I used to enjoy a glass (bottle) of wine on occasion (most days) but now I’m a reformed boozer and spruik soda water only. But how does one survive the party season where the days and nights are hot (or stormy) and every man and his dog are enjoying a beer and the champagne’s flowing and you’re jumping out of buildings into pools? Typically the festive season is one of excess. Overindulging in food and booze and giving and receiving an excess of gifts. As a teetotaling minimalist introvert, this can be problematic. I am a wild and crazy guy! I have been a non-drinker for a year and a half now (please, no applause necessary). Initially I avoided temptation and social occasions but now am able to attend as a (semi) regular member of society but I come prepared.

BYO rulz: If you arrive at a party hungry and thirsty, it is harder to resist the tray of brownies or the bottomless champagne flute. If c’est possible, eat and drink before the soiree. Something protein and good-fat rich is preferable so you feel sated for longer (I know! Good-fat’s a thing now!) Be prepared like a good scout and bring your own drink and snack just in case. I often have a can of ginger beer, a snack bag of nuts, a length of rope and a Swiss army knife stashed in my bag. This helps if you’re on the run to a party via a hike in the black forest and it might also stop you from hitting the drive through or dropping wads of cash on ‘healthy’ snacks at the 7-11 en route home.

Just don’t start: If you’re an all or nothing person like myself, try to delay or distract yourself or take a detour away from starting on the snacks (or the booze or the opiates if that’s your bag baby). I’ve heard whispered rumours of people who can have whole blocks of chocolate in their cupboard and simply eat 1 square a night. What?! Have a drink in hand, consider chewing some gum (sideffect: you may appear cool) and focus on the present conversation. ‘How’s baby Maddisonne going? And Jacxxxson?’ Hopefully there’ll be celery and carrot sticks on hand. NB: These are not just garnish-they are also edible. I ignored them for years in lieu of the chippies and cheese but no more. Their time has come. The rise of the veggie sticks!

Sparking joy: In the same way, I don’t bring junk food and alcohol into the house anymore, I try not to bring in excess stuff. At Christmas, there is lots of gift giving and receiving which is great. Yay! What’s not so great, is the excess of it all; the wrapping paper, cards, trinkets, chocolate, stocking stuffers. I read and keep the card (for xmas period and beyond if it’s a touching message. Sniff!), unwrap my pressies, recycle the paper, and if it’s something I have too many of or something that will sit in a drawer (mug/tea-towel/ decoration) I’ll pop past the op shop on the way home to donate it to someone who needs it and it will spark joy for. I don’t want to ‘rebound’ as the queen of clean Marie Kondo calls it. This is physical and mental clutter. I try to give experiences or hugs and I also feel no shame in re-gifting chocolate and other goods. Perhaps they’ll find a safe home with one of those 1-square-a-nighters!

Can you party with less and have more fun? Try it and see!

Love and light and hugs not drugs xxx Yvette

Minimalist Gifts

KonMari Rebound