mom fun

Cheatsgiving: How To Survive A Holiday Meal When There’s No Booze

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Look, sometimes it happens. For whatever reason you, a person who loves booze, gets stuck celebrating the holidays in a home where the closest thing to alcohol is some old apple cider rotting in the back of the fridge. I have been there, friends, and it is not pretty. Because if there’s one thing mama needs, it’s a glass of red wine to wash down that turkey and all the crazy talk Uncle Dumbf**k is spewing.

So…what do to? Bringing a flask is not an option here. You gotta respect the dry home, even if you like your mashed potatoes with a lot of gravy, and by gravy I mean vodka. Instead, try this:

1. Don’t let on that you’re annoyed. 


No wine? No problem! Your house, your rules. I’m cool! I’ll just be over here gently tapping my head against this book shelf until it’s time to eat dinner.

2. Find another beverage to enjoy.



Give me all the caffeines with some caffeine and a couple of spoonfuls of caffeine. Thanks.

3. Keep busy! 



Stand in the kitchen shouting “I CAN HELP CUT THE TURKEY ME ME ME” until someone gives you something to do.

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  1. LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

    November 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    This is why I’m glad I live in Wisconsin. I have literally NEVER been to a holiday event that did not include alcohol. I wasn’t aware that was even a thing.

    • 2Well

      November 14, 2014 at 2:18 am

      There is a Bourbon County in Kentucky. It is dry.

      In fact, for the home of so much of America’s whiskey, Kentucky has quite a few dry counties, with teetotalers to go along with it.

    • chill

      November 14, 2014 at 3:17 am

      Tennessee too. I love them all that they are so unselfish that they are willing to make wonderful beverages and give it all to the rest of us. If I made alcohol, I’d be losing money. Bless their teetotaling hearts.

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      November 14, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Oh, I’m aware there are dry counties and plenty of teetotalers. I think Wisconsin even has a dry county.

      My comment was meant to be a joke about Wisconsin. We have a reputation for drinking A LOT. In fact, friends of mine who have lived in other states have said they didn’t realize how much Wisconsinites drink (and how every event has to contain booze) until they moved out of the area.

    • 2Well

      November 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

      It’s just as crazy that we (I say we even though I moved) produce the stuff and so many think it will send you to hell. I was making a joke too.

    • LiteBrite(UterineDudebro)

      November 14, 2014 at 10:20 am

      I think we need “joke fonts” here. 🙂

      I’ve heard that about Kentucky and Tennessee though. Isn’t the county where Jack Daniels is produced dry?

    • PAJane

      November 14, 2014 at 9:14 am

      That’s just wrong. And sad.

  2. aCongaLine

    November 13, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    We had to do a dry family BBQ this past summer…. and I remember thinking “THank God Recovering AlcoholicBrother-In-Law will be on the other side of the country during the holidays” (truth- I’m glad he’s okay now, but he’s really awkward and boring, and really judgey and not at all my cup of tea, so I’m not sad about him not being at my house for festivities). It was very strange and awkward- not that we’re particularly heavy on the sauce, but that both my family and my ILs like to social drink, and some even brew their own, so it’s a conversation topic.

    THanksgiving with no booze? nope. I’d be the one with vodka-spiked something. Fortunately, the family gathering is at my house, where there is ALL THE BOOZE.

    Also, I totally realize this makes me sound like a booze-guzzling, inconsiderate asshole. I promise I am not. I just love wine.

    • PAJane

      November 14, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      Sometimes making a point of not having it makes for an elephant in the room. One of my inlaws is a recovering alcoholic as well, who has maybe fallen off the wagon a couple times, and it feels weird when alcohol comes up as a possibility or conversation topic.

    • aCongaLine

      November 14, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Yeah, it was totally weird- I felt awful for my BIL, because none of us jerks felt confident in booze-less ettiquite on the spot… It was even weirder when we all attended a funeral in the early fall, and BIL was chugging cosmos. Everyone just looked at each other, and we were like “so, wine? beer? IDK what’s going on with BIL?” He’s okay now, but, it’s so strange, because alcoholic bevs were always a part of our gatherings. I’m hopeful we’ll be able to find a happy medium, as both completely dry and completely soaking wet were not good options.

