Christmas already?

Starbucks ignores Thanksgiving: Why must Christmas be caffeinated now?

Starbucks ignores Thanksgiving: Why must Christmas be caffeinated now?

News_Starbucks_red cups_2011

This morning, post-workout, I walked into my neighborhood Starbucks and was promptly met with a smile and a bright red cup.

Because as soon as Halloween passes, 'tis (apparently) already the season. From now until the end of the year, holiday decorations and Christmas-themed goods are fair game.

Sorry, Thanksgiving — your drab oranges and browns just don't have the same consumer appeal as cherry red.

The red cup and associated limited-time drink specials are a bigger deal than I realized. The Starbucks Twitter feed is blowing up. Coffee consumers everywhere are talking about how the sugary holiday beverages inside of the cups are brightening up otherwise dreary days.

 Sorry, Thanksgiving — your drab oranges and browns just don't have the same consumer appeal as cherry red. 

There is even an entire website dedicated to counting down the days 'til red cups are available. (They were supposed to be launched on Nov. 15, or maybe on Nov. 3, but some stores were so excited about the holidays that they just couldn't! Hold! Out! Any! Longer!)

For me, the appeal isn't really there. Maybe because I tend to forego flavored drinks, sticking instead to my syrup- and sugar-less red eye or Americano, and the color of the cup I drink from doesn't have much affect on caffeine content or overall effectiveness.

But also, upon close inspection, the designs featured on the cups this year seem bizarre and irrelevant. My 'tall' said "Let's rediscover why we're best friends," with a faceless man sledding belly-down, carrying a scarf-donning dog on his back. CultureMap assistant editor Caroline Gallay's 'grande' featured a slightly sinister, winking nutcracker proffering an acorn to an expectant squirrel: "Let's remember why we go together so well." I don't get it.

How early is too early to start Christmas packaging? It's too early for me!