NYACK, N.Y. -- Alcohol and the holiday season often go together like holly and mistletoe. Drinks like eggnog, wine and toasty cocktails are as much a part of many families' seasonal traditions as dinners and caroling. However, alcohol can complicate the holiday season in several ways, which is why it's important for hosts to know how to throw a gathering that’s festive but not alcohol-soaked.
"If you choose to drink, consuming alcohol in moderation will make for a more enjoyable—and safe—holiday," said Dr. Teresa Bravo, family medicine physician at Nyack Hospital and Family Practice Associates of Rockland.
One of the largest alcohol-related problems during the holiday is drunk driving. “People don’t think about the consequence of what they’re doing, and end up endangering their own lives and the lives of others,” said Bravo. Appoint a designated non-drinking driver when you go out to a party, to make sure everyone gets home safe.
If you’re a person who doesn’t always know your own limits when it comes to alcohol, Bravo suggests asking a trusted friend to keep an eye on how much you’re consuming. “If you have a history of alcohol abuse, you should be attending support meetings before you go out to a holiday party,” she said.
If you’re hosting a holiday party, guests should have a good time without overdoing it. If you are going to serve alcohol, Bravo recommends sticking to drinks with a lower alcohol content, such as beer and wine, instead of hard liquor. She also cautions against leaving alcohol lying around. “If it’s available, people will try to finish it off,” she said. “Let your guests try to make what you have last the entire evening.”
Sometimes, however, a party can get the most of us. If you wake up the day after a holiday party feeling hungover, drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Bravo also recommends eating bland foods, such as toast, crackers and clear soup, but the only real cure for a hangover is time.