Skip navigation and jump to content
Welcome to Ireland's Youth Information Website
Follow us
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Snapchat

Accessibility Options

High Contrast Text Size

Surviving the 12 Pubs of Christmas

Drinking sensibly and pacing yourself makes for a better night out!

Written by Tricia Purcell | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health

Share this article -

Christmas is just around the corner and we all know that the festive season offers the perfect opportunity to meet up with old friends and celebrate. For some, that celebration may be the 12 Pubs of Christmas.

For those of you who haven’t heard of it before, the 12 pubs involves getting the gang together and heading out on a pub crawl, visiting 12 different pubs in the one night.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you pull on that Christmas jumper and head out on the 12 Pubs.

Get some food into your belly before you go anywhere

If you’re going to be drinking it’s best not to do it on an empty stomach. If you eat a proper dinner before you head out you’ll have a slightly reduced risk of getting too drunk too soon and will be able to stay out with your friends for longer.  Nobody wants to fall to pieces after two or three pubs.


Make a note of your route and get to know it before you leave

There’s nothing worse than getting separated from your friends on a night out and it’s no different during the 12 Pubs. If you know the route you should be able to find them but do make sure to keep their numbers in your phone too. Just in case.

Don’t mix your drinks

It’s a really bad idea, will increase the chances of you becoming too drunk and may also lead to a horrid hangover the next morning.

Know your limits

This is probably the most important aspect of the 12 Pubs.

  • Some people set themselves the challenge of having one alcoholic drink in every single pub they visit. It’s really NOT a good idea and most definitely won’t end well.
  • Ever heard of binge drinking? That’s when you have six or more drinks at one time and it’s a serious problem in Ireland. A standard drink is about 10 grams of pure alcohol and one standard drink is a half pint of beer OR a small glass of wine OR one pub measure of spirits. Know your own limits and stick to them.
  • Don’t let the number of pubs or the pace of others dictate how much you drink.

Pace yourself

If you feel yourself getting drunk, try taking a break or slowing down your drinking.

A glass of water in between drinks is a good idea.

Trust your instincts

Starting to feel uncomfortable? Thinking you’ve had enough? Then it’s probably best to trust your gut and consider calling it a night.

Mind yourself

The 12 Pubs is usually quite a busy night, with many other groups out on the pub crawl too. Don’t let the festive fun cloud your judgement though. 

  • As on any other night out, it’s important to keep an eye on your drink.
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers either.
  • If you’re planning to get a taxi home make sure you set aside enough money for the fare at the beginning of the night. The last thing you want is to ruin a good night out by being left stranded at the end of it.

Mind your friends

Even if you know your limits when it comes to alcohol, sometimes your friends don’t.

  • If any of them are really drunk, make sure they get home safely.
  • Don’t let them stumble off on their own.
  • Not sure how to deal with drunk friends? We've got a helpful guide right here.

If you act responsibly and drink responsibly the 12 Pubs of Christmas can be great craic.

DON’T FORGET: It is against the law for a young person under the age of 18 to buy alcohol or drink alcohol in a public place.

There’s no such thing as a safe amount of alcohol to drink but if you are going to drink remember...

Share this article -

Published December 9th, 2015
Last updated December 15th, 2017
Tags christmas alcohol drink
Can this be improved? Contact if you have any suggestions for this article.

Need more information?

Request to speak with a youth worker in your area over the phone, by email or text. They may be able to assist you by providing further information specific to your needs.

Youth Work Ireland - Crosscare - YMCA

Contact via: Phone E-mail Text
By clicking submit you agree to our terms and conditions. ​Please note that this service is run by Youth Work Ireland and Crosscare​.​ E​nquiries are not handled by directly.
Jump to related articles
Was this article helpful?