Pope’s Scrooge List: When the Holidays Aren’t Your Thing


By: Pope Jackson


Photo: Etsy

So I’m different, I didn’t grow up with the Christmas spirit.  The sounds of Nat King Cole and Mariah Carey’s iconic carols never filled my home.  My family didn’t celebrate so I couldn’t.  As I got older I researched the holiday for myself and decided I didn’t want to participate anyway.  Then you have children and feel the weight of the entire commercial system (and friends) to get in the “Christmas Spirit”.   So you got the time off, the entire family is home & you’re not celebrating. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have quality family time and create lasting memories together.  Here’s a simple list of ideas & suggestions for the holiday weekend and beyond.  


  • Bake Something – COOKIES, COOKIES, cookies!!! This easy treat is a great way to bond and make snacks at the same time.  Most cookies have a short list of ingredients, cook in less than 15 mins and you can easily store the dough to make as little or as much as you like.  Check out a easy Orange Walnut Recipe Cookie recipe below.
  • Create Something – Sitting down to paint or draw together is always fun.  Remember- unless someone is paying you for your work, it doesn’t have to look good.  The Joy is in the doing.  If you’re not normally artistically inclined, try Origami.  Step by step instructions and videos for hundreds of paper creations can be found online.  Paper folding is extremely relaxing and you always have a piece of paper around.  
  • Learn Something – This year Christmas falls on the weekend, so many have the following Monday off from work.  Many art institutions are open for special holiday hours, the Bronx Museum normally closed on Mondays, is open 11am to 6pm.
  • Give Something – Even more valuable than money and gifts is time, so why not give some to a local charity or organization.  Food banks, park groups, senior homes and centers can use you, just an hour or two of your time goes a long way.  What a great lesson we can teach our children.


These are just a couple of ideas but you get the idea, and I’m sure you have more.  Comment below with your ideas.


Orange Walnut Cookies found at Hello Fresh


Photo: Hello Fresh


Juice of 1 Large Orange

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Melted Butter

1.5 Cups All-Purpose Flour

1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Powdered Sugar



Preheat oven to 325°F

  1. Combine orange juice with 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar in a small pot.  Bring to a boil until it reaches a syrupy consistency.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Beat butter and remaining brown sugar with an electric mxer, then incorporate flour and 2 Tablespoons orange syrup.
  3. Kneed until a dough forms.
  4. Wet hands and roll mixture into balls.
  5. Press thumb into ball to form a small indent for filling.
  6. Prepare ring by combining walnuts, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and remaining syrup in a medium bowl.
  7. Add 1 teaspoon filling to center of each cookie and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake until slightly golden brown, 15-20 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving

More holiday cookie recipes from Hello Fresh can be found at blog.hellofresh.com.

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