Millennial’s Guide to Drinking Through the Holidays

Family dinner fight

That special time of year is upon us, “The Holidays”. The stressful stretch of 6 to 7 weeks when the weather gets shitty most places, and we all collectively decide it’s time to eat a Paula Dean/Cholesterol-inspired feast with the people we share absolutely nothing in common with (except our blood) and pretend like it’s, “SO great to see everyone” and that we should “TOTALLY get together way more often.”

Feeling nauseous too? I know what you’re thinking – I can’t do it. I just can’t pretend to care about the “prom dress drama” your cousin is currently on the verge of tears and spewing about. Or how your uncle is “really into Crossfit now” and brought his own weird food in little compartments to eat. Yes, he saw you take two helpings of mashed potatoes and, yes, he’s judging you for it.

It’s clear to anyone with at least half a brain that the only way to get through this ordeal and choke down that dry Turducken your mom “prepared” is to drink…a lot

But fear not, friends! I have come up with 6 spots to sneak away to and throw one back. Follow my fool proof guide and you’ll be 3 sheets to the wind before your mom has time to burn the rolls. (Seriously, how does she fuck that up every year)

The Childhood Bedroom– This is my favorite and one you can return to at basically any point in the night. I think it works best before anyone gets there. A good prep step…if you will. Because I will….over and over.

How it works- as soon as the anxiety of what you’re about to endure hits, grab a bottle of whatever your family didn’t hide (personally I always go with a Bulleit Rye) and head up to your old pad. Then, enjoy huge pulls and hope nobody notices you’re MIA until the guests arrive.

The Garage A.K.A. Stoner Den- Another great option. I like to save this location for about 45 minutes after guests arrive, just when you’re really starting to settle in to wanting to punch someone. The best part about running out to the garage where your degenerate cousin is smoking a vape, (#vapelife) and your sassy grandma is wearing her fur coat and chain smoking Virginia Slims, is that you have now found your crew. These are the members of your family that also have no fucks to give and are also seeking asylum. Take a good look around, you’re still in terrible company

Drink suggestion- Well Vodka. It doesn’t really matter, there’s gonna be ash floating in it after 30 seconds anyway.

The Hallway- Now, this one is not for beginners. It takes a bit of skill to pull this one off so, only attempt if you’ve at least considered the option that you might be an alcoholic. The cool thing about the hallway drink sesh, is that it’s a transitionary step. I like to utilize this option when I’m fleeing from one unbearable conversation to inevitably run into a worse one with a different group of aunts. But be careful! You run the risk of bumping into the nosy aunt who’s going to ask you a lot of questions like why “you’re cradling a bottle of Cuervo in your arms” and why “you can’t walk straight”.

Pro tip- I always stash a few bottles around the house. Easy access, and it’s always nice to know something you love is waiting just around the corner.

The Dog Cage- Okay okay, this one is a little sketch, but, the payoff is great and it’s like all the rich guys in FIDI always said before they lost all of America’s money “no risk…no reward!” Now, this is without a doubt the best place to drink during the Holidays for the simple fact that you are dealing with 0 people, and drinking with 1+ dogs. I could be wrong but that sounds like the American Dream to me. Only problem with this one is, your parents are gonna be pissed when they start calling for you to help bring food out and they find you slumped over and passed out in a fucking dog cage. Not gonna lie…it’s gonna look weird. But we all make sacrifices to get through the day, I don’t know what to tell you.

Option B- The Cat Carrier works just as well as the dog cage, if that is what you’re working with,.but really only if you’re one of those girls who says shit like, “Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels” and only drinks Ketel One because realistically, those are the only humans who can fit in a cat carrier and honestly, we should probably just lock all of those people in cat carriers anyway….Moving on!

The Kids Table- Hands down the most fun. Also, a safe and easy choice that might win you brownie points with the rest of the fam for “really taking an interest in the kids!” I like this option a lot because you can really take your time and linger here, I’m talking 2 or 3 drinks easy.

Pro tip- Grab a solo cup and fill it with whatever gross juice your little cousins are slamming and go ahead and add a bunch of vacation cocktail ingredients like, Malibu Rum and or fruity loops vodka. Basically anything that a soccer mom would throw back on a Caribbean cruise… You get the idea!

The Car- Now, before we go any further I wanna preface this one by saying do not DRIVE the car. Drinking

and Driving is not cool and DUI’s are basically just as gross as STD’s. However, the car CAN be a place of refuge and escape from the monstrosity that is your neo-nazi cousin shoving ham down his throat and screaming about how Ben Carson is a political mastermind. (Just hang in there, he’ll most likely have a heart attack by 40.) The best part about the car is that it is your own little space. No one is looking for you. You are in your own little bubble of silence and bliss. You can actually relax….you might even find you don’t even need a drink here. Just recline your seat take a quick nap and by the time you wake up, all of the terrible people will have left! Well, at least most…there’s always that one weirdo that lingers. Uncle Phil, go home dude.

And there you have it! My guide to getting through the holidays! Try ‘em out and see if you can find any new spots I missed. Happy Drinking, and may the shots be ever in your favor.


Meghan Shanahan is a Chicago based actor, musician, and writer. You can currently catch her performing as “The Waitress” in Chicago’s very own Bye Bye Liver every Friday and Saturday night.


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