Have An Unusual Family Tradition


The Starbucks in Auckland

The Starbucks in Auckland

There’s nothing more important than family, right? Well it makes sense then, that every family should have their own, individual quirky tradition that only means something to them. For my family, it is collecting Starbucks mugs that we have acquired from far-flung places. This post was inspired by Estée at Essie Button’s post here, and I was surprised that we had similar traditions in regards to collecting mugs from our travels.

This tradition first began when I realised what Starbucks was. I guess I was about 13 years old and we were visiting my favourite place in the world – New York, FYI. Each morning, because it was easy, round the corner and far cheaper than the hefty hotel breakfast prices, my Dad and I would nip to Starbucks and queue up, chatting to the busy, suited New York businessmen and grab some blueberry muffins and coffees for my Mum, sister and ourselves. Now I don’t really like Starbucks coffee, if I’m honest. I think in a lot of the shops, the coffee is made badly and I don’t like the taste after drinking proper coffee at coffee shops in Brighton. However, that didn’t matter. It was the novelty of going out early in the morning, soaking up the New York atmosphere and grabbing a very clichéd Starbucks.

Fast forward many years later, and despite visiting New York many times more (I’m very lucky!) the first Starbucks mug I acquired wasn’t from NYC. It was about as far away as you can get from our home in the UK: Auckland. My friend Lily and I, whilst on our travels, trekked about 3 miles to go and have a late night coffee at a Starbucks quite some distance away from our hotel (don’t ask me why – we were low on money, had time to spare and had obviously temporarily lost our marbles). Once we were there, we read magazines, chatted and chilled out, sipping cappuccinos from huge Starbucks mugs that were the size of our faces. I remembered my Dad saying how much he loved drinking tea out of huge mugs, and I wanted him to have a souvenir that came all the way from New Zealand, that proper coffee had been served in. I didn’t just want to get him an over-priced mug that was for sale on the shelf. So, rather naughtily, I sneaked my empty mug into my bag and brought it all the way home in my rucksack. Now I do not condone stealing – ever! – but, I did buy two cappuccinos in that Starbucks and hey, I’ve never done anything like that before, or since, so I’m going to just put my hands up to this one! Anyway, my Dad loved the mug – uses it all the time, and it was the first mug in our weird tradition.

The second mug to add to our collection, was a Bangkok Starbucks mug that came from a charity shop in Brighton. There’s not really any cool story behind that one, unfortunately, apart from the fact that it’s just a bit bizarre and random (like my family!)

The final mug in our collection to date – it is a very slow-growing collection! – is this very recent mug my Dad picked up from his trip to New York a few weeks ago. He did buy this one, do not fear, and now I can enjoy working on my essays at uni with a huge mug of tea by my side.



Anyway, now that we are on the big three – wow, we really do move at a glacial pace – I am going to continue looking out from random, big ol’ Starbucks mugs that we can add to our collection…hopefully with funny stories behind them.

Have you got any weird family traditions? Things that you collect or remind you of special times you’ve had together? I’d love to know!


Google +