It’s a cup. It’d have coffee or hot chocolate or sugar-free fat-free soy latte in it. Then, once all that caffeinated joy had crossed the tongue and winged its happy way to the bloodstream, the cup gets unceremoniously dumped in the nearest trash receptacle, ultimately winding up in a landfill where it slowly, over five to fifteen years, biodegrades. This week, Starbucks unveiled their holiday cup – plain red with their distinctive green and white logo. That means their cups no longer feature prancing reindeer, cheery snowmen, or swirling snowflakes. Whoopedy friggin’ doo.
It’s. A cup. Actually, I find Starbuck’s move to plain cups to be a great avenue to politically correct, unoffensive inspiration. I can see it: The barista takes your order and conversationally asks, “What are you celebrating this season?” You answer “Christmas” or “Hanukkah” or “Winter Solstice,” and the cheery barista writes your name and order on one side of this plain red cup and draws an angel, a menorah, or a wintry tree on the other side. Voila! Every single Starbucks customer gets a cup customized to their religious beliefs and no one can get offended. Everyone’s happy, except maybe for the poor barista who is better at pulling a cappuccino than drawing various holiday icons.
America isn’t a Christian nation (meaning Christianity isn’t the national religion), and Christmas isn’t a regulated national holiday. Christmas is a holy day in which Christ’s followers celebrate his birth and others value the traditions of the season as they spend time with family. However, not everyone celebrates Christmas, nor do they have to. No one can tell a privately owned business how to observe this season. People can rant and rave about me using reindeer in some of my packaging (reindeer aren’t Christian), but since it’s my business that I run my way, I can use whatever I want. Same with Starbucks. What’s the big deal? Their cups are still in Christmas colors.
If you’re a conservative believer who wants to talk with your coffee, then bypass Starbucks altogether. Instead of spending money on overpriced crappy coffee, head over to your local coffee shop, talk to the manager and see if she or he would cut you a deal on coffee. Then grab a few friends and $20 and buy 20 cups of coffee that you then deliver to homeless people. Warm up some people this chilly winter on the inside with good coffee and a bit of kindness. That’s the way you share your beliefs in a coffee cup. Go on. Do it. Don’t wait for some corporate entity to do it for you.