Holiday season gets an early start

Dunkin’ Donuts on the corner of A1A and Indiantown Rd. promotes its winter holiday beverages and food.

The winter holiday season has arrived earlier this year, and Jupiter High students have not hesitated to embrace the holiday spirit and all the festivities that come along with it. 

Typically, the winter holiday season’s unofficial start is right after Thanksgiving, but holiday decorations, coffee drinks, music and movies debuted as early as Oct. 23. 

Holiday coffee drinks and coffee shop treats 

Dunkin’ Donuts has four festive food items in store for this holiday season, but so far have only released two returning holiday signature lattes on Nov. 4.  

“Our recently released holiday themed beverages are the signature gingerbread latte and the signature peppermint mocha latte,” Alexandria Pfirman, a Dunkin’ Donuts café manager and Jupiter High graduate, said.

The signature peppermint mocha latte features peppermint mocha flavoring and is topped with whipped cream, mocha drizzle and hot chocolate powder. The signature gingerbread latte includes gingerbread flavoring and is topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle and cinnamon sugar topping.

“I was really excited for the peppermint mocha [latte] to come out again,” Jared Johns, a Jupiter High junior, said.

All beverages are served in festive cups, and Dunkin’ Donuts winter hats are now available for purchase.    

“Starting the season early for Dunkin’ is very beneficial,” Pfirman said. “We see an increase in sales when we release our holiday products, so releasing them early benefits our sales tremendously.”

Dunkin’ Donuts has released much of their holiday specials in Nov., but they plan to release more in Dec. to give customers something to look forward to. 

“Our newest bakery item, the frosted snowflake donut, is dark purple frosted donut with white snowflake sprinkles,” Pfirman said, “The sugar plum macchiato is a layered espresso drink with a purple ombré effect to it.”

While Dunkin’ Donuts is releasing their festive items on different dates, Starbucks released all but one of their holiday specials on Nov. 6.

“We now have the peppermint mocha, caramel brulée latte, toasted white chocolate mocha, chestnut praline latte and the eggnog latte,” Bryce Crosby, a manager at Starbucks, said. “There is also one coming out on Dec. 1, the Irish cream cold brew.”

Starbucks customers, such as Delaney Taber, a Jupiter High junior, have already made these festive drinks a regular coffee order.

“I order the toasted white chocolate mocha latte before school every day,” Taber said. “It wakes me up, and I like the sweet taste it has.”

Starbucks serves these beverages in decorated cups with one of the four different holiday designs: ribbon, dot, sparkle or brand wrap.

“This year’s holiday design brings forward all the joyful elements of the holiday season in ribbons of Starbucks greens and a jolly red like a cozy holiday sweater,” the Starbucks company said in a press release.

Along with a holiday drink menu, Starbucks has released a holiday food menu including the cranberry orange scone, the snowman cookie, the snowman cake pop, the cranberry bliss bar and the sugar plum cheese danish. 

“The food case seems to have a lot of snowman themed food,” Taber said.

Starbucks also released holiday gift cards and festive, reusable cups. Customers receive a free collective red reusable cup with the purchase of a handcrafted seasonal beverage.

Holiday movies and music

There is an eagerness to get into the holiday spirit this year as students started to enjoy holiday-themed movies and music earlier than usual, even as early as before Halloween. 

Hallmark Channel launched their “Countdown to Christmas,” with 40 new holiday movies, on Oct. 23, and local radio station Sunny 107.9 (WEAT-FM) started playing holiday music 24/7 on Nov. 4.

Students agreed that holiday movies and music are a way to get into the holiday spirit in an unconventional time. 

“I find it…fun and cheerful to listen to Christmas music earlier on, especially during COVID,” Lucia Gonzalez, a Jupiter High sophomore, said. “I like to celebrate…by watching the movies and buying all of the food that comes out in the stores for the holidays.” 

While watching holiday movies and listening to holiday music, students were eager to put up holiday decorations. Seasonal decorations started to line store shelves, like HomeGoods and Walmart, and to go up on businesses and homes earlier this year, weeks before Thanksgiving.   

“I think putting up the decorations is the most enjoyable because at the end you get to see all your hard work on the aesthetic…decor,” Olivia Mooney, a Jupiter High reshman, said. 

Holiday spirit to reduce stress

With the holiday season starting early, Jupiter High students have been able to destress and focus on the positive atmosphere that surrounds the season. 

“I’ve been trying to get into the holiday spirit,” Kaitlyn Cuoto, a Jupiter High junior, said. “I love the holidays, and they make me so happy, and this year has been so stressful.” 

Shaeleigh Fielding, a Jupiter High sophomore, agreed that the optimism of the winter holiday season is good for mental health.

“[The holiday season is] something to fixate on through all the stressful current events,” Fielding said. 

Students said remaining positive is important during the stressful times of a pandemic and economic uncertainty, and one of the best ways to do so is by focusing on all the holiday festivities. 

“I think [the holiday season] has a positive influence on me because I’ve noticed a positive mood change in myself since I’ve started listening to Christmas music and putting up decorations,” Mooney said.