Your Guide to Getting Secretly Drunk on Thanksgiving

Just as the Pilgrims intended.

Let’s face it, Thanksgiving isn’t all fancy halftime shows and turkey naps. More than once you’ve had to swallow your tongue when your dad goes on a rant about “kids like Miley Cyrus ruining everything he’s worked for,” or tuck your drunken Aunt Sylvia into bed while she tries to make love to you because she thinks you’re a young Charlton Heston. And that’s why we’re here to relieve the holiday load. Of course, having a glass of wine or two at the table isn’t frowned upon, but you’re going to need the heavy artillery to make it through this Thursday, and you can’t really give Mom another reason to kick you out of the basement. So, we ashamedly present: Your step-by-step guide to chugging your way through Thanksgiving.

8 AM – Mom rouses you to watch the parade, as is your tradition! However, you broke this tradition when you were 14 and you’ve never gone back. Turn over and go back to sleep.

10 AM – A now-agitated Mom forces you out of bed – company is on the way. Stumble down to the bathroom and make yourself presentable. Most bad breath starts down in your stomach, so you’ll probably want to swallow a little (or a lot) of that mouthwash. You know, because of science.

11:15 AM – You still have a full hour and change until football starts, so you might as well assist Mom in the kitchen. Offer to help with anything, but before she answers make a beeline for the bourbon-glazed carrots. While she’s distracted, down a bit of that sweet and boozy goodness for yourself. Damn right, carrots, you don’t get to be the only thing that’s glazed around here.

1:30 PM – We’re well into football and your well into your first “recognized” glass of wine. As Detroit gives away the lead for good, show your family that you’ve got your act together by pacing yourself with a glass of ginger ale in between. Sorry, did we say ginger ale? We meant “ginger ale.” Wait, did we say “‘ginger ale?'” We mean straight whiskey.

3:30 PM – Look at you, you’ve made it all the way to dinnertime and you’re (probably) not even slurring. You’ve even bragged about the job interviews that you’ve been thinking about starting to apply to go on sometime in the future. You’ve really earned that sip of moonshine that you’ve hidden in Grandpa’s colostomy bag strapped to your chest. Don’t worry, it came from the clean pile. You think.

4:15 PM – An easy way to escape the bone-dry scrutiny of family time is to get dragged away by the little nieces and nephews. That way, you look like a fun uncle, but in reality, you’re using the runts as a distraction while sipping some cognac from a sippy cup. You may have some reservations about using children to cover your drinking today, but that would imply that you have some dignity left, and since you’re reading this, we’ll assume that’s not an issue.

6 PM – What a good guy you are, offering to clear the table! You’re so good at it too, whisking away those wine glasses before anyone can even protest. Is it really going to hurt anything (besides your sobriety) if you empty all of these into a gravy boat and tip it back? Mmm, gravy-wine.

7:15 PM – You sneak back into the kitchen before dessert. You could give a little lick to the reminder of those bourbon glazed carrots, but you have more dignity than that, right? Ok, well maybe just a little taste. Just to see what we’re working with. While you’re in there, might as well prepare the coffee too. Hey, ever notice that stout looks a whole lot like coffee? We did too.

8 PM – Congratulations, you’ve made it through Thanksgiving with minimal aggravation (thanks to your maximum alcohol consumption). Time to meet your friends who are in town for the holidays at the bar. Just don’t drive. Come to think of it, don’t even walk. You should probably just go to bed; you’re a mess right now.