December 13th is National Cocoa Day, a day to enjoy a warm cup of one of winter’s sweetest drinks. Cocoa is created from the dried fermented seeds of the cocoa tree and, like wine, its flavor can vary depending on the location where it’s grown. The first Chocholate House, which was more like a coffee shop by today’s standards was opened in 1657, when cocoa was still very expensive due to the labor intensive harvesting process. Centuries later, cocoa became more common and affordable when the first cocoa powder producing machine was invented by Coenradd Johannes van Houten in 1828. Today the drink is popular all over the world, particularly during the cold winter months, and touted for it’s possible positive effects on digestion, areterial heath, and cardiovascular health. So whether you prefer yours with marshmallows, whipped cream, or a cinnamon swizzle stick, make yourself a hot cup of cocoa in honor fo National Cocoa Day!
I mentioned my love of the winter holidays during yesterday’s post for National Poinsettia Day. There’s nothing that sounds cozier to me than snuggling by the fireplace, with the Christmas tree all lit up, Christmas songs playing softly, and a warm hot cocoa in hand. Unfortunately, I’m having some trouble making this idyllic scenario come to fruition: there are a few things working against me this year. Most appalling of our problems is the fact that we’ve had a Christmas tree for over two weeks but still haven’t decorated it. And if that isn’t enough, we can’t start our gas fireplace right now because we have to remove some temporary plastic sheeting we put around it’s outdoor vent during the last heavy rainstorm. Part of our excuse for not getting more done has to do with our fireplace remodel, and the other revolves around Chris’s busy schedule with freelance work, but either way our tree has been unforgivably neglected. Decorating the tree was on my to-do list for this evening but I think I’m going to put it off until Chris and I can do it together (he’s too busy tonight). After all, the holiday season is never perfect so perhaps it’s best to accept that fact and focus on what it’s really about — spending time together (even if it means our tree doesn’t get decorated until the weekend before Christmas).
Anyway, idyllic Rockwellian scene or not, Chris and I enjoyed some hot cocoa in celebration of National Cocoa Day. Instead of snugging under the tree we huddled on the couch. Instead of a fire, I cuddled under my purple fuzzy blanket. And instead of listening to Christmas music…I watched Glee.