It sits there in its subdued yet elegant glory, its cocoa brown leather cover interrupted only by a strap striped in brown, green, and white. Gleaming from the counter, it’s the object of desire for all those who come close, the main reason why countless people will chug down more cups of coffee this month than they usually do. In the same way, if I drink enough coffee and ingest enough caffeine to keep myself wired all throughout the holiday festivities, this will be my reward.
The thing to covet this season is none other than the Starbucks 2008 Planner. Don’t ask me how ”“ and for Pete’s sake, don’t ask me where ”“ but I’m able to get my dessert-stained hands on one. Clutching my prize close to my chest, I run and hole myself up in someplace private. If I’m seen with this, things could get ugly. (Fight, fight, fight!)
Safely ensconced, a demitasse cup of homemade cappuccino con panna beside me (with red sprinkles for that Christmas sparkle), I run my fingers down the planner, relishing the leather’s smooth coolness. I bring it to my nose and inhale deeply, a combination of suede, leather, and paper fills my nostrils, and excitement builds inside me as I open the planner. I don’t realize that I’ve been holding my breath.
I hear the bronze ring binder crack in its newness as the pages are turned. I’m discovering the treasures that each page contains. I smile when I see a photo of the very first Starbucks opened 10 years ago at 6750 in Ayala Center, Makati. A few weeks later, I would be married. This year, 2007, Starbucks and I are both celebrating our 10th year anniversaries. December 4, 2007 (tomorrow!) on the planner has an illustration of a birthday cake with a candle on it.
There’s a fold-out page with “Come In” in several languages, and a thought provoking “Maybe you have a Starbucks you call your own,” quote atop the next page. “Hmm,” I think, “I do have one: Starbucks Jupiter.” A full-page photo heralds every new month, highlighting important dates and holidays, and the contemplative “life happens over coffee” quote is on each page.
My fingers begin to itch. I want to grab a pen and start writing on the thick and untarnished paper. The writer in me really can’t be tamed for very long.
Descriptive excerpts detail the care that go into the coffee, as well as fascinating photos of people that make this coffee place what it is. My favorite photo is that for September (see above), a spread of various milks and syrups to customize hundreds of drinks and the saying, “Happiness is in your choices,” scrolled atop. How true.
As I sip my (now cold) cappuccino con panna, I mull over the 21 stickers I’d need to get one of these planners. The stickers correspond to 9 Starbucks featured Christmas beverages while 12 are for my Starbucks beverage of choice: that’d be a cup of ¾ hot brewed coffee+ ¼ hot milk, a quasi Misto, if you will). I gag inwardly ”“ no way I could drink all that, I’d be wired until Easter.
But then… the planner is part of Project SparkHope, a collaboration of Starbucks and UNICEF that benefits pre-school kids all over the country. A donation is made for every planner that’s redeemed. After all, when one gives, one gets back. Holding this planner in my hands sends a rush of excitement through me: what will the new year bring?
Time to find out.
Getting up, I wipe my hands on the back of my jeans. I close the planner and carefully slide on the elastic strap. I need to bring this back to where I “got” it from. (Tee hee). And it’s time to start drinking lots (LOTS!) of coffee. I want this Starbucks 2008 planner.
In celebration of their 10th year, Starbucks customers can double their planner stickers on December 4-7 at these times: 12:30-2pm and 8-9:30pm. Ask your barista for details.