I got a red cup at Starbucks, and lived to tell about it

If you’ve been following my blog for any time or my Instagram, my love for Starbucks is no secret. Current obsession – a Grande Americano, with 1 pump each of sugar-free peppermint and mocha flavors. Last week when I stopped by for my afternoon coffee break, they handed me my drink in a red cup. Now, a somewhat infamous red cup.

When I was handed my coffee in said red cup, I was actually excited. I thought the cups were festive, and they made me want to transition from pumpkin flavored everything to peppermint flavored everything, ASAP. Naturally, I even pulled out my phone so  I could post a picture on my Instagram (insert #basic status here).

starbucks red cup

I’m really excited for Christmas this year, and seeing the bright red color only served to kick start my holiday enthusiasm. If you can’t find me, I’ll be untangling lights as I simultaneously watch the newest Hallmark movie and eat peppermint bark. Please, someone direct me towards the nearest treadmill.

But back to these red cups. I was scrolling through Facebook last week, and saw that several people had shared articles about the debate over these red cups at Starbucks. Intrigued, I clicked on one, and could not believe that people were actually offended by the color of coffee cups. COFFEE CUPS.

Usually I don’t publish many blog posts for the sole purpose of throwing my opinion out there; I personally think too many people comment on social media and share comments that are not uplifting to others or meaningful. I do strive to share a blog with others that promotes a positive, healthy lifestyle, and does so in an inspiring way. However, since I’ve read those articles, this topic has been on my mind.

According to this recent article on CNN’s website, critics, specifically Christians, are accusing Starbucks of “waging a war on Christmas,” claiming that the plain red cups take away from the significance of the Christmas season. In reality, Starbucks isn’t a Christian company to begin with, so being offended that they are seemingly removing meaning from Christmas doesn’t really have a basis.

Since 1997, Starbucks’ holiday cups have been decorated with snowflakes, reindeer, stars, or some other small symbol of the season. Last year, the background of the cups were all red, but they also had snowflake and tree illustrations on them. Throwback Thursday – I thought it was fun to look back at pictures of holiday cups at Starbucks through the years. But if we’re being honest, how is a red cup with a snowflake on it any more meaningful than a red cup with no snowflake on it? Is the design of coffee cups really our takeaway at Christmas time? What does that say about the reason behind celebrating Christmas in the first place?

It was suggested by one person in an article I read that customers say “Merry Christmas” when your barista asks for your name for your order, so they will be “tricked” into writing Merry Christmas on your cup instead of your name, thus spreading more holiday cheer. I think that actually sends a demeaning message; just because the company changed the color of the cups does not mean the person taking your order is a Scrooge or any less likely to appreciate the meaning behind the Christmas season. “Tricking” someone into saying Merry Christmas doesn’t inspire or promote a higher standard of living; instead, it seems somewhat immature.

I’m pretty sure my Americano will taste just as delicious whether it is in a red cup or a red cup with snowflakes or stars. Illustrations on a cup don’t define what Christmas means for me, and if that’s what people are deciding is important enough to worry about and debate, then I think our priorities need to be re-evaluated. “Let all that you do be done in love” is a mindset with much more power.

This Christmas season, I hope you spend time with loved ones, with friends and family. I hope you bake enough Christmas cookies to cover your countertops and give to your neighbors. I hope you listen to Christmas music on the way to work, I hope you send a shoebox to a child in need, I hope you clean out your closet and donate extra hats and gloves to a school or shelter.

This Christmas season, I hope you take time to reflect on what is truly important in life, and be thankful for each day you are given. I hope you reach out to someone that you haven’t talked to in years, I hope you forgive someone who’s hurt you, I hope you hold someone a little tighter and let them know how much they mean to  you, because none of us are promised another day.

This Christmas season, I hope you relax and enjoy a cup of coffee. And I hope you enjoy that coffee in a red cup.


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