      I guess maybe it’s like not being allowed to wear green suddenly- not something you necessarily take note of everyday, but if it’s forbidden, or suddenly missing, you can’t help but obsess over it.

  3. Kate

    November 13, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Sigh. Last Thanksgiving with the pregnancy and this Thanksgiving with the nursing! Next year is gonna ROCK!!!!!

    • Spongeworthy

      November 13, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      I was pregnant over Thanksgiving. You better believe the next year I drank ALL the drinks.

    • alexesq33

      November 14, 2014 at 7:42 am

      I’m pregnant this year. Panicking.

    • Spongeworthy

      November 14, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Aw! Well it wasn’t a matter of dealing with family or anything. It was just that I was super bitter watching everyone else have drinks and I had seltzer and a few measly sips of wine.

    • alexesq33

      November 14, 2014 at 9:08 am

      No seriously my family is great but I just loooooove my wine at holidays. I’ll save a glass to have with dinner though 🙂

  4. Williwaw

    November 13, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Why is sneaking a flask not an option? I sure as hell would (though my family does not generally have booze-free gatherings).

    • Rachel Sea

      November 13, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      God would not have invented flasks if he wanted us to be sober.

    • Andrea

      November 13, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Preach it sister

    • Kate Spencer

      November 13, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      I was trying to be sensitive to our sober friends ❤️

    • Ursi

      November 14, 2014 at 7:44 am

      I think that’s the right thing to do. Very tacky to sneak a flask in at a dry wedding, for example. However, for the major holidays I think a tiny bottle to spike coffee is forgivable.

    • chill

      November 14, 2014 at 3:19 am

      Or those little airplane bottles. Those fit nicely in a tampon case.

    • PAJane

      November 14, 2014 at 9:16 am

      This was my first question. My only question, really.

  5. Valerie

    November 13, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Do not want.

  6. Valerie

    November 13, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    But I am sweating your Kristen Wiig gifs super hard

  7. Rachel Sea

    November 13, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    In these sorts of situations I bring a bottle of “non-perishable creamer” *wink*wink* (aka Bailey’s or Carolann’s) and keep it in my bag for the friends and family in the know.

  8. CynicalMomof3

    November 13, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    It’s a full week at my ILs’ for every major holiday (TG, X-Mas, Easter, sometimes July 4), which they are nice but very different people who despise people like me who read articles like this, their houses are in the middle of nowhere and there might be 2 or 3 drinks the whole time. I figure this is one of those things that will pay off either in karma or in the afterlife, and have already absolved every sin I committed as a youth.

  9. Allthingsblue

    November 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I’ve done extended time in a dry place. Lots of smiling and going to my happy place.

  10. Andrea

    November 13, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    #8 you don;t fucking go.
    This is why I love my family #allthebooze

    • NYCNanny

      November 14, 2014 at 10:57 am

      What a great reason to love family.

    • Carolina

      November 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      You really are a troll.

    • noodlestein's danger tits

      November 14, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Right?? if you don’t approve of booze, why comment on the thread? Clearly, because of trolldom.

  11. Lilly

    November 13, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    why is turning around and walking out the door not an option — for me that would the option.

  12. Angela

    November 13, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Meh, maybe it’s just me but I have a hard time understanding why it matters so much either way. I think it’s kind of lame that just because they don’t drink a host would refuse guests who want to bring a bottle of wine or something. On the other hand, I have a hard time seeing why it’s such a big deal to skip the booze. For me it’s just not worth getting worked up over.

    • Ursi

      November 14, 2014 at 7:48 am

      I don’t think it’s a huge deal, I realize I come off like someone who really hits the sauce when I post disdain and shock for a dry holiday. In truth I drink rarely but I enjoy it. It’s more the idea that it’s such an essential part of the culture for a lot of people. I mean I’d notice it was gone at dinner if I had to wash down all that heavy food with water or a soda instead of a good wine or a hearty beer. I’d miss my uncle’s glogg to give a pleasant buzz in the evening. It would be like Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie. No big deal but you notice it’s gone and you miss the taste.

    • Valerie

      November 14, 2014 at 8:47 am

      For my family, it is definitely part of our culture. We like to drink together and play board games and have a blast. Would we have fun without it? Of course. Is it more fun with it? Yup.

