I will admit to a fair amount of chagrin recently when I read about all the ire over, of all things, a disposable coffee cup.
By now, most of you are likely aware that Starbucks unveiled their holiday cups and … *GASP* omitted the Christmas scenes (holly wreaths, polar bears, Santa’s, reindeer’s, etc). Apparently, one man (self-identified as a Christian) took this personally, going so far as to order a drink at said chain, tell the barista his name was “Merry Christmas” so he could “offend the global coffee company” when the barista shouted, “Merry Christmas, Peppermint Soy Mocha”. Seriously.
First, I have never thought the Starbucks cup was “Christian” so much as it was commercially festive. Second, Christmas isn’t the only holiday in December and we are not a world (or even a country) where only one holiday is acceptable. I mean, Jewish folks don’t pitch a fit, screaming global conspiracy because the cup is red and not blue or that it contains reindeer instead of 5-pointed stars.
So, why all the kerfuffle over a cup? I wondered the same thing and even read a few articles about the whole mess. It was beginning to take up space in my head. Then, in what I believe, was a God-inspired moment it stopped when I decided that “…the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate! Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off, I shake it off!” (yes, I just quoted Taylor Swift). With this revelation, a peace came over me and I thought, “Why do I care what the Starbucks cup looks like and why do I care that people are mad?”
It was wonderful and I didn’t really give the cup anymore thought … at least until the next offensive thing Starbucks did … they released, *GASP*, polar bear cookies that appeared to have their throats cut, which I will admit had the opposite affect those offended wanted. I actually laughed out loud. For shame, Starbucks think of the little children.
Upon further investigation, I learned the offending cookies were out in 2010 (some enterprising blogger found an old image and decided to go to town on Starbucks) and the hubbub started all over again. Even the cup began to get play on my newsfeed again. Starbucks, apparently haters of Christians, were single-handedly trying to kill Christmas.
My chosen profession is marketing. Over my 18 years in the field, I’ve hit some out of the park — a few, and I’ve struck out — far too many times to count. Was the polar bear cookie unfortunate, of course it was. Is it the end of civilization as we know it, as if. I’m also an artist of sorts and when I look at the above image I see a scarf. If it was green or purple I guarantee that is what you would see too. Furthermore, I don’t think the cup is an indictment of Christianity or Christmas either.
Here is a wonderful post with a minority Christian opinion about the red cups. I happen to agree with her assertions and enjoyed her thoughts.
What I can promise you, is that Starbucks is not trying to kill Christmas or even to offend Christians. They love Christmas — that time of year when we buy and buy for those we love. They want our dollars. Not convinced? Let me leave you with this … For a company that supposedly hates Christmas why would they turn Starbucks cups into miniature Christmas tree ornaments and sell them?