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The new Starbucks' holiday cup isn't red. Here's why that matters
Starbucks released its new holiday cup this week, and hopes that it will spread messages of unity across the country. - photo by Herb Scribner
Starbucks released its new holiday cup this week, and hopes it will spread messages of unity across the country.

The cup, which can be used for not just coffee but also herbal teas and steamers, has drawn controversy in the past for how it depicts the annual Christmas holiday.

Starbucks unveiled the new cup in a video.

This years cup is the 20th anniversary of a holiday cup and includes images of the holiday, like Christmas trees and ornaments, as well as general holiday spirit. However, the cup isn't the traditional red color.

Instead, it's white with images that customers can color in on their own a nod to the adult coloring craze, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The holidays mean something different to everyone," the video says. "This season the cup is just the beginning. How you make it special is up to you.

"Hot beverages will also wear "Give Good" cup sleeves the theme for this year's holiday campaign," the Times reported.

The Starbucks cup has become a symbol for what some religious conservatives call the war on Christmas." Controversy over Starbucks holiday cups began in 2015 when the company unveiled a plain red holiday cup with no signs or images of the holiday, according to CNN.

Jeffrey Fields, vice president of Starbucks, said at the time that the company "wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories."

But others disliked the move. Joshua Feuerstein, a former pastor and social media personality, said in 2015 that Starbucks removed "Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus, according to CNN.

In retaliation, Feuerstein encouraged outraged citizens to say Merry Christmas in place of their names when ordering Starbucks. This ignited a nationwide social media trend.

The controversy erupted again last year when Starbucks released an all-green cup that celebrated diversity. Many thought this was 2016s Christmas cup, Mashable explained.

Starbucks even received criticism from President Donald Trump, who suggested people boycott the company because it doesnt embrace Christmas like it used to.

"I have one of the most successful Starbucks, in Trump Tower. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I dont know. Seriously, I dont care. Thats the end of that lease, but who cares?" Trump said at a rally in Springfield, Illinois. "If I become president, were all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you. That I can tell you."

But Starbucks followed up with the unveiling of 13 different red cups, each with a different design created by 13 women in six different countries, according to Mashable. All of the cups had some reference to Christmas.

In the long run, the appearance of Starbucks cups may not matter for how people view Christmas. As the Pew Research Center revealed last year, 81 percent of non-Christians celebrate Christmas.

The same research found that 1 in 3 Americans see Christmas a cultural holiday, with 92 percent of Americans overall celebrating the day.