Coffee tastes great all the time, but especially when you're "worn to a frazzle" as my granny would say. Broad categories of worn-out frontline workers around East Texas can pick up free coffee every day through the end of the month.

Starbucks is giving a free tall brewed coffee to front-line workers at participating stores through December 31.  And no official ID is necessary.  When Starbucks announced the deal earlier this month they said they were giving the offer to "any customer who identifies as a front-line responder to the COVID-19 outbreak."

Workers in several different groups can pick a free hot or iced coffee, including doctors, nurses, public health workers, pharmacists, dispatchers, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, dentists and dental hygienists, mental health workers, hospital staff, and active-duty military. The list is long, and it's full of people we couldn't imagine life without, especially right now.

My girls and I go to Starbucks a lot to play cards and sip hot chocolate.  It's an easy break from the routine and it gets us out of the house, IF inside areas are open, that is.

It's been difficult to hang out at Starbucks this year because seating areas have been closed at times, with no work, no studying, and no card games.  But Starbucks is offering a solution in the form of festive virtual backgrounds for download that tries to bring a piece of the atmosphere to the house.  The festive wallpaper won't stop piles of laundry or babies needing to be changed at home, and it doesn't smell like coffee so it's not quite the same as the real thing.  But it might work to brighten up a Zoom meeting with some twinkling green lights.

Stores and restaurants all over the country have offered freebies for frontline workers throughout the pandemic, and it's good to see the momentum continue.  If you're a frontline worker, check on the deals before you head out each day so you don't leave free treats on the table.  And thanks for busting your butt this year.  We appreciate you.

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