Written by Juliana Bringer. Media by Mary Todd Christian.
Recently, Starbucks released their new annual holiday season red cup. This year’s design is a simple ombre effect going from bright red to a dark cranberry. However, some people have taken this new cup as an offense, stating that Starbucks is furthering a “War on Christmas.” There have been rants about this across the internet from people on either side of this controversy. But why? It’s just a cup.
Since Starbucks’ red cups first appeared in 1997, the annual red cups feature varied holiday-themed each year in the month of December. For example, in the previous years, the cups featured snowmen, reindeer, ornaments, etc. Starbucks uses these cups to tell a story. A statement released by Jeffrey Fields of Starbucks Design & Content states, “This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.” Sadly, not everyone understood the thoughts behind Starbucks new red cup design. Instead, some offended individuals declared a “War on Christmas.”
Many of these insulted individuals expressed their outrage with the red cup’s new design on social media. They argued that because there were no obvious Christmas symbols on the cups, then Starbucks wants to get rid of Christmas. Joshua Feuerstein, a former television and radio evangelist, commented on Starbucks’ new cups on Facebook writing, “Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus.” He then asked his followers to use the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks and ask baristas to write “Merry Christmas” on their cups instead of their names.
I am not sure when snowmen and reindeer became symbols of Christianity, but some “Christians” are upset that these symbols were removed for this year’s cup. However, these individuals seem to forget that Starbucks is a secular company with no affiliations to any specific religion. Starbucks released a statement saying, “Creating a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity is one of the core values of Starbucks, and each year during the holidays the company aims to bring customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season. Starbucks will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.” Proclaiming that they have participated in the so-called “War on Christmas” for removing some familiar Christmas icons is ridiculous. Christmas is the most celebrated holiday in the US. It overshadows all of the other holidays in December. This cup must be a breath of fresh air for the people who celebrate other holidays because there are very little decorations for Hanukkah or any other December holidays.
Individuals who label themselves as Christians have made absurd statements like the “War on Christmas” and #MerryChristmasStarbucks making other Christians look like fools. This is embarrassing for the Christian community and now there are many memes that ridicule those who view the red cup as anti-Christmas. Maybe, instead of creating useless controversy over a cup, people should go do something to actually benefit the community and spread the Christmas spirit.
So in others words, the new cup is just that.. a cup! It is not the next weapon for the alleged “War on Christmas”, and it was not meant to offend anyone, including Christians. If I’m forking up money for coffee, as long as it tastes good, I don’t care about the cup it comes in. It’s just a red cup for Pete’s sake.