Every holiday season starting about mid-November, Starbucks frequenters look forward to toting the brand's latest cup design; festively designed cups are like brand new accessories.
And Starbucks' current accessory was shared on Reddit by a Starbucks employee who captioned the picture, "Just got in our order. Holiday short cup design!??" (pictured below)
The newest holiday cups are white, decorated with red and green Christmas motifs and cute drawings that give you that "warm and fuzzy" feeling: a crowned Christmas tree, hand-holding, doves flying mid-air, stacks of wrapped gifts, snowflakes and plenty of hearts.
Starbucks takes its holiday cup designs seriously, but not as seriously as its customers who were outraged in 2015 for the cup's lack of Christmas motifs and overt political correctness. "#WarOnChristmas" trended on Twitter that year and even Donald Trump weighed in on the controversy.
In 2016 came another Starbucks holiday cup controversy when the company launched a special green "unity" cup, with a mosaic of people drawn in one continuous stroke. The color swap caused outrage and, as usual, the alarms were a-ringing and opponents claimed the cup's political agenda.
But also in 2016, Starbucks launched 13 red holiday cup designs and offered a buy one, get one free deal on holiday drinks, which resulted in much fewer customer complaints.
Starbucks' holiday cups have been a source of controversy since the chain first introduced the concept in 1997, and 2017's holiday cups seem to be a safe design (not too much red, just enough Christmas motifs). But this leaked photo comes about a month earlier than the usual release of Starbucks' holiday cups; a war on Christmas could still make a comeback.
One Twitter user tweeted weeks before the photos were leaked on Reddit: "btw are the Starbucks holiday cups out yet? i don't think enough people are super mad for no reason."
Howard Shultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, already haunted by controversies of Christmas past, has chosen a holiday cup design that will (hopefully) keep the peace this year.
From the looks of it, Starbucks' 2017 holiday cup satisfies previous demands. I spy at least five Christmas motifs (festive, check!) and there's some red in there (not just green, check!)