Photo: ViewApart (iStock)

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, everyone. Today is a certifiable drinking day, a pre-game to prep yourself for the gravy and Scattergories and “Lock her up!” invocations from Uncle Fred to come Thursday. The question, then, is how hard should you party tonight? Go nuts or be prudent? We have two schools of thoughts.


Don’t be a Drinksgiving tragedy

My husband, the former bouncer, always said that the night before Thanksgiving was only topped by New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day as the biggest night of the year. Known as Blackout Wednesday, or Drinksgiving, tonight is the night when weary travelers head out with relatives they don’t see very often, or meet up with high school friends at the local tavern. Is it the nostalgic camaraderie? Or the terror associated with spending the entire day with family in less than 24 hours? Whatever the reason, tonight is a night known for overindulgence of drinking as much as tomorrow is known for overeating.

Gwen “No hungover Thanksgivings” Ihnat

Friends, this is probably the mom in me, but please be careful out there tonight. Do you really want to drink a ton around people you don’t see very often, possibly resulting in you blurting out to your secret high school crush that you cut out their yearbook picture and kept it in your wallet? Also: Consider tomorrow. Can you picture a worse day to be hungover than Thanksgiving? Not only will all those relatives you drank to forget still be around, but you may then be too queazy to enjoy the greatest meal of the entire year. What if you are so nauseous that the smell of the turkey makes you swoon and all you can handle is a small scoop of gravy-less mashed potatoes? Thanksgiving tragedy.

Sure, tonight will be fun and you’re likely going to head out in your best outfit, praying for a good hair day. But no matter how many beers you have, drink lots of water as well. Head home before drink four (and get a Lyft after drinks one or two). Trust me, you’ll thank me tomorrow. [Gwen Ihnat]

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I’m not advocating you drink to such an excess that you’re a danger to yourself or others. Please consume alcohol responsibly; don’t be an asshole; etc.

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Kate “Please get me a Bloody Mary” Bernot

But if there’s ever a day forgiving of a hangover, it’s Thanksgiving.

First, many families’ gatherings don’t get started until noon or later. That gives you most of the morning to sleep in, cry gently in the shower, chug a VitaminWater, and find your eye drops. (Maybe try the pickle-juice trick, too.)

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Second, the entire day revolves around eating comfort food. Was stuffing invented as a literal bread-sponge to soak up the night before’s Jamo shots? I’m no historian, but it seems too smart to be coincidence. The table will be set with a spread of salty, sweet, starchy foods, all wonderful salves to the tempest raging inside your body.

Third, Thanksgiving is perhaps the only day of the year that entirely encourages public napping. Go ahead, pass out on granny’s couch at 2 p.m.! Escape to the kids’ bedroom for a post-meal snooze! Nod off while watching a football game you don’t care about! No one will know whether it’s the three helpings of mashed potatoes or the three rounds of margaritas that are responsible for your slumber.

Fourth, depending on your family or friends, your hangover might go totally unnoticed. There will likely be bigger distractions—kids, board games, turkey disasters, football—to keep the spotlight off you and your booze flu.

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Just don’t forget to be safe and stock your fridge with electrolytes before you hit the town.


The Takeout encourages you to drink responsibly. Also, happy Thanksgiving.

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