KENMORE, N.Y. (WIVB) –  As we officially kick off the holiday season with Thanksgiving, We all know its a “spirited” time for sales. During the winter holidays, wine and liquor stores keep their profits up, by being well-stocked.

Dan Locche owns Straight Up Wine and Liquor in Kenmore. He said, “People are either buying gifts or they’re drinking to get through the holidays.”

He says the last three months of the year, October through December are big months for business. Locche said, “People come in, they’re happy, it’s the holidays. They’re also frantic because they’re shopping, there are crowds, and they’re going to see their family which is kind of intense.”

The National Retail Federation says holiday liquor sales are up four percent in 2016 from last year. Alcohol sales are much higher in the fourth quarter than during the rest of the year.

For Locche, starting Thanksgiving, his role changes. He said also doubles as a therapist.

He said, “People come in, and they want to talk about politics, they want to talk about religion they want to talk about their family. They want to talk about what they don’t want to do, they want to talk about what they’re going to go shop for, so we satisfy a number of needs.”

But if you are out celebrating, know it comes with risks. The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunken drivers.That’s a 12 percent increase from the rest of the month of December.

And another warning from Locche: a list of topics to avoid at your family gatherings this holiday season. He said, “Politics, religion, asking about your job, kids. There are certain topics all of a sudden you don’t want to discuss and you don’t want to hear about either.”

To learn more about Straight Up Wine and Liquor, head to their website.