'Tis the season to make a total arse of ourselves at the Christmas Party. Yes?
Doesn't have to be that way.
How we react to the upcoming season of merriment is a good indicator of where we are on the sliding scale of alcohol abuse. If we are at the stage where we still love to go out and get hammered, but know it's causing tension with friends and family? Christmas can seem like a relief. The feeling of constantly being under surveillance on a night out is dissipates. There's too many other people to watch. We feel like we are able misbehave and it might go unnoticed for once. If this is you? Then this blog post is not for you. You probably don't have enough to lose yet and will get away with it for another season. Fair play to you. And the best of luck.
But if we are at the point where we really aren't having fun anymore. Where the drinking is more of a compulsion. Or to mask symptoms of a hangover. Lessen anxiety. Cover depression. If you know that once you start drinking you just cannot stop? Then this is a cycle we really want to try and avoid over Christmas. The only way to do that at this stage is to not drink at all.
"I'll never manage that."
Why not? People do it all the time. Some are just much better at covering their tracks than others.
They lie. And do it really well.
Because sometimes it's the only thing that works. I'm not here to tell you to be out and proud and publicly sober during Christmas. It's pointless. And it won't work. It's about doing what makes you feel most comfortable. Getting the attention off you and back onto everyone else. So here's a few handy lies to tell your office drinking cronies
It needs to be something people won't question. which is either medical or legal
Start with the obvious one.
"I have the car"
People will think it is a poor excuse, but most won't push you on it as it's so fecking difficult to get a taxi during party season. Just make sure you aren't amongst the 28% that drive home after drinking at their Christmas party. Unless you enjoy prison food. Obviously.
Medical excuses are always stronger. The two best one are generally:
"I'm on antibiotics"
Ear infection. Whatever. No one cares. This one works every time.
"I have a stomach ulcer"
Good one. Implies you have executive stress and are clearly working harder than the rest of them... again people don't question anything to do with stomach problems thanks to good old British Reserve and they'll leave you to get on with it...
If you don't like tempting fate you can go down the road of avoidance. Stay out of rounds. Buy your own drinks
"That will make me look stingy"
No one is going to care after the first round. If the drinks are free then just get yours separately. Get a soft drink tell them it's a spirit. Again after the first few rounds no one will check. People don't care if you are drinking or not. They care if you will not drink and still find them interesting. They will forget to care after a couple of rounds.
"What if they do check?"
Laugh it off, tell them to f*ck off. What are we, 12 years old?
If you want to lessen the damage you do drinks-wise but you aren't willing to stop drinking? Keep an eye on what you are drinking. What's the true cost of a free bar if it wastes the entire next day? Or compromises your relationship with your colleagues if you act like a tw*t? What's the true value of paying less for a treble than you would have done for a single if it means you get to stay in control of yourself?
"But I'll be missing out"
What's the difference between leaving a party before the end because you aren't drinking-and drinking so much you black out and lose the last few hours anyway? Is your Christmas Party about you having a good time? Or being a source of entertainment for other people?
Christmas should be fun. Everyone deserves to have a lovely time. Just make sure you are having fun on your own terms, doing what makes you feel most comfortable. Because it isn't worth ruining your entire Christmas Season with alcohol just because you thought it had to be that way. Not when lying your ass off is such an easy option...