It is hard to believe, but it has been 25 years that the coffee retail giant Starbucks has been making their holiday cups.  For many people, this seems to be one major indication that the holiday season, or perhaps more specifically, Christmas, is coming.  The pumpkin spice latte will go away and be replaced by the Gingerbread Latte and the Peppermint Mocha.

I am totally OK with that!

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Beginning today, customers will have their hot drinks served in one of four new festive cups with designs that "offer the comforts and cheer of the season,". This year's mostly red-and-green cups are inspired by traditional holiday motifs, including wrapping paper, frosted sparkles, ornaments and snow-covered trees.

Today also marks the arrival of Starbucks' holiday menu. Although no new drinks are being added, the usual cadre are available, including peppermint mocha, caramel brulée latte and a chestnut praline latte. New to the food selection is a sweet treat, a chocolate pistachio swirl roll.

Now for any of you who think this may seem like a ridiculous thing, holiday sales are huge for any company, and Starbucks is no different.  And these cups, for some reason, people just go crazy for.  Sales went up from 20% from last year.  The company stirred up controversy in 2015 when it removed some "symbols of the season," such as reindeer and ornaments, and went with a simple two-toned red cup instead. Since then, the chain has added back more festive flourishes, including ornaments and mistletoe, to the holiday cups.

I certainly don't have a horse in this race, but I do enjoy a few of their holiday drinks and with all of the coffee we drink at the station, if a can get a few uses out of the holiday cups and feel a little bit more Christmas-like, what is the harm? Maybe I will try and collect all of the designs this year.

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