Given the recent snowstorms that have blanketed North and South alike with fluffy white coats of oncoming winter, I think it is safe to say that the holiday season is upon us. If the snow wasn’t enough of a hint, I can safely say that I’ve heard the voice of Mariah Carey (an essential aspect of the holiday season) many times this past week.
On that note, I bid adieu to pumpkin spice and its affiliated cult! With open arms and an empty mug, I cherish the hot chocolate that will be coming my way this holiday season.
It’s no secret that hot chocolate is my favorite drink. I like to think that no time is a bad time to down a healthy portion of Swiss Miss. With its comforting warmth, accompanied by liberal amounts of whipped cream and marshmallows, hot chocolate might not be good for your sugar intake, but rather, good for your soul. Unlike coffee, you don’t drink it because you need a boost of energy: you drink it to relax, to be comforted.
Back home in New York, the cozy days of my holiday breaks were always accompanied by healthy doses of the festive nectar. I made a little ritual out of preparing it: it always had to be made with two exquisite, gourmet packets of Swiss Miss (for double chocolatey goodness) and carefully stirred into hot water with one of the many plastic chopsticks lying around in the kitchen drawer.
Pouring ludicrous amounts of marshmallows, whipped cream, and whole milk into it always felt particularly right. On days where I was feeling fancy, I’d sprinkle some cinnamon top and maybe plant a stick of Pocky in the mug. Voila! Just the right thing to make a winter day a magical, wonderful time.
Hot chocolate to me isn’t just about the flavor, but the warm feelings and memories associated with it. It represents the best parts of the holiday season: time spent with family and friends, the sense that it is indeed a festive, cheerful time of year, the wonderful feeling of thawing out in a cozy house after time spent out in the cold.
I have fond memories of enjoying a mug as presents were joyfully opened by my little cousins under the Christmas tree. I remember hosting a movie night with friends at my house, where we all enjoyed decadent hot chocolates while watching Pacific Rim, an undeniable future holiday classic. Hot chocolate is much more than just a drink: it’s a reminder of home, of holidays, of happiness. I can’t wait for my first mug of the holiday season.