Does Starbucks hate Christmas?


Photo by Faith Owan

This infamous red Starbucks cup has sparked controversy over the company’s possible anti-Christmas agenda.

Every year since 1997, Starbucks has released holiday-themed—typically red—coffee cups to celebrate the winter season. The cups have been adorned with wintery decorations, like snowflakes, snowmen, pine trees and ornaments; this year, the company has released a minimalist cup for the holiday season.

The new cup is red, as usual, displaying a subtle ombre design–a bright red at the top that fades into a deeper tone at the bottom. It isn’t decorated with sparkling snow or winking snowmen, and because of this, a controversial argument that Starbucks is against Chrisianity has begun–even though these aren’t symbols of Christmas or Christianity!

It all started with Joshua Feuerstein, a man who posted a video on Facebook calling for a movement against Starbucks and their simplistic cups. In the video, he claimed that “Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups.” He called for a movement against Starbucks called #MerryChristmasStarbucks.

Feuerstein’s video has been viewed over 16 million times on Facebook. His message has spread, and as it happens with these kinds of things, people are taking to the Internet to have their say on the topic.

The lines are divided between those who think that the plain Starbucks cups are an attack against Christmas and Christianity, and those who think it’s all nonsense. People have been tweeting about it and posting YouTube videos, and the issue has even been featured on both news and late night talk shows.


In my opinion, this Starbucks cup needs a lot less recognition. It’s just another addition to the company’s holiday cup line—period.

The only thing offensive about this whole situation is people expecting a company to take a religious stand to satisfy their seemingly uncontrollable need for fancy decorations that validate their religious holy days.

According to the official Starbucks website, their mission statement is to welcome people of all backgrounds. So this company isn’t obligated in any way to cater to one particular group, religious or not.

Except for the first winter cup in 2009, which featured what look like Christmas ornaments with inspirational messages written on them, Starbucks has otherwise only released decorations that are winter-oriented, not specific representations of Christmas itself in relation to Christianity.

“Attacking Starbucks for their cup design doesn’t seem very Christian.”

So basically, if Starbucks never had any Christian symbols on their cups in the first place, why are people getting so angry? There’s no reason for Christians to be offended by this, because Starbucks didn’t depict anything from the real Christmas day, like a manger, baby Jesus, three wise men, etc.

If Christians wants a dose of religion at Starbucks, the retailer has other merchandise that clearly represent the holidays: bags of Christmas Blend coffee beans and Starbucks Christmas tree ornaments sit among the snowman cookies and doughnuts, holiday CDs, and snowflake coffee cup sleeves.

Does this make Starbucks Christian after all? Not really. You can also get your fill of Hanukkah blend coffee and menorah-decorated cups and trinkets as well as gift cards with designs that range from Christmas to Kwanzaa in their themes.

With all that extra cheer, it’s pretty impossible to even acknowledge people’s claim that Starbucks isn’t attuned to Christmas.

Ultimately, whether Starbucks is selling only holiday products or absolutely no holiday products, nobody should be running around spouting hate about it.

Plus, attacking Starbucks for their cup designs doesn’t seem very Christian. If Christmas is supposed to be about kindness, cheer, and looking out for others, being hateful towards this company doesn’t even make sense.

So calm down, Internet people, and enjoy the holidays for what they’re really about: fun, coziness, friends, family, (and those limited edition holiday flavors from Starbucks—red cup or not.)

The true meaning of Starbucks
The true meaning of Starbucks