Facebooking The ‘War on Christmas’: Are you Team #MERRYCHRISTMASSTARBUCKS or Team #ItsJustACup?
A few people have expressed outrage over the new holiday cups being used by Starbucks to sell coffee. Their grudge is that the red colored cups do not express the spirit of Christmas and the company has sacrificed itself in the altar of political correctness. However, one thing is sure: the conflict highlights the red cups' cultural relevance and will help the Starbucks' brand in the future.
Starbucks generally uses its holiday cups during the holiday period. This yearly event has become iconic in its own right. The designs on the cup generally featured Christmas themed designs, like nature scenes, snowflakes and ornaments. In 2015, the company decided to take a minimalist approach– a predominantly red design. The aesthetic was described by Jeffrey Fields, a top echelon in the company's design department, as a memento of the quietness and simplicity of holiday season. It must be said that the coffee company also sells an Advent calendar and a specially made Christmas coffee blend.
The whole controversy began when the minimalist design stoked the fragile sensibilities of some of its customers. Joshua Feuerstein, an evangelist from Arizona, is among them. This person, on November 5, posted on Facebook that the new cup design symbolized the company's alleged dismissal of Christmas as essentially a Christian holiday. He opined that it was done due to political correctness.
Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus … SO I PRANKED THEM … and they HATE IT!!!! #shareUse #MERRYCHRISTMASSTARBUCKSFollow –> Joshua Feuerstein
Posted by Joshua Feuerstein on Thursday, November 5, 2015
Feuerstein's video showed him walking into a Starbucks outlet in Arizona. It is to be noted hat he was carrying a gun. He ordered his preferred brew and told the on-duty barista that “Merry Christmas” was his name. The barista duly followed the Starbucks protocol. The evangelist soon found himself holding a cup with “Merry Christmas” written on its sides. In his video, he said that Starbucks hated Jesus and he has tricked the company into writing the word “Christmas” on his cup. He then asks his viewers to begin a movement by ordering drinks from the Starbucks chain. They should give “Merry Christmas” as their name and then post results with a particular hashtag.
Starbucks too posted a statement a few days after Feuerstein uploaded his video. The company stated that the inspiration of the, red cup design was from its customers who doodled on its cups for a number of years. The 2015 cup is Starbucks' way of inviting its customers to make their own stories.
Radio host Pete Dominick, on air with Feuerstein on CNN said Feuerstein should redirect his anger towards Starbucks by donating a pastry to a homeless person and wishing them a Merry Christmas. Feuerstein responded saying his audio wasn’t working and he couldn’t hear Dominick.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump weighed in on the issue. Although unsure about his exact response to Starbucks, he reiterated that he will go after the “war on Christmas” if he is elected president.
"I have one of the most successful Starbucks, in Trump Tower. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don't know. Seriously, I don't care. That's the end of that lease, but who cares?" Trump told a crowd in Springfield, Illinois, on Monday. "If I become president, we're all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you. That I can tell you."
The internet has responded with fury on both sides of the argument.
Dunkin' Donuts' cups runneth over–with Christmas spirit! https://t.co/FHx8fsG2PH
— New York Post (@nypost) November 10, 2015
— DisneySouthernBelle (@WDWSthrnBelle) November 10, 2015
— Secular Coalition (@seculardotorg) November 10, 2015
— NEO EDMUND (Author) (@NeoEdmund1) November 10, 2015
And don’t forget that Starbucks is still selling its Christmas Blend coffee in stores and online.