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Are Starbucks’ New Holiday Cups Christmas-y Enough for You, America?

The coffee giant rolls out its annual lineup of seasonal cup designs on November 2

Starbucks’ holiday cup lineup for 2018 includes four new designs, plus a plain red reusable cup.

Halloween is over, which means — at least in the retail sector — Christmas is basically here! Case in point: On Friday, Starbucks will roll out its annual lineup of holiday cups, a seemingly innocuous act that’s nonetheless been subject to plenty of controversy in recent years.

This year there are four new holiday cup designs: A red and white stripe pattern that’s vaguely reminiscent of candy canes; a white cup with a holly motif in mint green and red; a red and white houndstooth pattern; and a “stargyle” design that features twinkling stars (like the ones that might be found atop Christmas trees) on a dark green background.

There’s also a new, plain red reusable cup that will be given to customers who order a holiday beverage on Friday; those who bring it back to a store after 2 p.m. between November 3 and January 7 will get 50 cents off a grande holiday drink.

Starbucks has been criticized in past years for not making its holiday cups Christmas-y enough: In 2015, its rather subdued red ombre cups triggered a bewildering conservative backlash, with some accusing the coffee giant of waging a war on Christmas. Its 2016 cups, which were green with an all-over illustration of people (meant to represent “unity”) garnered similar criticism.

This year’s holiday cup lineup is clearly intended to sidestep any such backlash, relying on the traditional Christmas colors of red and green and motifs like stars and holly — though it seems likely that some folks won’t be satisfied until Starbucks unveils a cup design that features Jesus sitting in Santa Claus’s lap.

As for what these cups will be filled with: Starbucks’ 2018 holiday drink lineup includes the return of Peppermint Mochas, Toasted White Chocolate Mochas, Caramel Brulée Lattes, Chestnut Praline Lattes, Gingerbread Lattes, and Eggnog Lattes, all of which can be had hot, iced, or in Frappuccino form. Friday will also see the rollout of three new holiday pastries: a Chocolate Swirl Brioche, a Pistachio Honey Croissant, and the extremely Christmas-y sounding Sugarplum Cheese Danish.

Holiday Magic Arrives at Starbucks Stores Tomorrow [Starbucks Newsroom]