Mark My Words – Confusion over “the cup”

Everything has the capability of turning into a major controversy these days.

Things people say or what they do or even what they don’t do.

What people wear or don’t wear.

Where you work, who you donate money to, what you believe, who you support, who you dated, where you went to school, what you write in a book, where you store your emails, what restaurant you eat at or stores you shop at and the list goes on and on.

Granted, some of the above items and others are or can turn into valid controversies based on the situation surrounding them.

And, thanks to our media, some things are more than likely blown out of proportion for the sensationalism of it all and to damage a reputation or what have you.

In any event, it is just a factor of the world we live in.

While I am one who tries to see both sides of every story, I will admit that, from time to time, I just can’t find valid reasons for what is upsetting some people.

One of those issues came along this week when Starbucks debuted their annual holiday coffee cup. Let me be clear from the start. I am not a fan of Starbucks, nor am I against them. I just don’t drink coffee and have never really felt the need to start. I am sure they have something to offer me in terms of a beverage, but I just have no desire to go into a Starbucks or similar business. But hey, I never liked tomatoes either, but as I got older, I don’t mind them once in a while.

I do, however, find this whole controversy a little odd, to be honest.

To the best of my knowledge, Starbucks has never had the words “Merry Christmas” printed on their cups. Instead, from what I have been able to find, or told from my “Starbucks loving friends”, the cups have been adorned with different pictures and other holiday themed designs but never anything directly related specifically to Christmas.

I am finding the whole uproar over this a little confusing. If the company had the words “Merry Christmas” on the cups, but then removed them due to the outcry of those who do not celebrate Christmas, I could see the point of the argument, at least.

If “Merry Christmas” was taken off the cups but other greetings were allowed for Hanukkah or Kwanza, for instance, I would definitely see a reason for complaints. But again, as far as I know, that is not the case.

In all fairness, Starbucks has a right to do what it wants, regardless of how we feel about it. If people are offended, go elsewhere.

I am a Christian and I celebrate Christmas. In fact, it is one of my favorite holidays.

However, I am not offended if people wish me “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings”. I take it as a nice gesture and wish them the same. If someone says “Merry Christmas”, I respond in kind. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, you shouldn’t be offended, either. There are no two ways about it. December 25th is Christmas Day. You might not celebrate it, but it is what it is. Just like I do not celebrate Hanukkah, but if someone wished me a happy one, I would enthusiastically wish her or him the same. Why not? What does it hurt me to be kind to someone and wish them well, even if our religion or beliefs are different? The drink will taste the same regardless of what is written on the cup.

Starbucks has been scaling back on how their holiday cups look for the past few years, from decorated to just a plain red cup. Heck, there isn’t that big a difference between this years’s cup and last year’s and I don’t remember an outcry last year. I also do not recall hearing from Starbucks anything that would make me believe that they are anti-Christmas, especially since they sell several Christmas themed items in their store. You can’t really be mad at Starbucks for removing something from their cups that was never there to begin with.
Oh wait….

By Mark McGlothlen

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