With the first of November, the passing of Halloween and the completion of Thanksgiving (at least in Canada, Americans feel free to gripe about Christmas being ushered in too early), the holiday season has officially begun, – store windows are adorned with fake snow, elves and smiling children galore, christmas lights slowly begin to fill living room windows and Starbucks has rolled out the beverages filled with gingerbread, caramel and peppermint (ie: Joy). There are many things I love about the holiday season, and I’m sure I’ll cover all of them, however Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate really is high on my list (below tree decorating but on par with ice skating). Theoretically, I could order this year round- they always have the syrup on hand, but that defeats the purpose! Peppermint hot chocolate is for the holiday season specifically. It is one of the defining characteristics of my christmas time. Last year, after a hellish trip back to Toronto, I got off my bus to see the very welcome sight of Nathan holding a cup of peppermint hot chocolate. I practically cried. With peppermint hot chocolate comes all the things I love about christmas- family, crisp weather, trees indoors, the various smells of christmas, carols, frosty the snowman on television, baking, ice skating, and lots of time with friends. It is the first step toward my favorite time of the year. I can practically taste christmas break, and it tastes like peppermint hot chocolate.