Starbucks Celebrates Election Day By Hauling Out Holiday Menu And Cups

Tuesday was Election day, so in the universe that Starbucks inhabits, that means it’s time to bring out the full holiday menu and red-and-green cups. While you’ll never catch me whining about the availability of peppermint mochas, this is an important bit of consumer information which helps prove mathematically that Christmas Creep may be coming to an end. Maybe.

Why? Our departed colleague J. Alex Chasick hypothesized that the date Starbucks brings out the red cups is a national index of Christmas Creep. In 2009, the holiday cups appeared on November 3rd. In 2007, they appeared on November 8th. If the trend continues, the holiday cups will debut only a few hours earlier. Say, 6 PM on November 1st.

Not that many people are all that upset. The blog Eater reports that people seem to be reacting with a strange joy, and quoted a Twitter user who claimed to be “literally having an anxiety attack” while standing in line at Starbucks. Really? Maybe you need a decaf egg nog latte, sweetie.

Starbucks Unleashes Holiday Cups Two Days After Halloween [Eater]


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  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Yes! I love the Starbucks holiday drinks. I don’t think this is any earlier than before, but it’s awfully strange to get a pumpkin spice latte in a red and white Christmas cup.

    Too bad it’s absolutely gross in DC today. I don’t think I want a peppermint mocha enough to walk two blocks in the rain, even though I have an umbrella.

    • jeffbone says:

      Indeed. I almost had to swim to work today, but the knowledge that Starbucks is once again dishing up peppermint mochas may be enough to cause me to swing by the drive-through Starbucks out here in BFE PW county on the way home.

      Absolutely adorable kitteh, BTW. We had a stray very similar in appearance adopt us two years ago…

      • obits3 says:

        Do you guys not get Peppermint mochas all year round?

        • KatieNeptune says:

          Yes, I was whining the other day that I wanted a peppermint mocha and the barista said “We…can just make one. :) Just add peppermint….to…your mocha!”

          I love it!

        • Dover says:

          It’s just not the same without the red and green sprinkles.

          /I keed.

        • theycallmeGinger says:

          It’s like Peeps or (as some might say) the McRib. If they’re available all year round, the appeal just isn’t the same.

        • jeffbone says:

          Sort of — last year one the baristas told me that they can make one if you ask, until the season’s stock is depleted, but that they don’t get new shipments of the peppermint syrup until this time of year.

    • Emerald4me says:

      Yes! I am almost out of my peppermint syrup from Starbucks that was last year’s Christmas gifts (well, one of them). Peppermint mochas! Hooray!

  2. obits3 says:

    Starbucks Christmas Creep = Lim X -> November 1st

  3. pop top says:

    Their Peppermint Hot Chocolate is alright, but I’m waiting for the Peppermint Hot Chocolate (with free refills!) at Bob Evans to come back. It is soooo tasty. Much better than what you get at Starbucks, cheaper too.

  4. SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

    christmas creep sounds like the name of santa’s arch-nemesis, or an 80’s pro wrestler.
    on a side note while i don’t care for starbucks coffee based drinks, the frappucino (w/o espresso), apple cider, and hot chocolate FTW

  5. Phil says:

    After having worked in mall retail for years, my wife was surprised this past weekend when we were at the mall and only 2 or 3 of the stores had Christmas products/decorations out. I suspect that since Halloween was on a Sunday, the beginning of this week was a good place for stores to make the changeover. I know the Target by us is fully in holiday mode.

  6. leprechaunshawn says:

    My local Starbucks was using the holiday cups on Saturday, October 30th.

  7. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Are they playing the xmas music nonstop yet? Because that stuff drives me batshit insane.

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      Here in DC that starts November 19th. I remember it used to start the day after Thanksgiving – someone decided they needed to move that up a week. >.

      • Etoiles says:

        At many retailers, the Christmas music, well, creeps in — for a while one in ten songs on the loop will be holiday-themed, then two in ten, and so on until it’s all Christmas all the time.

