During my senior year of college, I wrote a whole term paper on the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I spent a good chunk of my finals period talking about Starbucks and copy-and-pasting Tweets with emojis into my paper. As a complete holiday nut, that was fine by me.
In my study, I found that the Pumpkin Spice Latte has become a substitute for age-old traditions we don't really have time for. In our crazy-busy lives, we can't always manage the fall festivity line-up: pumpkin carving, pie baking, walking in parks surrounded by the beautiful fall foliage, jumping in leaves, decorating for the holidays.
But the Pumpkin Spice Latte saves us. Its smell is comforting and nostalgic. It brings us back to relaxed childhood days. We incorporate it into our morning coffee ritual easily, so holiday merry-making is effortless. The PSL is "fall in a cup" and provides just enough break with the ordinary routine to make one feel as if he or she is having a nice holiday treat without threatening regular work and life duties.
And okay. Maybe Instagramming a Pumpkin Spice Latte instead of going on a family hayride is just another way that we are being lazy and "busy" and self-important. Maybe we really are just blindly buying into the crazy Starbucks marketing ploy.
It's important to be mindful of that—those things that we lean on with maybe a little too much importance. But we should also honor the role these little things play in our lives. After all, we just want to join in on the festivity of the season however we can.
In a world plagued with fear of missing out, a culture of "busyness," and just a pinch of commitment-phobia, maybe we should be more embracing of the small things we can do to brighten our days and infuse a little holiday spirit.
Personally, Starbucks syrups leave me sick. So while I happily enjoy watching others delight in the red cup festivities, I find other ways to get in the holiday mood and soak up as much of this time of year as I can.
How to Infuse the Holiday Spirit Into Your Day
Listen to Spotify holiday playlists. No need to labor over compiling the perfect playlist. Have it softly playing in the background as you work, do laundry, shower, and get ready for the day.
Burn a holiday candle. Make the house smell like fresh-baked Christmas cookies, a real fir Christmas tree, or fall spices.
Wear that one red sweater you have in the back of your closet. Everyone will think you put so much thought and effort into your holiday season style. And this simple change-up will help you feel much more festive.
How do you (effortlessly) keep in the holiday spirit?