Happy Holidays, babe. Are you a natural born party girl that loves to wear skirts and crop tops regardless of the temperature, shake your ass, and throw back tequila shots? Me too! That’s a good look when you’re out at Cubbyhole or Hens with your girl squad… but not when you’re at Aunt Linda’s house with your family. There is a time and a place for everything: The family holiday party is not a time and place for the turn up. Well, for that specific kind of turn up.
While I don’t suggest being the full force party girl this holiday season, I’m never one to tell your fabulous self to change. Let’s just think of these tips as small *alterations* you can make to tone down your lit-ness, without stifling your unique shine. It’s like a negotiation —you can keep your binge drinking but have to axe your bra-as-shirt look. You can keep your bright and bold personality — but axe the detailed sex stories. Take it from me, a proud ratchet girl (I’m from Long Island, we all are) that got way too drunk last Christmas.
Here are some helpful tips for keeping your dignity intact, family-shame levels low, and your head out of the toilet for the holidays.
1. Get all of your ratchet-ry out of your system before Christmas Eve, the night before Hanukkah or Kwanza
Pictured above: Me and my BFF, three Manhattans deep, getting all of our ratchet demons out before the day of The Lord And Savior’s Birth.
If you go out the day before the family get-together and do the most turned-up turn-up you can do, you will be hungover as a motherf*cker, so this should ideally be done on Friday, December 22. Dance on tables, take shots off stranger’s stomachs, call your toxic ex. Do whatever you gotta do to avoid exhibiting that same behavior in front of your fam. This seems like common sense, but trust me, if you don’t release your demons, you’ll never know what version of yourself will emerge after that first sip of alcohol. Let ratchet girl come out on Friday, so she can hibernate for the holidays.
2. Make sure you get your ratchet-ry out in a judgement-free zone (i.e. not your local bars)
Don’t get blackout drunk at your local bar, in front of your high school peers. Maybe staying in with your friends and being ratchet in the comfort of your own home is a better idea. I don’t know. Just don’t end up hooking up with someone you went to high school with. Or do.
3. Lush Cosmetics Brazened Honey Mask hides a multitude of holiday sins
After your pre-fam turn-up, a nice facial mask will have you looking fresh and pure as baby Jesus himself. Even though you totally made out with your high school bully last night on the dance floor, you sicko.
4. Do not drink too much during family time — just don’t
^ Yep, that’s me, doing karaoke with my aunt then busting my ass.
STICK WITH ONE FORM OF ALCOHOL AND DON’T DO SHOTS. Trust me, I’m not advocating for a sober holiday season (*shudders*), that would be insane (unless of course you’re an alcoholic or chose to be sober). But family time is not a time to mix or take shots. Commit to wine and that’s it.
I’m usually extremely well-behaved at family events, because like my first tip suggests, I get my ratchet-ness out before. But last year my cousin told me he could outdrink me and I can’t resist a good competition. I had already been drinking wine all day and had some of my cousin’s famous Sex On A Snow Bank cocktails. The Jameson shots put me over the ratchet edge.
When my mom nicely chastised me for grabbing pasta and chicken cutlets with my hand, I yelled “F*CK YOU” which is literally, like, something I would NEVER do. I might post half naked pictures online, jersey turn-pike strangers on the dance floor, and recount every waking detail of my sex life, but I would never disrespect my mom like that. I come from a strict Italian family, and that’s a no-no. Instead of smacking the side of my head or yelling at me, my mom did something far more terrifying: She, very silently and steadily, said “Dayna, you have two options: you can get yourself together and enjoy the rest of Christmas Eve with your family. Or Nicole [my best friend] can put you to bed.” You know your mom is pissed as f*ck when she’s quiet and calculated instead of screaming.
5. Spill your guts to your childhood friends from home, not your nosey aunt
Do not get confessional drunk with your family. It’s a trap. Families love drama and gossip. Do not tell them about your lasting childhood traumas, or that you are anxiously awaiting a text from a girl that might be bread-crumbing you. (Not like I did that exact thing last year, or anything.)
6. Don’t dress slutty
I know it’s hard, TRUST me girl, I know, but just… don’t. It’s not worth the comments you’ll have to deal with all night from your stuffy grandma.
Since, like I said, I don’t want to stifle the real you, you are allowed to escape to the bathroom to be your true hoe self. Just like I did last year, conveniently wearing a dress with a zipper. Thirst trap away, babe.
7. Chill out
Like seriously, save your drunk rant about how Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Is Ableist for your Social Justice friends that will get it… don’t f*ck up the Christmas vibe.
8. If Champagne is your bae, rock it out with style (own it, being single is lit)
Also being Italian and hairy AF ruined this perfect photo. Another Christmas tip from this ratchet gal: get your sideburns waxed. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to my face.
I know the holidays are a time that can make you feel particularly depressed about being single. Like when you’re 24 years old but get seated at the kids’ table because you have no partner. Or when you see all the cute couples of Instagram showing off their cute gifts. But under no circumstances, do not, I repeat DO NOT lament about being single. Then your aunt Claire will try to hook you up with that one lesbian she met at the bank that time. Or worse, with her neighbor who is just *oh so handsome* and can’t you just give him a chance? Are you sure you’re gay?
9. Be nice
You hardly ever see these people (or you do often if you’re Italian) but either way, they’re your family and they love you. I know family get-togethers can be extremely stressful, and tempt you to lash out or revert inward. But try. Try to be nice. You’d be surprised at how cool your fam can actually be when you stop being angry. And letting love in and releasing anger is a surefire way to avoid getting ratchet drunk. And *that* is what we’re trying to avoid here, babes.
So go forth, and slay the Holigays without completely dimming your party-girl-swag, but polishing her up, to match the star on the tree.
Dayna Troisi is proud to be a staff writer at GO Magazine. Her essays have been published in Marie Claire, Buzzfeed, Vice, SELF, Racked among others. Dayna is passionate about writing essays that focus on lesbian dating, beauty + fashion and her badass bionic arm. Dayna has an MFA in poetry from Hofstra University, where she also taught Creative Writing. Dayna serves as GO’s nightlife editor and loves to turn up at queer NYC bars & clubs. She identifies as a dyke princess/Jenny Schecter fan-girl and lives on Long Island to be closer to her lash and spray tan technicians.