A red holiday Starbucks cup on a grass field.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Does Starbucks Hate Christmas?

By Leslee Sanchez Contributor

Another year, another Starbucks Christmas cup controversy. Starbucks has yet again been attacked for its new holiday-themed cup. Conservatives are accusing the famous coffeehouse chain of waging a so-called “war on Christmas.”

Starbucks has been making holiday cups since 1997, but in recent years, those on the right have pinpointed the fact that Starbucks has failed to promote Christmas and Christianity. In 2015, Starbucks released a minimalistic red cup with no designs or words whatsoever. People were outraged by the amount of red and lack of Christmas spirit.

In 2016, Starbucks sparked controversy once more when it swapped its red cups for green ones. The cups depicted more than one hundred people in a continuous stroke to show our “shared values and the need to be good to each other,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO. Of course, this time people complained it was not red and festive enough, and that it pushed political correctness. The cup was meant to symbolize unity during the presidential election that was taking place at the time.

This year, Starbucks brought back a cheerful design and red accents. But there is one detail that some have taken issue with. An illustration depicting a pair of gender-neutral hands holding each other has been enough to fuel another controversy, now accusing Starbucks of pursuing a “gay agenda.” A statement by the company reads that Starbucks wants to let customers interpret what the cup means on their own. “This year’s hand-drawn cup features scenes of celebrating with loved ones—whoever they may be,” said Sanja Gould, a company spokesperson.

Starbucks has not seemed to find a middle ground on this issue, but I believe this whole “war on Christmas” is absurd. Starbucks is not out to get anybody or offend Christian beliefs in any way. No one said anything when, a couple of years back, McDonald’s released purple cups with the phrase “Welcome Home” on them. How’s that for Christmas spirit? For the most part, Starbucks has it out lose every time. More people need to understand that we all come from different values and beliefs. Certainly there is no way to give every single customer their own custom cup.