Ah, November. The trees are shedding their last leaves before the winter slumber, and the clouds grow heavy and dark with increasing frequency as the birds, bees, and the rest tuck in or follow their hearts' urgings to warmer habitats. It can all only mean one thing -- Christmas is nearly here.

Hang on a sec, that can't be right! Holy holly, Batman, haul in those reindeer. Christmas can't almost be upon us, can it? We've barely said farewell to Halloween 2007, and Thanksgiving is still a fortnight off. And yet, commercial America is already decking the halls of malls, Wal-Mart, and the like. Starbucks, to my not so very great surprise, is also in on the advance of premature holiday cheer, pushing their Christmastime-only flavors like gingerbread, peppermint, and eggnog. I wouldn't find this so terrible if they hadn't discontinued my all-time favorite holiday drink, the amazing mmmaple macchiato. How in the world am I going to get my caffeinated cheer on now? Bah humbug.

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