By Jillian Lapointe
By now everyone’s heard, or experienced firsthand, the heated debate regarding the Starbucks company’s choices this holiday season.
Starbucks introduced its seasonal cup design to the market in November. This is the first Starbucks seasonal cup in over a decade to not have any holiday-themed graphics on it. No reindeer, no holly, no wreaths, no bells: just a plain red cup.
Actually, according to Starbucks official website, it’s two different shades of red: “a two-toned ombré design, with a bright poppy color on top that shades into a darker cranberry below.”
So why are these cups causing a public uprising of American citizens claiming “Starbucks hates Christmas”?
This accusation is simply not true. Starbucks is trying to send a message with its new cup that religious diversity should be celebrated this season instead of covered up. As Starbucks vice president of design Jeffrey Fields claims “[Starbucks] wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”
We live in a country which prides itself on religious freedom and we still get uptight when the religious majority’s symbols aren’t depicted in a place they weren’t required to be. But shouldn’t we all be able to peacefully practice whatever gives us spiritual connection? When did one religion become seemingly superior to another?
We don’t see the Hindu population complaining that they aren’t represented on Starbucks cups. Nor do we see Jewish citizens protesting major American businesses that have yet to put the Star of David on their merchandise. Many other religious group in the country aren’t even talked about for fear of political incorrectness. Starbucks sells to all of them; it’s an international coffee chain that needs to know and respect its audience.
To encourage people to open their eyes to religious diversity, Starbucks is letting American citizens write anything they want on their cups. That is, if they actually care so much as to spend the time drawing on something they’re going to throw away in the next hour.
This is not a war on Christmas; Starbucks does not hate Jesus. For pete’s sake they sell a “Christmas Blend” coffee and advent calendars!
And yet, despite the conflicting opinions, I personally have had no fewer sightings of the red cups scattered on the streets of Bozeman.
In the end, no one really cares about what their coffee stands for, they just want the true American experience of getting what they want when they want while paying the absolute minimum they can for it.