BY SANDRA RIANO
Passively aggressively forcing a Starbucks barista to write down “Merry Christmas” as your name on your coffee cup impacts the fictional “War on Christmas” about as much as the “Keep Christ in Christmas” bumper stickers.
The #merrychristmasstarbucks tag was trending soon after a vlogger posted a video about the coffee chain being too politically correct and unveiling their minimalist solid red holiday cup design. While Starbucks is a regularly liberal company they have been accused of being too politically correct this holiday season despite the fact that their cups have always been generic holiday themed, not Christmas themed. Polifact has given this viral video a “Pants on Fire” truth rating meaning it is completely false and yet the movement continues to gain support and media attention.
Members of the Christian right are upset because despite early November Christmas trees and decorations overwhelming the mall there is one location not catering to their beliefs and they are beyond offended. Being open minded and tolerant of all religions is apparently against the beliefs of these extremists and they have found the most trivial possible way to express their disdain. What needs to be understood this holiday season is that stores are businesses, not churches. They are open for one reason and one reason only, to make money and that means appeasing everyone regardless of religion. With Christmas still over a month away and stores announcing extended holiday hours what these Christians need to be focusing on is boycotting stores that are opposing family values and opening on Thanksgiving. Some Christians are criticising the extremists within their religion and pointing out the multitudes of more important issues that time and money could be put towards besides spending five dollars on a latte just to prove a point. Almost 22 percent of children live in poverty in this country but these devout people believe it’s more important that children sit on Santa’s lap in front of a Christmas tree and pose for overpriced pictures.
In an apparent response to the Starbucks cup controversy, Dunkin Donuts has unveiled their cups that say “Joy” with a wreath on them. These cups are gaining praise from Starbuck’s protesters despite the obvious fact that designing and mass producing these cups had to have been done and approved far before the beginning of this controversy. In an opportunistic corporate move Dunkin Donuts apparently held off revealing their holiday cups until the controversy reached a peak in order to appeal to those boycotting Starbucks.
The holiday season will never be about any religion again if we continue to support malls and shops that extend hours from 7 a.m to midnight for the two weeks before Christmas. How could the holidays be based on anything but consumerism if retail workers are pulled from Thanksgiving dinner to ensure companies aren’t missing out on possible sales? Boycotting one corporation and moving business over to another one won’t restore the “true meaning of christmas.” All of this discussion of cups and Jesus distracts from the real and historical reason behind celebrating around the end of December, the winter solstice.