6 Emotional Stages Of Red Cup Season's Arrival

Attention everybody, Starbucks' red holiday cups are back! And, there's no doubt that these beloved red cups will send you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. They are a reminder to stop stuffing your face with all of those leftover Halloween peanut butter cups, and instead gear up for holiday music, gift shopping, colder weather, and — of course — tons of coffee.

Personally, I'm one of those crazy people who would start getting prepared for the holidays in September if I could. It's my favorite time of year, and I don't think it's ever too early to start celebrating. I've already started listening to Christmas music. No shame. After all, the holiday season goes so fast, and I usually find myself at the end of it feeling like I didn't get enough time to actually enjoy it. I was so busy taking care of all of that other "real life" stuff, that I wasn't able to savor the magic of the holiday season. I guess it feels like a "holiday hangover" of sorts, but not the good kind resulting from too much eggnog. Perhaps "post-holiday depression" is a more fitting term.

Needless to say, I always make a conscious effort to soak up every second of the holiday season, from beginning to end. And, there's nothing that signifies its kickoff like the arrival of those adorable red holiday cups at Starbucks. Well, that and holiday music in stores — which has already began, by the way.

So, here are six emotional stages we all go through when red cup season arrives, because I just can't contain my excitement.

1. Utter disbelief

Wait, what did that barista just hand to the person in front of me? Was that red? Was that a red cup?! Oh my God, are the red cups back? Already?! I need to tell everybody I've ever known. I need to shout this from the mountaintops. I need to find a subtle way to cut the line so I can get my greedy little paws on my red cup sooner. Then I need to find the perfect Instagram backdrop, because this news needs to be shared.

2. Sheer joy

Oh, sweet and beautiful red holiday cup, how I've missed you! Who ever knew that a simple hunk of bright red cardboard could bring someone so much joy? But, you do, you beautiful red cup. Our time together will be short. But, I vow to enjoy every second of it.

3. Instagram obsession

I'll post this really artsy shot of my red cup sitting next to my MacBook Pro on a Starbucks table. Or, wait, should I do a selfie holding my red cup while making an overly excited face? Ugh, but a shot of my red cup outside would be so cool, especially if I can place it creatively in a pile of leaves. Whatever, I'll just post them all. There's no such thing as too many red cup photos.

4. Caffeine overload

Well, I have to enjoy red cup season while it's here. So, I'll grab a Peppermint Mocha on my way to work, a Caffé Mocha over lunch, and then a cup of regular coffee for the trip home from the office every day for the next week. Just look at all of these red cups!

5. Panic

Wait, red cup season is here. Which means the holidays are fast approaching, and I need to start shopping for gifts. What should I even buy? I can't give my dad another pack of socks. Why is everybody so difficult to shop for? Do you think people would like used red cups? I mean, they're practical.

6. Peak happiness

I have a red cup in my hand. Everything is right in the world. I can't worry about the stress of the upcoming holidays, or think about how busy I am at work, or how much I have to do when I get home. The trees are bare. The weather is crappy — and I don't even mind. That is the magic of Starbucks' red cups. It's the only thing that will pull me through.

P.S. These treasured red holiday cups are already back at Starbucks. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy them while you can. Before you know it, it will be time to start the countdown for next year's red cup season.

Images: Denise Mattox/Flickr; Giphy (6)