I thought that we were the “melting pot.”

So Starbucks takes the X-Mas decorations off their traditional holiday cup this year, sporting a simple red cup–still festive in color, might I add, and everyone loses their shit. In a country nicknamed the “melting pot,” how do still we take offense to this? Why do we have such trouble including non-Christian symbols?

Some of the cups from years past sported Christmas Tree Ornaments…

Starbucks Holiday Cup, 2013

…and others, “lawn buddies.”

[insert year here]

These wintery images reflect the “X-Mas” of the Christian holiday that garners so much commercial attention. As Jaclyn Reiss of the Boston Globe pointed out, “the Starbucks cup design isn’t radically different from previous years: a look back at several years’ worth of red cups found no mention of “Merry Christmas.” In previous years, the closest graphic Starbucks had to celebrating Jesus’ birthday were cartoon figures and snowmen caroling, and drawings of ornaments (alongside other, more general designs). The cups have also featured scenes in which pine trees and reindeer-esque animals appear.” By leaving out biblical imagery of Christmas, Starbucks has always maintained the sanctitude of “Christ-mas,” respectful of those who and do not celebrate the religious aspects of the holiday.

While they promoted the holiday feel-goods with their cutesy cup designs, Starbucks never promoted Christian faith with their holiday cheer, so it’s silly that we accuse the brand for “stealing Christmas” with this blank cup.

Instead, it seems as though Starbucks decided to broaden its holiday shoutout to include other religions in addition to Christmas. Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of Design & Content, explained the use of red for its “brightness” and “excitement” as a color. And I’m sure there was all kinds of secret marketing and PR scheming involved in this year’s cup release. But it’s no coincidence that red, green, and white, the traditional colors of X-Mas, are also the only three colors on the 2015 Holiday Cup. I think a real Grinch would have made them black.

As a friendly reminder of all the other holidays celebrated during the wintery months spanning from October to December, check out this post. Religions and cultures originating from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas all celebrate something big during the Christmas-branded holiday season. Might I point out that in America, where huge chunks of the population immigrated from India, Africa, Isreal, and the Middle East, we don’t get vacation days for Diwali, Kwaanza, Hanukkah, or Eid-al-Adha? Instead of Grinching out such a major Christian holiday, we’ve adapted to the national holiday schedule and celebrate with family time on December 25.

diyas for Diwali

My family has celebrated Diwali and New Years for 22 years by going to work and school for eight hours of the day, leaving us only a few hours to spend celebrating our version of Christmas. We don’t complain about the recognition that Christmas gets, respectful of the large Christian population in America. But we do appreciate the simple effort Starbucks made with its cup.
In case you haven’t heard enough about the Starbucks cup controversy this holiday season, check out Ellen’s hilarious two-cents. Kinda tactless Jesus-joke aside (love you, Ellen, but really?), the video makes a great point.

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