The unofficial rule is that it’s acceptable to have your first alcoholic drink at 5 p.m. – no earlier. ‘It’s five o’clock somewhere’ is a cheeky reinterpretation of when it’s acceptable to have your first drink and could be used to shake off judgments when it comes to day drinking. But when it comes to the holiday season, when traditions are typically focused on celebrating the end of the year, rules can sometimes be bent. Are morning mimosas acceptable during breakfast at 8 am if it’s close to Christmas? Is boozy eggnog considered a suitable accompaniment to pancakes, eggs, and bacon?, an online resource for finding drug and alcohol addiction detox centers, conducted a survey (3,178) to find out what time the average household considers an acceptable hour to start drinking over the festive season, which revealed some very interesting results. It turns out that 2:54 pm is the precise time that Marylanders consider an ‘acceptable’ time to begin drinking over the holidays (later than the national average of 2:42 pm). However, the survey also found that 12% of Marylanders admit that they bend the rules and drink before lunchtime.

In Alaska, the average household considers midday – at 12:30 pm – an acceptable time to start pouring drinks. Could this be because Alaska is among the coldest states in America? This hypothesis makes sense given that the survey revealed that households in Hawaii, on the other end of the Fahrenheit scale, prefer to wait until just before the evening hits to start drinking: 4:11 pm. Indeed, a survey by earlier in the year found that 1 in 5 Americans admit to drinking more when the weather is cold out.

A common perception of someone with alcoholism is the image of, someone who drinks as soon as their alarm goes off in the morning. Other people believe in the ‘hair of the dog’ hangover-avoidance method, which includes having an alcoholic drink the morning after a big night out in an attempt to lessen or alleviate the symptoms of a hangover. Spoiler alert: this method merely postpones the effects of a hangover and can turn into a bad habit.

In fact, there are many dangers associated with drinking alcohol first thing in the morning, which the experts at have explained below:

  • It can become a habit. The festive period (from Thanksgiving through NYE), includes meet-ups with friends and colleagues as well as many other opportunities for someone to create a habit of drinking earlier in the day. Whether it’s a mimosa at breakfast, or eggnog mid-morning, it’s easy for alcohol to become a mainstay in the days leading up to the end of the year. It may seem harmless as you may think you’re ‘just getting into the festive spirit,’ but it is still drinking, and you might even be consuming more if you start earlier in the day, as compared to a night out. 
  • You can get dehydrated easily – unlike summer, whereby warmer temperatures make you more inclined to drink water to quench thirst and cool down, the festive period is not one typically associated with rehydration. Rather, you are more likely to be offered an array of festive drinks such as mimosas, eggnogs, hot toddy’s and hot buttered rums, rather than water, still or sparkling. So If you are going to keep drinking, make sure to drink water in-between these Christmas cocktails.
  • You drink way more than you notice. Drinking earlier in the day, such as kicking things off with a wassail, means you’ll likely be drinking far more than you realize. So, no matter what time you begin, it is a good idea to set a limit for yourself and stick to it. 
  • You are more likely to end up in the ER. Beyond the direct effects of drinking too early in the day, doing so also risks ending up in the hospital. It is no surprise that being more intoxicated increases your risks of accidents happening, and no one wants to end up in the ER on Christmas Day!

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