A festive fiasco

Take time to remember the spirit of the holidays


The cup designs starting from 1997 [bottom row right side] to 2017 [top row left side]. The different designs changes can be noticed as the designs decrease the amount of Christmas spirit included. Photo from Starbucks Newsroom. Reprinted with permission.

Abigail Salazar

Starbucks, founded in 1971, has been distributing specialty holiday cups since 1997 to mark to arrival of the Christmas season. Each cup included Christmas holiday symbols, such as snowflakes, snowmen, ornaments and reindeer. That is, they did until 2015, when the Starbucks cup first became plain red.

Many Starbucks customers were angry that their Christmas cup featured a plain red design without the holiday symbols from cups in past years. Those against the design felt that Starbucks was trying to dismiss Christmas, creating an anti-Christian atmosphere.

Starbucks responded by saying their reason for having a plain red cup was to “usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

2015 was’t the only year that Starbucks received negative feedback about the holiday cup’s design. Not everyone is happy about the 2017 cups, which feature a design that is meant to be colored in. Whimsical illustrations of presents, Christmas trees and hands are the main focus on the cup.

Though many designs for previous holiday cups were submitted by customers, this year they have rejected the idea of coloring and personalizing the cup. Some say they don’t have the time to color the cup, and simply think having a color-in cup was a stupid idea.

This whole issue swirling around the Starbucks Christmas cup has been blown way out of proportion, and people are getting upset over nothing. Starbucks was merely testing out a new design and approaching the idea of the holiday cup differently by taking into consideration the option to add personal holiday stores to your drink vessel.

To resolve this dispute, Starbucks should have their customers vote on the design beforehand. Starbucks could allow customers to taken an online poll choosing between multiple designs, then select the winner based off of the customers votes; by doing this, there is a better chance that the company will not receive negative feedback about the design of the cup.

If Starbucks wants to create a new design, they should at least have some small elements of Christmas in the design and not completely take away the Christmas spirit from the cups, but they cannot make the cups more Christmas-related. If they want to try something new, they should included some snowflakes or a Christmas tree in their new design.