Ten months out of twelve, you’ll find me getting my caffeine fix at independent coffee joints — you know, the ones named after animals or negative emotions with approximately three wooden chairs and a poorly lit wall cubby for seating. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those, dare I say, corporate chain coffee shops. After all, I have a pretentious coffee drinker reputation to uphold!
Come November, though, that all changes faster than you can say cold brew. Maybe it’s the desire for some semblance of consistency among the ever-changing weather. Maybe it’s the holiday season looming over us. Maybe it’s the cold metal benches at that other coffee place.
But boy, do I love those stupid red holiday cups from Starbucks more than anything else. When the world’s monopolistic coffee overlords announced the tantalizing maroon cups were back to seduce us, I threw on my parka and audibly screamed to the tune of “Jingle Bells.” And I hate it.
Starbucks’ coffee tastes like the devil himself roasted beans in the fires below, and I’m never quite sure if the cookie I ordered is edible food or a plastic model. Those holiday drinks? Molten sucrose. Liquid root canals. Simply thinking about them makes my blood sugar rise. And here’s the real kicker — it’s not even Christmas yet! I should be spending November plunging my face into piles of mashed potatoes, not uncomfortably room temperature whipped cream atop my latte.
Alas, I’m going to buy the dumb seasonal drinks anyway — because once those red cups are here, I’m a goner. A hopeless slave to winter consumerism. I don’t even care if they write my name wrong on the cup. Draw a snowman on it, for all I care. Just help me fill my holiday cheer quota and give me the damn red cup. And while you’re at it, put that cookie in a red cup, too.
Those relatives who post Facebook statuses ranting about materialism during the Christmas season? I don’t think they considered how adorable these cups are. Parents complaining about kids these days dropping four bucks on coffee? You’re right, it is pretty ridiculous! But then again, I have a Peppermint Mocha and you don’t.
Just you wait — soon enough, I’ll be towering high above my enemies on my red cup throne wielding Venti Gingerbread Lattes in both mitten-wearing hands. Under my all powerful and all sugary rule, the store’s radio will play nothing besides Otis Redding’s cover of “White Christmas.” That’s right, the one from Love Actually. I may not be able to flirt with the bearded, flanneled barista at the shop around the corner, but at least I can guzzle down high fructose corn syrup in the presence of employees that seem slightly concerned about my well-being. But as long as my sugar high-induced delusions of grandeur continue, they will do nothing but laugh amidst their espresso arsenal and make me another drink.
Believe me: I wish I was above this. With all of my caffeinated heart, I seek to stop infusing my bloodstream with peppermint syrup. Every time I close my eyes, my eyelids are lined with tacky snowflake decals. Resistance appears more futile each and every day. Do I want this season to end, or do I want to live among holiday-neutral products forever? What if the world is just one giant red holiday cup and we’re all trapped inside of it?
This holiday season, I pray that you act stronger than I. Do not be a pawn in the corporate marketing game. Celebrate the season with your loved ones, not soggy pieces of cookie mixed with espresso. Buy a drink from your local coffee shop, then tell the workers how much you love the Christmas display they made from Chemex brewers.
Of course, all of this is after you get a red cup. Seriously, they’re the cutest.