they're blood relatives?

No matter why you're drinking, and let's face we're all drinking alcoholic beverages to get a little buzzed, the point should be to get a little buzzed and not blotto. It's easy to keep a mild buzz running all night long. You might not be the life of the party, but do you really want that on YouTube? You'll be thankful the next morning when waking up doesn't require four Advil, a ham, egg and cheese sandwich and two Bloody Marys!

Photo courtesy morberg via Flickr/CC

Never Drink on an Empty Stomach

Drinking on an empty stomach is a cheap way to get drunk, fast. Keeping your stomach free of obstacles to alcohol absorption is foolish and one of the worst ways to get too drunk. Not only will you be drunk, but you'll be weak too, and you will pay dearly in the morning for your stupidity.

Carbohydrates and proteins can slow down the rate of alcohol absorption, so eat a sandwich before you go out. Raw eggs, whole milk, yogurt and olive oil have all been suggested as good ways to dull the rush of the first few drinks. If you can stomach it, no pun intended, start your evening with a pair of fresh eggs and two tablespoons of olive oil. The things we do to drink!

Photo courtesy MattHurst via Flickr/CC

Bar Snacks? Come on!

Just because eating is generally a good thing to do to slow your rate of alcoholic absorption, it doesn't mean that everything you eat is going to help. Those salty bar snacks are there for a reason, to make you drink more.

Photo courtesy EuroMagic via Flickr/CC

Pace Yourself

This sounds kind of stupid, but you know your body can metabolize a certain amount of alcohol an hour. Usually this is somewhere between one and two drinks per hour, according to the experts. You know what your limits are, so make sure to think about them before you start drinking.

Photo courtesy Dalo_Pix2 via Flickr/CC

Hydrate Me, Bro!

One of the reasons we feel like crumpled up wet paper towels the morning after a bender is because we're dehydrated. The best way to stay hydrated? Drink plenty of water. In fact, water is your best friend when drinking. Try making your drinks weak by adding more water.

If you're dead set on having strong drinks, or drinks that you can't add water to, consider having a glass of water between each drink. This helps you pace yourself, stay hydrated and fills you up a bit, meaning your rate of consumption will probably slow as the evening, and your ability to process alcohol, progress downward.

Photo courtesy Max Mayorov via Flickr/CC

Savor the Moment

Seriously, slow down and enjoy what you drink. Maybe pony up a few extra bucks for something that doesn't taste like the visible side of a fleeing horse. If you have something that you really think is delicious, you might treat it like something to be enjoyed instead of something to get over your tongue and down your gullet.

Photo courtesy Manne via Flickr/CC

Do not Shoot the Shot

Shots are silly. They're sole purpose is to get you drunk fast. They have their moments of course, but not at your holiday party. What is the point of the shot anyway other than getting blitzed? If you pay good money for something, don't you want to enjoy it? And if those shots are dirt cheap, why are you putting that in your body in the first place?

Photo courtesy via Flickr/CC

Don't Do It

Don't have that last drink. Start sobering up with a non-alcoholic drink as soon as having a
"last drink" starts sounding like a good idea. How many times have you woken up just to realize that you had one too many? That is world class rationalization, you had many too many, but it is within the realm of possibility that the last drink tipped you over some imaginary line between responsible drinker and lush.

Look, at the end of the night you're already full of booze. Your judgment, what little you have, is horribly compromised. You're about to pass out. Why push more alcohol into a system that's full already, especially when you won't even be awake to enjoy it? No, now is the time when adults, like those guys in Viagra commercials, start planning for the next phase of being a prepared drinker, the dreaded hangover!

Photo courtesy erix! via Flickr/CC

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  • Snooth User: Leah Mansback
    Hand of Snooth
    555565 1,298

    Pretty good tips here GDP. I will always remember to hydrate, bro.

    Dec 08, 2011 at 10:18 AM

  • Snooth User: Kirsy
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    880543 1,786

    Love the post. Notes taken, I am planning on eating lots before (and during) the festivities and alternating drinks with seltzer water :-) Happy Holidays.

    Dec 08, 2011 at 10:21 AM

  • Snooth User: madmanny
    106551 156

    To hydrate is great!!! Several years ago we went to an Eastern European restautant in Queens called Transylvania. With every bottle of wine they brought to the table, they also brought a bottle of seltzer. We finally asked, "Why all the seltzer?" The waitress said that as long as we drank as much seltzer as wine, we'd have no problems in the AM. While I definitely lost track of just how many bottles we went through, there was no price to pay in the morning. HYDRATE.

    Dec 08, 2011 at 12:45 PM

  • Snooth User: Kirsy
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    880543 1,786

    good to know it works, thanks Mad Manny!

    Dec 08, 2011 at 5:21 PM

  • We've found a 'fail-safe' way to avoid the dangers inherent in any major cocktail party where the booze is flowing all-too-freely is to tell the host/hostess/bartender that "We're 'Designated Drivers" ... (even if we're not). We can then enjoy the party on our own terms 'alcohol-wise'.

    Also, starting with a big glass of seltzer water with a slice of lemon or lime is another easy way to 'stay safe' while still having 'glass in hand'.

    Dec 12, 2011 at 3:11 PM

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