As a Seattle-ite, Starbucks is like a home away from home for me. After spending fifteen months in small town Brazil, the first stop I made during my Huston layover? Yes, that’s right. Starbucks. A tall peppermint hot chocolate and a cinnamon swirl coffee cake never tasted so good. Seattle’s Best and Tully’s got nothing on my main man Starbucks. I’d always taken for granted the fact that there were five Starbucks within a five minute drive of my house. Then, I moved out of state for school where there were far fewer Starbucks at my disposal. The first time I saw a Starbucks was a momentous occasion (I even took a picture with the logo on the window). Now, when I walk into a Starbucks, the smell of coffee (which I don’t even drink) brings me back to my early morning breakfasts. I obviously have a tender spot in my heart devoted to this corporation.
When I heard about this new controversy, it hit close to home. On November 5, 2015, Joshua Feuerstein decided that Starbucks was trying to take Jesus out of the season (and posted about it…so obviously it went viral).
Starbucks’ holiday cup this year is an ombre two-toned cup (with no wintery designs). Honestly, I didn’t notice that there was anything wrong with my Starbucks cup that I drank out of two days after Feuerstein’s post. As a Jesus lover myself, I didn’t find the cup at all offensive. I’d have to agree with Ellen DeGeneres who said, “The old cups had snowflakes and Santa’s sleigh and elves. You know, all the things you find in the Bible.” Since when does not putting wintery images on a cup mean that people are trying to take Christ out of the holiday season?
On Starbuck’s website, they posted a news release: “The Story Behind the Design of Starbucks Red Holiday Cups.”
“…this year’s design is another way Starbucks is inviting customers to create their own stories with a red cup that mimics a blank canvas.”
“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs,” said Fields. “This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”
“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.”
In my personal opinion, I think that’s a beautiful statement. Why shouldn’t we embrace all people’s stories? Christmas has become less about Christ and more about commercialization anyway. So, if you want to make your Starbucks cup about Jesus, draw a Nativity scene on it. If you want to make your Starbucks cup about Hanukkah, draw a menorah on it. If you want to make your Starbucks cup about the funniest daytime TV talk show host, draw a picture of Ellen Degeneres on it. There’s no need to be offended that Starbucks is encouraging us to draw pictures of what’s important to each of us on a cup.
To see what else Ellen had to say on the issue watch this video (it’s worth your time):
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Live long and Ellen!