The Holiday Guide For Alcoholics

drunken santa claus

Medina Maitreya, San Francisco – Ah, the holidays are upon us yet again; Time for jolly over-eating, jollier over-drinking, and usually a lot of over-spending. And if you’re like most people you can also expect family squabbles, possible DUI’s, and of course… hangovers.

Let’s start our discussion with the family dynamic.  Psychologists say we all have expectations of family love during the holidays. We want the occasions to be “perfect” and usually go through a great deal of trouble trying to make it so.  In fact, we count on the holidays to make up for the rest of the year.  I mean, my family maintains its “harmony” by keeping a safe and comfortable distance from one another during the rest of the year… and somehow we’re all just fine with that.

Thanksgiving, aka “The Slowest Afternoon of the Year”, is not necessarily the hangover type of holiday.  Instead of a pounding headache with nausea and vertigo, you get to enjoy a different kind of self induced trauma; the Food Coma of the Gods.  By the end of the meal you are fighting for your life to maintain an upright position, your eyelids are getting heavy, and your huge belly is about to pop off the top button on your pants.  It’s hard not to over-indulge on turkey day though, with all that delicious home cooking and the American stamp of approval to go ahead and pig out, in the name of our forefathers of course.

But you’re not out of the woods just yet, because while Thanksgiving is over in a single afternoon, Christmas, on the other hand, is right around the corner, and can last for several days.

Christmas is generally observed on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus… though this date is not actually his birthday. Some people believe the date was chosen to coincide with the pagan festival of Winter Solstice, or one of the many ancient pagan winter ragers. Either way, to most Americans, Christmas involves gift giving, a mythological fat man dressed in red, family gatherings, and heightened economic activity.

So when the Yule tide spirit is gnawing at your frontal lobe and Aunt Edna demands you try her ambrosia salad, just remember, you’re not alone. Here are 5 good reasons to reach for the bottle. Happy Holidays.

1.      Turducken aka “America, are you serious????”

This bizarre (and conceptually uncomfortable) method of stuffing birds into birds then roasting them is enough to make me chug a gallon of Eggnog and Brandy just to numb myself to whatever else I might come across at an extended family holiday meal.

2.      Compared to the rest of the world, Americans don’t drink that much.

Moderate drinking in the United States is considered to be about 2 drinks for men and one for ladies, and in most other countries they define moderation at much higher levels. For example, Australia, Italy and France consider 3 to 4 drinks per day for men to be average.

According to a study taken in 2000, the per capita consumption of alcohol in the U..S is at 32nd on the list. Portugal is the winner, with Luxembourg, France, Hungary, Spain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland rounding out the top-ten booze happy nations.

3.      Moderate Champagne Drinking May Help your Brain

According some scientific magazine that I can’t remember the name of right now, sparkling wine may help protect the brain against strokes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s diseases.  Apparently the antioxidants found in Champagne give it the ability to protect against neurotoxicity, and in some cases restore brain cell function in the test subjects, which I suspect were most likely very drunken mice.

4. Jägermeister Helps your Digestion

Introduced in Germany in 1935, Jägermeister was originally brewed for medicinal purposes, said to cure everything from a chronic cough to digestive problems. But then again, Silly Putty was originally made to be a plastic explosive…

Even so, this day in many European countries, Jägermeister is still widely recognized as a digestif, is kept in many households, and is often referred to as Leberkleister, which literally means “liver glue”.

5. Beer is Good for You

Beer contains vitamin B6, which prevents the buildup of a chemical called homocysteine in the body- thought to be linked to an increase in the risk of heart disease.
In your face, red wine enthusiasts!

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