7 top sites for coffee mug shopping

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Winter is generally frigid and dreary. Bare branches and gray skies. The freezing temperatures chill me to my bones. That’s why coffee is such a critical part of my daily routine for this season. (Well, if I’m being honest, coffee is critical to my routine during every season, but it becomes especially uplifting for me during these cold, dark months.) The calming aroma and energizing flavor give me the jolt I need to feel happy at the start my day, even though my surroundings might be a little ... well, bleak.

If you find yourself equally dispirited by the cold and the muck, and if you’re in search of a surefire way to improve your spirit in the winter months, enjoy your coffee in a fun, colorful mug! Coffee is already a beacon of light and hope for me, and putting it in a mug that also brings a smile to my face just ups its appeal. A unique, creative mug is the best way to enjoy my morning coffee (and afternoon coffee ... and evening coffee ...). The clever designs really showcase my personality, too.

There is no shortage of playful mugs out there. Here, I’ve rounded up my seven favorite types of mugs (and noted where you can find them)!

1. Mugs to pick you up

Raise your hand if you could use a little encouragement once a day. Why not get it with your afternoon coffee? I love the You Can Do It! mug from Emily McDowell Studio. The bright colors and the fun fonts make me smile with every sip.

2. Mugs to geek out over

We all have a little geek in us — and I choose to embrace it! ThinkGeek has the trendiest mugs around. When everyone asks where I found my special Star Wars mug, I lead with, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ...”.

3. Mugs that are just plain cute

From funny to beautiful to adorable, World Market has loads of great mugs this season. My favorite is their collection of animal mugs that incorporate the handle into the design. These are perfect for those pick-me-up moments — you know, like when you’re in the thick of hours and hours of wrapping gifts. And just look at how cute this guy is!

4. Mugs that just get you

Feel the need to get something off your chest? Go somewhere everyone loves: Etsy. It’s a great place to find coffee mugs that push the envelope. Sometimes I’m at my wits’ end, like after I’ve driven a car full of screaming 8-year-olds home from soccer practice, and this mug is there for me. And hey, no one needs to know what additional ingredients you’ve got going on in that cup.

5. Mugs that are full of wit

Tell the world you’re not a morning person — at least not until you’ve had your coffee. I love this mug from Pier 1. It has just the right amount of sass for those special mornings when I’m running on very little sleep.

6. Gorgeous mugs

You can brighten up those dark winter days with these gorgeous Anthropologie mugs. I adore these cups when I want to bring some beauty into a dreary day. Isn’t it always good to have some pretty eye candy in the kitchen? And I’m not just talking about my husband. ;)

7. Mugs for the DIY-er

If you’ve got the creative itch and need a way to express yourself, hop on over to CafePress. This is a great place to make personalized gifts. My kids made this adorable one for me last year, and I never leave the house without it. Nothing wrong with starting your day with a bit of flattery and some coffee.

Anyone can drink coffee out of a boring mug, but this isn’t the season for boring. This season is the time for holidays and vacations and family and food and gifts and winter break and in-laws and, most importantly, coffee. I could go on, but having a good collection of standout coffee mugs is a must to get me through this wild ride. ‘Tis the season!

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