The holidays are a time for celebrating with family and friends, and Starbucks chooses to get into the holiday spirit through their cup designs. While many people have strong, mixed opinions about the cups, it is important to remember that they are just vessels for coffee and not an attack on people’s views.
On Nov. 1, Starbucks debuted the new design for their annual winter holiday cups. Unlike previous designs, this cup is white with red accents as opposed to the red cups of earlier years.
The cup’s various designs have stirred up controversy in years past, most recently from more conservative individuals.
In 2015, the cups were a solid red with no design as opposed to the intricate designs in previous years. This caused outrage amongst many consumers, who considered Starbucks to be "too politically correct" and acted as though Starbucks were waging a war on Christmas.
Last year’s “unity” cup caused controversy as well for similar reasons. Although it was not the official holiday design for 2016, the green cup was released prior to the presidential election and generated claims of liberal bias and an attack on Christian values.
People complain for completely separate reasons as well. One side claims that the cups are too festive and reminiscent of Christmas, which not all Starbucks customers celebrate. The other side claims the cups are not festive enough and that Starbucks is dismissive of Christmas. Starbucks is in a lose-lose situation since it is impossible to satisfy everyone’s preferences.
For those who are truly disturbed by the holiday cups, for whatever reason it may be, bringing your own reusable cup to the store is a possible solution for the problem. Starbucks cups are not recyclable, so bringing your own cup can make a statement for both your political views and the environment. Everyone wins in the end since Starbucks sells its coffee and consumers get their fix in a cup of their choosing.
The holiday season is meant to be a time of joy, and getting upset over a coffee cup, regardless of the reason, inhibits people from focusing on what really matters.