Here we are….right around the corner from another holiday season. Christmas 2016. My FB feed has been ablaze lately with talk of “the cup.” Starbucks recently debuted a new holiday cup for the 2016 holiday season. A plain red cup….bright red with shades of maroon. And of course, the Starbucks trademark logo, which, if you ask me, is kind of creepy….but whatever.
So anyway....an online pastor took offense to the minimalist cup and made a video about how Starbucks is taking Jesus out of Christmas. He came up with a plan to not only force Starbucks to write Merry Christmas on these plain, red holiday cups…but to even make them say it. Out loud. His new name is Merry Christmas. YOUR new name is Merry Christmas. At least it is if you have even a shred of Christian decency and happen to find yourself in a Starbucks ordering coffee.
So far the American Family Association has been silent on the matter. Oh, the 2015 “Naughty and Nice” list is posted on their website but the only mention I could find of Starbucks was their name listed among the other marginal retailers. Retailers are judged on several criteria and are placed on one of three lists. Green - Christmas friendly, the Nice list. Yellow - the Marginal list. Red - not Christmas friendly, the Naughty list. According to the AFA standards, Starbucks made the yellow list. So did Walgreens, Best Buy and CVS. Among those on the Naughty list this year are Office Depot, Staples, Family Dollar….and the list goes on. Disclaimer....the list is fluid. A retailer can move to and fro on the list depending on their advertising etc.
But about the cup thing.....the outrage seems to be lopsided. It does not appear to be even steven. As my daughter Emily observed in a text message, “Honestly, I have seen more outrage about the outrage than I have seen actual outrage.” And she is right. My kids are so smart. I glean valuable insights from them all the time.
The folks on the left…the progressives, the liberals, the atheists, the non religious….are making a bigger deal out of this than the conservatives, evangelicals, fundies, religious - the folks on the right. Were they pre-preemptively shamed at the first peep of offense....the first accusation of taking Christ out of Christmas? Perhaps it is an overreaction to witnessing the battle they wage each and every year in response to the "war on Christmas." The mantra for many Christians this time of year could well be, “Me, me it’s all about me.” Grudgingly other holidays have been allowed to exist during the holiday season….but please, do not expect your Kwanzaa or Hanukkah or whatever second rate holiday you celebrate to upstage CHRISTMAS. This year, however, the pushback has been bigger than the push. At least so far.
I write about this every year. Every year I get more fed up. I repost the Christmas letter from God to His children every Decemberish. Perhaps it didn't take much to instigate a reaction from me and other like minded folks.
Or maybe far right, fundamentalist, evangelical Christians are getting smarter. They realize boycotts and such really do not work. The companies they target (like Disney, the Ford Motor Company, Crest toothpaste, Tide laundry detergent, Ellen, Desperate Housewives etc. etc. etc.) go unscathed by their boycotts.
Whatever the reason, it is a welcome change. Stay tuned to see if it is a trend or an anomaly.