Tag Archives: Christmas

Starbucks’s Red Cup Heresy or Not The Onion, Part the One Thousand

My friend Carrie linked to a response to the right-wing freak-out over the fact that Starbucks — on November 8 — is serving coffee in red cups.

Response?  To WHAT?  My first thought, of course, was that it was The Onion, but that bastion of journalistic acumen just can’t keep up.  Turns out, yes, the right wing is freaking out in early November that … honestly, I don’t know what.  Since I don’t spend much time on right-wing freak-out sites, I Googled “starbucks red cup” and got this:

Image: snip from Google news that reads "In the news: Why Some Christians Are Upset at Starbucks' New Holiday Cups. TIME‎ - 7 hours ago. The new cup, which is shades of red with the Starbucks logo, showed ... Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate ... Christian evangelists claim Starbucks fanned 'war on Christmas' with minimalist holiday red coffee cups. New York Daily News‎ - 18 hours ago. Some Christians Are Extremely Unhappy About Starbucks' New Holiday Cups. Huffington Post‎ - 7 hours ago. More news for starbucks red cup."

Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?  It’s a “war on Christmas” when we are merely festive, instead of universally Christian?  When a random company celebrates with a color traditionally ASSOCIATED with Christmas, while not — six weeks before the date arbitrarily selected by early Christians to celebrate the birth of their savior — adding verbiage that highlights one holiday among the many that its customers celebrate?  Or did I miss the Rosh Hashanah cups and the Eid al Fitr cups and the Diwali cups and the Chinese New Year cups and the Flying Spaghetti Monster cups?

I’m not Christian, but it seems to me that Pastor Emily Heath gets it right:

Maybe this is the year that we can shift our priorities away from what doesn’t matter to what matters more than we know. Maybe this year we can set our sights a little higher than changing red cups, and instead try to change the world. And maybe this year we can stop yelling at others to “Keep Christ in Christmas” and instead focus on being Christlike ourselves.

So, here’s a suggestion of how to start: buy someone a coffee. In one of those red cups. Seriously, you will not go to hell for going to Starbucks this Christmas. But if you look closely enough, you just might find Jesus in the guy behind you in line. Because Christ is already at Starbucks, just as Christ is everywhere.

I don’t need his name on a paper cup to tell me that.

Hey!  It’s November 8!  Where’s my Montana Day cup?  Starbucks must hate the mountain west!  Outrage!

Merry Christmas!

{Image:  A golden retriever with a goatee of snow around his mouth.}

I realize I’m reusing last year’s photo, but there’s no snow this year and it’s hard to get Saguaro to pose.  So think of it as very efficient recycling:  Same pixels as last year with no intervening loss of merriness!

Christmas Display

I saw the most wonderful display in front of a church as I drove down University Blvd today.  Not a creche, no lights, no crosses, no Santas or reindeer.  Just:

{Image:  photo of a church buliding with -- in front of the church -- a long concrete and brick ramp under construction.}

a ramp under construction.   St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church is building a beautiful ramp in front of their church building.  No back entrances here; nothing ad hoc or flimsy.  They’ve given over the front lawn of the church to a cut-back concrete ramp, lined with brick to match the building.

{Image:  more distant photo in which the entire church building is visible within the frame, as is the ramp extending the width of the building.  Construction equipment is visible in the lower right of the photo.}

I was very moved by the message of inclusion that this collection of concrete and bricks and construction equipment sent especially at the time of year when there is generally so much hand-wringing about Christmas displays.*  Sometimes the simplest things speak the most eloquently.   It’s is even more moving, I think, because the ADA does not require churches to be accessible, so this likely reflects a simple decision that everyone should feel and be invited to worship.

Because ramps are fun to do in panorama:

{Image: a panoramic view in which the entire ramp is visible close up, with construction equipment to the right.}


* You know, the creche; the creche + menorah to show that we’re ecumenical; the creche + menorah-even-when-Chanukah-was-over-two-weeks-ago to show that we’re ecumenical but sort of clueless; the creche + menorah + Santa Claus to show that we’re not really religious, just seasonal; and of course the creche + menorah + flying spaghetti monster just because we can.