Maybe you don’t spend every waking moment on the Internet. (Tell me what it’s like. Is it nice?) Maybe you don’t have a lot of thoughts about Starbucks removing the snowflakes from their holiday red cups, and you don’t see it as an attack on a specific religious institution or sect or as another assault in the war on Christmas.
If that’s the case, you are correct. You are correct, because unless my Starbucks cup says my name spelled correctly (a newsmaker) (and yes, I know my name is “Anne”), most of us couldn’t care less about what’s actually on them because what’s in them (aw) is what matters i.e. lactose-free milk which will either ensure a great day or a disastrous afternoon of epic proportions.
But alas, the world cannot be satisfied. This year, 18 years after premiering their red holiday cups, Starbucks has taken away any/all festive imagery and left the cups looking simply red. To most of us, we understand that this is just a design choice because minimalism is hip and maybe Starbucks doesn’t want to unleash some fancy-pants imagery every November. Maybe someone forgot to submit their 2015 drawing of Frosty. Maybe Starbucks supports communism. (JK, I have no idea what the political affiliations are of Starbucks, and out of everyone in the world who’s going to research them right now, I will be the last.) Maybe it was a dare. But oh man are people ever angry about it.
If you’ve missed the outcry on Twitter, Donald Trump has been the most recent figure to claim that Starbucks is perpetuating the war on Christmas by removing the “Christmas imagery” that’s defined the cups since never. Correct: if anything, Starbucks has made winter cups. Last year, the cups featured snowflakes. Another year, a cartoon Santa. But no — Trump believes that this means war.
“Did you read about Starbucks? No more Merry Christmas on Starbucks,” Trump said on Monday night, forgetting that never in the course of history has Starbucks ever featured the words “Merry Christmas” on its merchandise or in its stores because why would it. “Maybe we should boycott Starbucks.”
Maybe I should boycott your face.
Meanwhile, at Starbucks camp, Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice-president of design and content, reminded everyone that the world has gone mad. (Mad, I tell you.)
“We have anchored the design with classic Starbucks holiday red that is bright and exciting,” he said, about these paper cups that we throw out no more than 10 minutes after we have them. “The ombre creates a distinctive dimension, fluidity, and weightedness.”
So yes, this is a grown man, defending his company’s paper cups to another man — and many other people — who are upset that there isn’t drawn imagery of the holiday season. This is what we’re getting upset about now. Cups. CUPS. Cups, as if they signify anything other than being cups. C-U-P-S.
I mean, maybe I’m wrong and extending my reach far beyond the borders of pop culture, but I feel safe in saying that a lack of snowflakes or snowmen or a man who lives in the North Pole doesn’t equate a “war on Christmas.” (And honestly let that go, everyone. If the “War on Christmas” is biggest war in your life, you’re living a pretty good one, so maybe just take a seat and turn up Santa Baby so the rest of us can talk.) This year, Tim Hortons has a bunch of kids playing hockey, and I think Second Cup has . . . other designs I’m unfamiliar with because the Second Cup by my house isn’t there anymore, so I have no context. But look: they’re cups. Maybe you can be upset if instead of snowflakes the cups just broke mid-beverage and left you covered in latte and hot milk. Maybe if Krampus was on the cups, we could all be a bit upset. (But even then . . . probably not.)
It is 2015 and one of the biggest news items is Starbucks cups and/or the War on Christmas. One is a non-thing, and the other is also a non-thing, considering most stores have been decked out in holiday gear since October 27. Everything is fine. These are non-problems. Everyone is okay. We did it. We’re alive. Have a latte. Or don’t. I don’t care. As far as I’m concerned, the Starbucks red cups are in honour of Lucille Ball’s red hair.