With the mercury set to soar on Christmas Day, drinks will be flowing freely over lunch and dinner.

We’ve put together some simple steps to stop festive cheer turning your weekend from merry to messy.

Have fun and celebrate with family and friends, but stay safe and be responsible.

  1. Talk about alcohol as a family: Name the risks and be quite bold and blunt about them.
  2. If you have children on the cusp of 18, decide in advance if you will allow them to drink on Christmas Day to avoid arguments and disappointment later.
  3. Plan in advance who will take responsibility if something goes wrong. If you are drinking, nominate a buddy to look out for you.
  4. Don’t start drinking too early! Alcohol sneaks up on us. Spread out your drinks and consciously think about when you would usually start drinking.
  5. Hydrate! Drink lots of water. After a game of backyard cricket, first quench your thirst with a glass of water and then enjoy an alcoholic drink.
  6. Keep track of how much alcohol you are drinking.
  7. Let guests serve themselves. Allow them to fill up their own glasses so they don’t lose count of how much they’ve drunk.
  8. Eat! Do not drink on an empty stomach but, at the same time, don’t use food as an excuse to drink more.
  9. Be mindful of your own behaviour, especially if you are a parent. Alcohol diminishes tolerance and impacts our responses and reactions.
  10. Think about what you are doing on Boxing Day. Begin the day with the end in mind! Regret and a hangover will spoil holiday plans.