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Pipe down, it is just a cup

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The new Starbucks holiday cup design, sans the festive symbols of previous years. Photo courtesy of Kate Camillo.

The new Starbucks holiday cup design, sans the festive symbols of previous years. Photo courtesy of Kate Camillo.

By Samantha Drinan

Some religious Starbucks coffee drinkers (pun intended) are outraged over this year’s rendition of the iconic red holiday cup. Specifically, some Christians are complaining that Starbucks took the Christmas out of the cups. First of all, we have to get the terminology straight. They were never Christmas cups to begin with; Starbucks has always referred to their yearly tradition as the “holiday cup.”

On the Nov. 10 episode of her talk show, Ellen DeGeneres made a good point when she said, “The old cups had snow flakes, and Santa’s sleigh and elves. You know, all the things that you find in the Bible.”

If it is Christmas they care about, then these Christians are really missing the mark by being so upset about this cup. After all, the true point of Christmas from a Christian perspective is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, not Santa coming on his sleigh to give everyone presents with the help of his reindeer and snow falling on the ground.

Even devout Christians seem to have fallen into the commercialization of this holiday. This is not to say I do not enjoy getting presents every Dec. 25, but if you are going to accuse Starbucks of taking away Christmas, understand what you’re accusing them of. Starbucks did not take away your religious beliefs. They just decided to go with a simpler design for the cup this year. The cup color has still been changed to red, signifying the beginning of the holiday season for those who frequent Starbucks. Just because the cup does not have pictures on it does not mean the holiday season is not upon us. It is blank so you can attribute your own holiday story to it when you drink your favorite winter beverage.

I am sure people have far more important things they could be worrying about than the design on a coffee cup. The holiday season is a time to be thankful for what you have. It is also a time of giving to those you care about and to those that may be less fortunate than you. In today’s world, we focus too much on receiving and not enough on giving.

On a similar note, author Austin Blood said, “Instead of trying to change the cup, be thankful that you can afford the cup. Life is way too short to get your panties in a wad over something so petty and insignificant.”

When standing in that Starbucks line, we should be thinking about how lucky we are that we can afford five dollar coffees instead of how Starbucks decided not to be so literal with their holiday cheer this year. And if you are really against the red cup, maybe just make your own coffee at home and give the $5 you saved to someone who really needs it. Giving a little money to someone in need can go a long way and really make his or her holiday season. Then, maybe seeing them get in the holiday spirit will give you that festive cheer you were once seeking from a red coffee cup.

Another possible solution would be to just go to Dunkin’ Donuts, where we New Englanders get our iced coffee year-round. We are nutty like that.

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