A third of Americans count on their uncle to be the drunkest at holiday gatherings

New research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Ritual Zero Proof reveals 58% of Americans think their family drinks too much during the holidays (Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash).

So much for holiday cheer: three in five people dread going to family gatherings this time of year.

That’s according to a new survey of 2,000 Americans over the age of 21, all of whom typically attend large gatherings during the holiday season.

Of those polled, almost two-thirds (63%) agreed that there’s always one family member who takes things too far, while 58% agreed that their entire family drinks “too much” at holiday gatherings.

So, who’s most likely to over imbibe and do something shocking? One-third of respondents said they can count on that behavior from their uncle.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Ritual Zero Proof, also revealed that a little more than half (54%) of respondents know that someone is going to have to apologize the morning after the family gathering.

Forty-seven percent said politics is their least favorite dinner table discussion topic, followed by more intimate ones like family gossip (42%) and personal drama (41%) — with Mom (31%) and Dad (30%) leading the charge in bringing up uncomfortable subjects.

According to 43% of people surveyed, leaving early is one of the most common behaviors exhibited at family parties, followed by yelling (39%) and drinking too much (38%).

When asked about the most embarrassing thing someone has done at a family holiday get-together, one respondent took the term “lit” a bit too literally and “fell in a fire pit.”

Another popular, embarrassing misconduct was vomiting, whether it be “on another person,” “on the table” or even “on the host.”

Uncomfortable moments and jaw-dropping conversation may factor into why 48% admit to increasing their own alcohol intake at family holiday gatherings — more so than any other social event during the year.

But it’s not just family gatherings where liquid courage may cloud judgement. More than two-thirds (67%) agreed that there’s always one coworker who takes it too far at holiday office parties.

Sixty-two percent also confessed that they’ll drink more than usual if there’s an open bar at the office party specifically because it’s free, and 69% agreed that too much booze is served in general.

Three-quarters of people feel the holiday party is where they truly find out what their coworkers are like. This also proved to be one of the top reasons people attend office parties, with 46% seeking to discover the hidden sides of their coworkers.

However, that curiosity can backfire.

“The lowered inhibitions that can come with ‘liquid courage’ aren’t always a good thing, not just for our egos but for our well-being,” said Marcus Sakey, founding partner of Ritual Zero Proof. “That’s why many Americans are becoming more sober-curious — they want to experience the benefits that drinking in moderation can yield, like increased energy, better sleep, and most importantly, a clearer head.”

Speaking of clearer heads, 62% of respondents said they’ve dreaded going to work the day after an office party due to embarrassment.

Another 64% admitted that they couldn’t look at some of their coworkers the same way once the celebration ended.

According to one respondent, “[A] coworker got drunk and fell into the Christmas tree and knocked it over, then threw up in the boss’s driveway.”

With 56% worrying that they themselves might get fired after office holiday party events, it’s no surprise that almost half (47%) of respondents have a desire to reduce their alcohol consumption.

“We’re all more health-conscious these days, but moderation doesn’t need to mean sacrifice, especially during the holidays,” added Sakey. “Swapping in a nonalcoholic beverage is all about balance, so you and your social circle can celebrate without the hangover, embarrassment or regret.”

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SWNS is a UK and US-based news and media content agency with a proud 40-year history.

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