• Jessica Vantiegham

Scrooge to the 10th Degree

Updated: Nov 20, 2019

'Tis the season and the Holiday Groupies are out in FULL FORCE. You know these people...the kind that put up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. Those blessed souls that started their shopping back in June and have a closet full of the wrapping paper with the exact complementary ribbon and card? You may even be a “HG” yourself. Calm your ho, ho.

This is not a blog about bashing your enjoyment of all things tinseled. It’s more of an admittance of the fact that I'm not. It's a good mixture of hating the pressure to shop for others and not being raised celebrating Christmas. I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. Yep…I know. Shocking give my personality and world views now but I’m not revisited every season with nostalgic memories of unwrapping presents as a kid or decorating a tree with hot chocolate in hand. In fact, holidays represented the feeling of not belonging…even long after I left the religion and all of its trappings.

It took me a hot minute to get over my childhood and really enjoy the “spirit of the season.” Don’t get it twisted…you will never find me baking cookies for the fat man or shopping for every soul I know…but; the holidays do have a bit more meaningful place in my life now.

It’s a time where my husband and I are guaranteed time to spend with our two grown kids... now busy with their own lives. It’s a phenomenal excuse for our friends to gather and enjoy all things spiced and spiked…and often. We try our best to make time to see our extended family between work and commitments. Most importantly, we use it as an op to volunteer in our community to help those less fortunate in their circumstances.

This is a holiday season of firsts for us in many ways. The first year my husband will be celebrating Christmas without his baby brother in the world. 1-2 meltdowns are expected and we are braced for impact. But this is also a year where we are planning something truly exciting and guaranteed to offset any bah humbug in us: our first “friend’s retreat” between Christmas and NYE. Four days with 20 of our friends that we love so dearly.

And that, my friends, is the horribly clichéd yet, 100% true "ultimate holiday gift" that makes me look forward to the season: time with those you love. Bah humbug.

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