2020’s Hottest Holiday Junk Food, Part 1!

I’ve collected several of this year’s hottest holiday junk foods, and by “collected” I mean “ate ravenously.”

One good thing about the constant barrage of bad news is that you totally get a pass for eating garbage. Cut to a shot of me holding up the latest terrible newspaper with one hand, and shoving Ferrero Rochers down my throat with the other.

Elf Cereal!
(Found at Target)

I am SO into this, and I’ve never even seen the movie! I would’ve given the cereal high marks for its bright box art alone, but it’s really the flavor that pops loudest.

Think of it as maple-flavored Kix. The syrup flavor is rich, deep and not at all what you’d expect from a “cartoony” cereal. It’s more like something Trader Joe’s might sell, if that makes sense. It’s honestly a shock to taste something so complex when the cereal looks like that.

I’ll warn you that I seem to be in the minority re: Elf Cereal. Not everyone is a fan. I could see the heavy maple flavor getting old in a big giant bowl of the stuff, but if you’re like me, and you mostly just grab small handfuls over the course of several weeks like a thieving squirrel, I think you’ll dig it.


Christmas Blonde Roast 2020!
(Available at Starbucks)

A thing about me: I don’t do the big fancy coffee drinks from Starbucks. Even the beloved seasonal offerings like PSLs and Gingerbread Lattes. If I’m gonna frivolously plow through 700 calories, I’d rather it be on potato chips.

Thus, I am all about Starbucks doing holiday versions of their regular coffees. I’m particularly fond of their Christmas Blonde Roast 2020, which is advertised as being “sweet and figgy,” but to me barely tastes any different from the Blonde roast I drank back in March.

And that’s not a complaint! I can appreciate a good flavored coffee, but when I want coffee, I almost always just want regular goddamn coffee. So the fact that this has such mild modifications is perfect for me. It’s the Christmas coffee version of the “This Is My Halloween Costume” t-shirt.

GRADE: A. I’m also digging that holiday cup, which looks like a stage from an Xmas edition of Frogger.

Sugar Cookie M&M’s!
(Found at Target)

Let’s start with the positives. The wrappers are nice, and the M&M’s really do taste like sugar cookies. Like, specifically sugar cookies. It’s not just “somewhere in the area” of them. If you had no idea what the flavor was supposed to be, you’d still guess sugar cookies.

That said, I do have some criticisms. First, the colors. They’re too bright, and more evocative of a minty candy than a sugar cookie one. Those white shells should’ve had a creamier color. This is the hill I will die on!

Also, they’re quite a bit smaller than seems appropriate. The size is closer to regular M&M’s than peanut M&M’s, which to me seems… not right?

The biggest offense, though, is that the particular crunch of these M&M’s reminds me of Sixlets, which are high on my list of most-hated candies. Between the minty colors and the Sixletosity, there are some psychological tricks keeping me from liking Sugar Cookie M&M’s as much as I should.

GRADE: B-. (I *really* hate Sixlets.)

Snoopy Sugar Cookies!
(Found at ShopRite)

My favorite thing about these is the subtle Thanksgiving theme on the box. That is a decidedly Novemberish vibe, which was a risk for Pillsbury, since “dead leaf stuff” started hitting stores way back in August. Kudos to them. I love Christmassy things, but it’s a bit of a disconnect when I’m staring at snowflakes in early November.

I worried that the cookies’ immodest use of red dye would be texturally ruinous, but nope, they’re a-okay, with the same consistency of sugar cookies that don’t look like abstract Dracula medallions.

You’ll notice that no two Snoopys are exactly alike. I’d advise ignoring that, lest you find yourself ascribing personalities to the various Snoopys based on the curvatures of their snouts. Once you get to that point, it’s harder to eat the cookies without feeling guilty.


Town House Holiday Dippers!
(Found at ShopRite)

I will always associate Town House crackers with the holidays, so shaping them like snowmen and Christmas stockings seems only natural. They’re good crackers for sure, but they only realize their full potential when paired with nut-crusted cheese pucks.

Just realized that Town House crackers are now sold under Kellogg’s banner, rather than Keebler’s. I’ll never get used to that. When I eat Town House crackers, I want to think about elves caroling in trees, not Corn Flakes.

Still, I’m a fan, and in a year when holiday parties probably aren’t happening, I appreciate the encouragement to fuck around with a cheese-and-crackers platter anyway.


Thanks for reading! I’ll be back with another edition of 2020’s Hottest Holiday Junk Food as soon as I’m less bloated. So like, maybe in a week or two.