Starbucks’ holiday cups spark controversy

I guess we can’t even go grab a cup of coffee without it being a problem.

In the last few days, controversy has arisen on the Internet over Starbucks’ “red cups,” their annual cups they have during the holiday season. People are outraged saying the lack of white holiday-themed designs on the cups are “anti-Christian,” sparking a “war on Christmas.”

Seriously? All that from this year’s red ombré cup design?

As a journalist, I’m baffled why this topic has gotten so much media attention. This isn’t newsworthy; it’s just stupid. And the fact that Christians got thrown under the bus for thinking this is offensive is even worse.

The one claim people made but forgot to fact check was that Starbucks puts the phrase “Merry Christmas” on their cups. After looking at an evolution of their holiday cups since the late 90s, not on one does it say “Merry Christmas,” but rather has signs and symbols that indicate Christmas and the winter season such as snowmen, lights and ornaments. They call it their “holiday” cup, not their “Christmas” cup.

Yes, the cup is less decorated than in years past, but does that make it unidentifiable? No.

Buzzfeed has complied a list, “15 Christians Who Don’t Care At All About A Starbucks Cup,” where people’s tweets were shared regarding the controversy. Many say that the cup design shouldn’t guide their faith, and I agree. As an active Orthodox Christian my response is, who cares what your $4 coffee is cupped in? My favorite post in reaction to this was a coffee sleeve that says, “If coffee cups define your Christmas, honey it’s you who needs Jesus.”

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

And it’s not like Starbucks is any less Christmas; they have Christmas themed decor in-store and a specific Christmas blend.

I’d be curious to see if the company is going to put out a statement to address this issue, seeing as it is getting everyone up in arms. I know it’s been the topic of my Facebook feed practically the entire week. On the other hand, it is great publicity for the company.

To stir the pot even more, Dunkin Donuts released their much more festive holiday cups. This is definitely for the fair-weathered coffee fans who let their cup decoration dictate their choice of coffee place (I would also be curious to see if their sales do better because of this).

Bottom line, this country is way too caught up in letting their things dictate their lives. But that’s a post for another time.




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