Fans of the Seattle-based coffee chain look forward every year to the festive designs that have become a sign of the season.
Here's a look at the Starbucks seasonal and holiday cups through the years, from 2005 to present.
Credit: Leslie Gornstein for CBS News
Back in 2005, the Starbucks holiday cups were decorated with a white pattern resembling Christmas lights and the almost-too-factually-correct line, “It only happens once a year.”
Credit: Radu Sigheti/Reuters
Under the festive sleeve, the 2006 Starbucks holiday cup was decked out with silhouettes of ice skaters and last-minute shoppers.
This cup won praise as one of the most aesthetically pleasing designs from Starbucks. Illustrations of skiers and polka-dot snowflakes were complemented by the blue sleeve, exemplifying the theme “Pass the Cheer.”
This 2008 seasonal cup borrowed from the previous year’s theme with snowflakes and white decor. The iconic Starbucks logo served as an ornament on the cup.
Unlike previous years, where the design theme was dominated by pictures, the 2009 Starbucks holiday cup was plastered with different festive phrases, like “I wish every day was a holiday.”
That year’s cup marked the arrival of caroling characters. Each design had a different statement, including, “Stories are gifts.”
This festive cup featured even larger carolers in 2011.
The evolution of the cup characters continued (and ended) in 2012. This snowman design featured even bolder shapes and colors.
With the introduction of the 2013 holiday cup, the characters were omitted in favor of a more subtle design: red- and gold-trimmed ornaments and snowflakes.
The following year’s cup continued the theme of a cleaner, yet eye-catching, look. The red cups used designs that hinted at a Christmas tree, holiday decorations and snowflakes.
In 2015, Starbucks went with a sleek, red design that seemed harmless. But instead of signaling that the holiday season was upon us, the cup drew major criticism.
2015 cup controversy
Critics of the 2015 cup believed it was part of a “war on Christmas” because of the omission of any Christmas-themed illustrations.
During a campaign rally in 2015, Donald Trump weighed in on the controversy, saying, “Maybe we should boycott Starbucks. I don’t know.”
Some celebrities seized on the opportunity for humor. Weird Al Yankovic put his red cup in a sleeve emblazoned “Hail Satan” and tweeted a photo with the caption: “Okay, Starbucks, NOW you’ve gone too far.”
2016 "unity" cup controversy
The week before the 2016 presidential election, Starbucks released a new green cup it described as a “symbol of unity.”
The design features “more than a hundred people drawn in one continuous stroke,” according to Starbucks. Some critics believed Starbucks was continuing a perceived anti-Christmas sentiment, while others saw the cup as a political message.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said, “During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other.”
After stirring up controversy with last year's official holiday cup, Starbucks returned to a winter theme in 2016. In all, 13 new cups were created, with 11 available in shops in the U.S. The cups feature various holiday designs, including candy canes and ornaments.
"This year's holiday cups are red and white, and feature 13 different designs from 13 women from six countries," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said. "The women represent various American cities, as well as Indonesia, Dubai, Canada, Russia and South Korea."
Starbucks' 2017 holiday cups feature an intricate design you can color yourself.
The largely black-and-white illustrations of snowflakes, gifts and a Christmas tree with star on top include just a few splashes of red and green, with plenty of room for customers to add a personal touch.
2017 color-it-yourself cup
"We love the idea of everyone making this year's cup their own," Starbucks executive creative director Leanne Fremar said of the 2017 design.
2017 "heartwarming" cup
A second seasonal design unveiled in November 2017 features a white heart in the middle of a red cup with an illustration of two hands making a heart shape.
The company said it "encourages customers to recognize those who fill their heart and embody goodness this holiday season by writing that person's name in the heart of the cup," then sharing a picture with the hashtag #GiveGood.