Happy Boozy Festivities: Navigating the Holiday Spirits Without Letting Them Take Over Your Workforce

As the holiday season rolls in, bringing with it a wave of festivities, it’s common to find the spirit of celebration often accompanied by, well, spirits – the alcoholic kind. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, it’s a period marked by joy, togetherness, and, as it turns out, a significant uptick in alcohol consumption.

The Rise in Holiday Drinking

Did you know that during this festive period, the average American consumes twice the number of alcoholic drinks compared to the rest of the year? This startling statistic sheds light on a unique aspect of our holiday culture – one where merry-making often intertwines with merry-drinking.

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Consequences of Overindulgence

This surge in alcohol consumption doesn’t come without its downsides. For many, the holiday cheer is often chased by what we can call ‘rough mornings’ – those sluggish, headache-ridden aftermaths of the previous night’s indulgences. It’s estimated that during the holiday season, the average American experiences around three alcohol-induced rough mornings per week.

Impact on Work and Productivity

The ramifications of these festive overindulgences stretch beyond personal discomfort, seeping into professional life as well. The data speaks for itself – the average American admits to calling in sick at least twice over the holiday season due to drinking. Even more concerning is that 7 out of 10 employees acknowledge that these ‘rough mornings’ significantly dent their productivity at work.

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Socializing and Drinking – A Holiday Norm

Why the spike in alcohol consumption during the holidays? Over 69% of Americans report that they are more likely to socialize over drinks during this time compared to any other part of the year. This cultural norm of associating holidays with social drinking contributes to increased alcohol intake.

Cultural and Social Factors:

  1. Festive Atmosphere: The holidays are characterized by a general atmosphere of celebration and joy. In many cultures, alcohol is traditionally associated with festivity and merriment, making it a common feature at holiday parties and gatherings.
  2. Social Expectations: There is often an unspoken social expectation to partake in drinking during holiday events. This pressure can come from peers, media portrayals of holiday celebrations, or even from corporate holiday parties where alcohol is freely available.
  3. Stress and Relaxation: The end of the year can be a stressful time for many, with the pressures of wrapping up work, family obligations, and holiday preparations. Alcohol is often used as a means to relax and unwind from these stresses.
  4. Longer and More Frequent Gatherings: The holiday season typically includes more extended periods of leisure and vacation time. This allows for longer and more frequent social gatherings, which in turn increases the opportunities for alcohol consumption.
  5. Seasonal Drinks and Traditions: Many cultures have specific alcoholic beverages associated with the holiday season (like eggnog, mulled wine, or spiced cider). The novelty and tradition of these seasonal drinks can encourage more frequent consumption.

A Solution for Employers

While it’s important to respect the spirit of the season and the choice of individuals to partake in festivities, it’s equally crucial for employers to maintain a healthy, productive, and safe work environment. This is where WorkSafe steps in. Recognizing the need for responsible alcohol consumption, especially in a professional context, WorkSafe offers breath alcohol testing services. These services are available both in-clinic and on-site at your place of work.

DOT Drug and Alcohol Supervisor Training

Onsite Services at WorkSafe

Breath Alcohol Testing


The holiday season should be a time of joy and celebration, not one marred by the consequences of overindulgence. By staying aware of our drinking habits and their impact on our personal and professional lives, we can enjoy the festivities without letting them get the better of us. For employers looking to ensure a safe and productive work environment during this period, WorkSafe’s breath alcohol testing services offer a practical solution. Let’s make this holiday season memorable for all the right reasons. Call WorkSafe today, and let’s keep those ‘rough mornings’ from ruining your workforce.

Contact WorkSafe to find out how we can help your company today!

Working to keep you safe, healthy, and productive,

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American Addiction Centers

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