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Throwing a Safe Holiday Party (Posted On: Saturday, November 14, 2009)

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(ARA) - The holiday season means taking time out of our busy schedules to share memorable moments with family and friends. And for many of us, that means entertaining at home and hosting parties for our neighbors and loved ones.

Whether you're planning a small, intimate gathering or throwing a large-scale get-together, these entertaining tips will help keep the holidays happy and safe for all of your party guests.

Improve the mood with food
When serving alcohol beverages, offer a variety of foods throughout the celebration. Enjoying food with alcohol can help slow its absorption into the bloodstream. Plan enough food for the number of your expected guests and the duration of your party.

Think "To drink, or not to drink?"
Remember that some guests may prefer non-alcohol beverages or may be acting as designated drivers. So provide plenty of non-alcohol beverage options like water, soft drinks, juices or other non-alcohol drinks such as O'Doul's or 180 Energy.

Celebrate one drink at a time
Spacing drinks throughout a party can help your guests stay within their personal limits. Never pressure or force drinks on anyone. Don't refresh unfinished glasses. This makes it difficult for guests to keep track of how much they're drinking.

Stick to your measurements (and we don't mean your waistline)
Serving beer and flavored malt beverages makes it easy to keep track of how much alcohol is being consumed, because they come in standard serving sizes and alcohol percentages by volume.

If you choose to serve hard liquor drinks, use a shot glass to avoid making mixed drinks too strong. If you're offering wine to your guests, use smaller wine glasses that allow you to control the serving size.

Understand all drinks are not consumed equally
The amount of time it takes a guest to drink one alcohol beverage greatly impacts how that alcohol is absorbed in their body. Beer is widely recognized as a beverage of moderation. Even though a 12-ounce beer may contain the same amount of alcohol as a 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof liquor, a beer is enjoyed leisurely, while a shot usually is consumed in one swallow.

Practice your "last call" for alcohol
Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party ends. Serve desserts and other foods, coffee and soft drinks as the party is winding down. But remember that none of these eliminate alcohol from the body - only the passage of time will do that.

Remember the party's not over until it's over
And "over" means the time when all of your guests have arrived home safely. A successful party is one that's both fun and safe. Designate a driver, provide cab rides home or offer to let guests stay the night if they have had too much to drink. For more tips about safe celebrating, visit the designated driver website. 

Courtesy of ARAcontent


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