        I heard the very front edge of that creep start when I was out shopping last weekend, but I can’t remember at exactly which store. (I went to Giant, CVS, and Starbucks, so… one of those three.)

  8. Dover says:

    You can get peppermint mochas any time of year, it’s the egg nog that I look forward to.

  9. Minneapolis says:

    SBUX needs more Thanksgiving-themed drinks.

    I’ll have a triple venti gravy latte, shot of cranberry, two splendas and extra foam.

    A lipitor scone would compliment that nicely.

  10. Mauvaise says:

    Really?! Gingerbread latte – here I come!!

    I only go into Starbucks 2-3 times a year, and it’s all between start of holiday drinks and end of holiday drinks.

  11. Etoiles says:

    You can technically get a peppermint mocha all year long… but for me, I save them as a special treat for only the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

    (I used to get a big one before walking around the Union Square holiday fair when I lived in New York. Haven’t found an equivalent experience yet in DC…)

  12. chiieddy says:

    Why? Our departed colleague J. Alex Chasick hypothesized that the date Starbucks brings out the red cups is a national index of Christmas Creep. In 2009, the holiday cups appeared on November 3rd. In 2007, they appeared on November 8th. If the trend continues, the holiday cups will debut only a few hours earlier. Say, 6 PM on November 1st. Election Day 2007 = November 6
    Election Day 2008 = November 4
    Election Day 2009 = November 3
    Election Day 2010 = November 2
    Election Day 2011 = November 8

    My prediction is the cups will appear on or about November 8, 2011

  13. fatediesel says:

    I went to Target Election Day and it had a ton of Christmas stuff out. It wasn’t completely Christmas’d out yet, but about half the endcaps had Christmas items. That’s just the way stores work now. Immediately after Halloween they get the Christmas stuff out.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      Our closest Target had a full-on Christmas display about a week before Halloween. Trees, lights, cards, decorations; the whole nine yards. It was actually rather pathetic, as what remained of the nearby Halloween section was full of people while the substantially larger Christmas section had only one lone employee stocking bins.

  14. teke367 says:

    Eh, this stuff doesn’t bother me anymore. It bothered me as a kid, because I would get all excited for Christmas, then realise it was a month and a half away, so it made the wait feel longer.

    Its the music I’m not fond ot so early. Which is why I’m happy the Phillies didn’t win the World Series. I still haven’t forgiven Charlie Manuel for saying “looks like Christmas came early this year” when they won in 2008. First off, its terribly cliche, secondly, one of the local stations decided that meant they would start their non-stop christmas music right away.

  15. RxDude says:

    I was informed today that my Starbucks was on its last bottle of Toffee Mocha syrup. I am a sad panda…

  16. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    salted caramel hot chocolate. mmmm. of course I hate all other starbucks drinks.

  17. Peacock (Now In Extra Crispy) says:

    If the red cup is an early harbinger of Christmas Blend, then I say, bring it on. I loves me some Christmas Blend.

    I buy the beans and stockpile them. I drink two ginormous cups a day at home. Made it through March of this year.

  18. pot_roast says:

    I’m not really sure if it’s “Christmas Creep.” Even back in the early 80s I remember my family starting to put out Christmas stuff right after Halloween, and the stores started decorating as well. They were gearing up for the Thanksgiving weekend. I don’t see any problem with Starbucks doing this and I’m happy that they wait until after Halloween… unlike other stores mentioned here that had Christmas stuff up in late August.

    What I have noticed about the Starbucks stuff now is that more things are exempt from the freebies associated with the “Gold Card.” You’re supposed to get free syrups but the holiday ones are considered promotional and are exempt. Also, the baristas can’t seem to figure out how to ring up drinks. I frequently have my favorite holiday drink rung up incorrectly. It’s a gingerbread white mocha. Plain old white mocha with a few pumps of the gingerbread syrup. I either get the wrong drink (gingerbread latte) or there is total confusion about how to make it, which surprises me. Oh well. Now that the price has gone up, I cut WAY back.