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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emory chapter.

On November 7th, Starbucks released its 2019 Holiday Cups to ring in the season. Halloween is long forgotten, Thanksgiving seemingly irrelevant and Christmas has arrived. The holiday season is among my favorite times of the year. Both my birthday and obviously Christmas fall in December and, being from New York, I am used to a magical winter wonderland with snow-covered lawns and a frosty chill in the air at all times. Moving to Georgia, I was definitely unsure about missing snow and not getting in the “true Christmas spirit.” Thankfully, Starbucks ensured I would not miss out on anything, greeting me with “Merry Coffee” spelled out chaotically on one of their holiday cups. I am not going to lie to you, it hurts me a little to look at. I’m sincerely sorry to the Starbucks design team but “Merry Coffee” was the best you could do? 

Starbucks holiday cups have long caused much controversy. In 2015, when Starbucks released a plain red cup, evangelist Joshua Feuerstein claimed that Starbucks was declaring war on Christmas as they “removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus.” As the years have gone by, Starbucks has continued to release a new selection of cups that spreads both joy and in the case of Feuerstein, strong feelings. I definitely don’t believe that Starbucks choosing to release cups of certain colors is a declaration of war. Starbucks, in its best efforts to create a culture and association of Starbucks to the holiday season, has definitely raised my spirits. In all honesty, I can’t lie and claim that Starbucks cups do not get me in the holiday spirit. In fact, as I sit here in the Starbucks in Emory Village, drinking my peppermint mocha, listening to Spotify’s Christmas Pop playlist and writing this article, I can’t wait to decorate my Christmas tree, wear cozy sweaters and watch Netflix’s selection of holiday rom-coms. 

The question I have is whether or not Starbucks intends to create the hype surrounding the holiday season that they do. Clearly it is a marketing strategy—I’m more inclined to make a purchase and enjoy what I like to refer to as “Christmas in a cup.” Starbucks has created a culture of sorts around the holiday season. I had friends waking up at 7 am in order to ensure they would receive their collectible cup. A friend later complained to me that her cup didn’t even reflect Starbucks’ cringey slogan, saying “ERRY COFF” on one line instead of the expected “MERRY COFFEE.” Yet she still carried it proudly, aware that each time she handed it to the barista across the counter, she was saving about $0.50. I have to respect Starbucks for their intense marketing strategy that has made Starbucks the “place to be” during the holiday season.

It’s a little sad but I’ve begun to associate Starbucks with my holiday spirit. As I held my white and red, borderline dysfunctional holiday cup in my hand, I was immediately taken back to memories from my hometown, driving with my best friend to Starbucks, sitting in a parking lot drinking whatever seasonal concoction Starbucks happened to be serving. Starbucks has taken my money, and lots of it, but shockingly it’s also given me something to get excited about. With holiday cups being released over a month before most major holidays, Starbucks is only lengthening the time I get to experience holiday cheer. Now, the only thing I need is snow (which unfortunately it doesn’t look like I’ll get in Georgia). 

Hi! I'm Divya Kishore and I'm from Westchester, NY. I am a current freshman at Emory pursuing an English major on the pre-Med track. I love spending my time drinking iced coffee, reading books and exploring campus!
Hong Kong born and raised, Manishka is widely known for two things – her clumsiness and her ability to spend hours laughing at her own jokes! When she’s not busy trying to find out how she got her latest bruise, she can usually be found eating an avocado, while re-watching Gossip Girl for the 6th…no… 7th time! Her hobbies include raiding the fridge, stalking Doug the Pug on Instagram and trying to find out the secret ingredient in Krabby Patties.