Ah, Starbucks. Every year, for a number of people the Starbucks Christmas holiday cup continues to be a symbol of all that is wrong with our country.

We asked our listeners what they felt about it, and 40 comments later (generated in just an hour... clearly a hot topic!), and most listeners fell into three camps.

Camp #1: Yay!

Camp #2: Nay!

Camp #3: Who cares.

(Not that it matters one iota, but I've set up shop in a 4th camp that says, "The deeper conversation is actually quite interesting, since we live in a pluralistic society, whose religious landscape even in our fair city of Twin Falls is going through an earthquake-level shift." A conversation one might have, ironically, over coffee.)


But here's why the holiday cup is a giant win for Starbucks. Rather, I'll let the numbers speak for themselves:

2014 holidays headline: "Starbucks sees big traffic, sales gains for holiday quarter" - Fortune

2013 holidays headline: "Starbucks prepaid cards hit a record $1.3B in holiday quarter" - Seattle Times

2012 holidays headline: "Starbucks $450 holiday gift cards sell out in a flash" - NBCnews

2011 holidays headline: "Starbucks Profit Rises 10% as Holiday Coffee Sales Increase" - Bloomberg

In fact, the stock price went so high this last year, with 60% gains, that Starbucks issued a 2016 forecast, as Reuters says:

"... with little upside for investors who are grappling with concerns that shares of the Seattle-based chain are too hot..."

But that's the stock price -- as for sales themselves? I'm wagering an extra pump of WIN for the company that got everyone from news media... to families... to even our lowly radio stations... to talk about their product.