Keeping the Good Purim Times Rolling

How to Celebrate Responsibly

February 21, 2013

Joy is the hallmark of a Purim “frame of mind.” While some will focus on the wide and extensive variety of alcohol readily available during this festive occasion. The joy of this holiday is enhanced by the judicious use of alcohol. Enjoying alcohol responsibly is the key to enjoying Purim, having fun with others and exploring this holiday’s contrasts between good and evil. One need not drink to excess to experience the holiday’s joys. Excessive drinking will spoil this holiday for you and those around you.

While drinking judicious amounts of alcohol will create a good feeling remember that “one drink too many” will unleash a cascade of embarrassing behavior and a horrible physical reaction. It is incumbent upon each of us, to be careful and to not push our tolerance too far. We must set and stick to some limits.

Some thoughts below on how to enjoy Purim and alcohol responsibly.

Pace Yourself. Alcohol impacts each person uniquely. Your capacity to hold alcohol differs from that of your friends’ capacity. Do not try to compete. The competition could come to a “bad end.” 

The more you drink in a shorter period the more alcohol for your body to “work off.” The initial warm, “fuzzy” feelings generated by drinking can easily “morph into” slurred words, unsteady gait and other joy spoiling behaviors. Be a self-aware Purim celebrant. Know your warning signs and pace yourself. Set limits before you start and stick to them. Before you start out for the day, verbally share your intent to limit your drinking with your friends.

Alcohol impairs judgment. Even a little alcohol will impair judgment. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk or do stupid things. Be a good friend and keep an “eye” on others.

Make celebrating and sharing the holiday your focus and not alcohol. This holiday has more to enjoy than just to drink to excess. Enjoy your children's imagination and costumes, the camaraderie of exchanging food baskets, the pastries – all of the foods, the possibilities are boundless.

Enjoy Purim! Be Careful.