Holiday Party Etiquette

Holiday Party Etiquette

By: Reza Malik (Class of 2017)


Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 4.05.35 PMHooray, the holiday season is here!  I’m sure we are excited for finals to be over and for us to finally spend time with our families. But there are a lot of things to keep in mind in order to have a safe holiday and to keep your guests safe too! As you might suspect, the holiday season becomes one of the most dangerous times of the year for alcohol-related accidents and death. The holidays are busy and stressful. People are hurrying more than normal and winter road conditions make driving more dangerous, add alcohol to this scenario and you have a recipe for disaster. Drew W. Edwards, Ed.D. MS has provided a couple of simple tips for keeping it safe this holiday season. One of the most important is to, “Choose your number ahead of time,” decide how many drinks you plan to have for the night and stick to that plan. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that not drinking for a few days before a holiday party entitles you to extra drinking later. In addition, keep in mind that coffee or a cold shower does not eliminate alcohol from the bloodstream. Time is the only thing that gets rid of the alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. Another excellent tip is to, “Designate a driver before the party begins” and make sure that your designated driver sticks to the plan. You can find the other tips here: Always remember that 1 drink = 5 ounces of wine; 12 ounces of beer; 1½ ounces of 80-proof liquor; 1 ounce of 100-proof liquor. We all have been exposed to intoxicated people, however, unlike a college atmosphere most of our family members don’t drink often, leaving them with low tolerance and more vulnerable to alcohol’s effects. Luckily, the National Restaurant Association provides excellent ways to watch for physical and behavioral changes in your guests for you to detect when you should cut them off, examples include:

  • Being overly friendly, unfriendly, depressed or quiet
  • Using foul language or becoming loud
  • Drinking faster or switching to larger or stronger drinks
  • Talking or moving slowly
  • Staggering, stumbling or bumping into objects

So when uncle Ed starts cursing, step up and make sure that your family is safe and making smart decisions. Even though I’m sure we’re all familiar with everything that I’ve said today, these are important things to be mindful of when you’re visiting home. As always, make sure to offer food, water and avoid over-pouring and “remember that alcohol is a complement, not the purpose,” be safe everyone and Happy Holidays!

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