    • Angela

      November 14, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Oh, for sure I get that drinking is fun. I enjoy it every now and then too, but it’s not something I consider vital or am upset about going without. I’m sure my background has a lot to do with it. I was raised conservative Mormon = drinking is pure evil. I’m no longer Mormon, but many of my family and friends are and I regularly see both sides of this play out.

      I find it absolutely absurd that many of my relatives would refuse to allow guests to bring any alcohol whatsoever into their homes. Sure, I understand asking them not to get trashed in front of their kids, but it’ not going to hurt to let them drink a glass of wine with their dinner or have a beer at your barbeque. But I find it just as obnoxious when people rant about the fact that they don’t get supplied with free booze at Mormon weddings. Or my cousin who drank beer and smoked weed DURING the graveside dedication of my grandfather’s funeral.

  13. bea

    November 14, 2014 at 6:21 am

    There is at least 5 drunk people at our Thanksgivings by the we cut the turkey

  14. Ursi

    November 14, 2014 at 7:25 am

    coming from an Irish-Catholic family, the idea of a boozeless holiday would be like having a vegan Thanksgiving. We respect veganism. We understand that other people are vegans. We would just be shocked to be encountered with it as a replacement for regular Thankgiving. It’s baffling.

    • NYCNanny

      November 14, 2014 at 10:58 am

      We do vegan thanksgivings. It’s about not wanting the day to revolve around slaughtering an innocent animal.
      Not even close to the same thing as leaving alcohol off the table. But ok.

    • MomOf1+2

      November 14, 2014 at 11:16 am

      The point is that for Ursi and her family turkey and alcohol are integral parts of their family culture and tradition and it would be strange without them. For you neither is important. Different traditions for different families. Your way is not the only way.

    • guest

      November 14, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Oh my god, you are annoying.

    • Ursi

      November 14, 2014 at 9:17 am


  15. leahdawn

    November 14, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Booze is the only thing that makes the meddling-old-biddy-aunts tolerable. They are shitty, terrible human beings whose own children have very little to do with them, for very good reasons (they are control freaks with everyone they meet). If I have to associate with them for the sake of making nice at Christmas you better believe I’m gonna have my buzz on.

  16. NYCNanny

    November 14, 2014 at 10:55 am

    In all seriousness-it’s really f’ing sad that someone needs a mind altering substance to enjoy their family.

    • MomOf1+2

      November 14, 2014 at 11:14 am

      I like to have a glass of wine with Thanksgiving dinner. I would notice if it was missing and probably think, “too bad there isn’t wine to have with this dinner”. But one glass of wine is not “mind altering”.

      And how lucky for you that you enjoy your family. I’m lucky and enjoy mine, too. But there are MANY people who have families full of a$$holes and they can’t see those they like/want to spend the holiday with without subjecting themselves to the a$$holes so the alcohol helps them suck-it-up and deal in those situations.

      Back off the sanctimony.

    • NYCNanny

      November 14, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Why would anyone ever want to go visit assholes? If your family sucks and stresses you out, don’t go!!!!

    • MomOf1+2

      November 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      Because, like I said previously, to “see those they like/want to spend the holiday with” they have to deal with the a$$holes.

    • bea

      November 14, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      When you’re going to someones house, you don’t have the luxury to pick apart the guest list

    • aCongaLine

      November 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      I don’t have that option when we visit my ILs for holidays. they are total Assholes to me, but not visiting them isn’t an option, unfortunately. I don’t want to listen to them collectively lecture me about my post-baby weight, our home’s proximity to my family (much closer to mine than them), or have them lecture me on how I should and should not speak to my own children without at least one glass of wine. If you’d like to spend a dry holiday with them, be my guest. THey’re atrocious.

    • Ursi

      November 14, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Or maybe we’re normal humans who appreciate a little social lubricant like alcohol to have a more pleasant experience. You might as well take the entirety of civilization to task because the majority of cultures have traditions where the consumption of alcohol is a vital part of the celebration.

    • aCongaLine

      November 14, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      some families are not all sunshine and daisies.

  17. Michael Weldon

    November 14, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Drink before dinner?

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