Since 1997, Starbucks has released an annual holiday cup, which just means making their signature cup more festive. This year’s late October cup design was a simple red cup sporting their green logo. Red and green are basic holiday colors, most recognizable with Christmas. Unsurprisingly, people are complaining already about the cup. (Can anything be done anymore without someone complaining?) However, people are not complaining because the cup represents a religious holiday; it’s the exact opposite, in fact.
Many Christians are upset that Starbucks did not include, “Merry Christmas” on the cup, accusing them of “… taking the Christ out of Christmas” when they supposedly removed the saying from the cup. Time has produced a list of Starbucks’ previous holiday cups, none of which ever had “Merry Christmas” on them; and some of them were simply winter themed, ignoring the actual holidays all together. The simple design this year, according to Starbucks’ vice president, Jeffrey Fields, is a “… more open way to usher in the holidays.”
Usually the argument against holiday themed style anything is that it favors one religion, so claiming it should favor a religion is definitely new. The red cup dilemma has taken social media by storm receiving both support (now, very little) and (a lot of) backlash.
#MerryChristmasStarbucks OMG perfect. Order your java, tell them your name is Merry Christmas since they have removed it from their cups.
— Salty Black Broad (@SaltyBlackBroad) November 7, 2015
If you're upset by #StarbucksRedCup, here's an idea: Do something Christian & buy a homeless person a coffee. They won't mind the design.
— TVMoJoe (@TVMoJoe) November 9, 2015
Pretty sure Jesus would take his grande, skinny, Carmel, mocha-frappe-crappe in a Solo cup. Heard he was a humble dude. #StarbucksRedCup
— LoBo (@lboonie1022) November 9, 2015
The question is, how can Christians be so fired up about Starbucks’ lack of “Merry Christmas” on the holiday cup, if it was never there to begin with? Something cannot be offensively removed if it never even existed. Many would accredit Joshua Feuerstein to sparking the #MerryChristmasStarbucks movement on social media. Feuerstein is a former pastor who calls himself a social media personality. He uses videos on social media to promote his religious views, mostly in wakes of current events. He posted a video shortly after Starbucks released their new holiday cup, relaying Starbucks’ despicable new holiday cup design to his Christian followers.
Feuerstein claims Starbucks “… removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus,” and they hate the second amendment. He asks his followers to tell Starbucks their name is Merry Christmas in an attempt to trick them into writing Merry Christmas on the alleged Christmas hating company’s cups.
Feuerstein may have strong opinions, but not strong arguments, and crazily, a strong number of supporters. His video basically says that Starbucks is anti-christ, which is absurd. Fields has stated Starbucks’ ambiguous design was used because they “… wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.” Their design is not about the disregard of any religion, but the celebration of how everyone celebrates their holiday season. Their approach is usually the one fought for, so this #MerryChristmasStarbucks movement is quite confusing and annoying to many people.
Upon Feuerstein’s video going viral, Starbucks released several statements, explaining their cup is supposed to be a “… blank canvas” encouraging “… customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way,” and they are trying, “to create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity.”
Feuerstein is quite proud of his movement, stating in an email to CNNMoney, that the video has over 10 billion views. He believes Starbucks is hearing the Christian voice since pictures of cups daunting the name “Merry Christmas” have been showing up all over social media. While that’s swell for Feuerstein and his disciples, many people are just annoyed with this whole movement. These individuals have also taken to social media to express their views on the Christians’ movement against Starbucks and believe this much attention for a mere cup, which is un-biased and festive, is just ridiculous. Some are just carrying on with their lives, posting their cute selfies with their new Starbucks cups simply enjoying this time of year, as we all should be.
The video has many comments on it, including ones that state Starbucks has a giftcard that reads “Merry Christmas” for the holiday season. Accusing an entire company of hating Jesus is drastic, unnecessary and seemingly untrue. Most companies honor everyone’s holidays during this time of year by simply using colors, seasonal symbols, and the saying “Happy Holidays.” Are they all going to be under fire by the Christian community too? Watch out Oreo, your red holiday oreos may be victim.
Let us know in the comments below what you think about Starbucks’ holiday cup and the “MerryChristmasStarbucks” movement.