Seeing Red

I most definitely didn’t plan to write a blog post about this, since – as a general rule – I avoid politics and controversy on this blog.  That’s just not how I roll…  🙂  I’ve never really had a taste for conflict or arguing.  But I received four requests from readers to share how I – as a Christian and a Starbuck’s coffee lover – felt about the Starbucks red cup controversy.  And I’ve actually never had a group of people all ask for a specific blog post about anything.  Soooo, I have to admit that the requests did kind of spur me to write a little something, instead of just replying to the comments or emails.

My honest, personal opinion on the subject?

It’s a cup.  It’s a red cup that holds some of the most amazing, over-priced coffee that I could ever hope to splurge on.  I have always loved me some Starbucks, and I still do.  I wasn’t upset in the least, when I saw the cups; and I’m not upset by them now.  Taking pictures of snowmen, sledding scenes, and snowflakes off of a coffee cup does not offend me or my faith.

Also my personal opinion?  I think this is being blown wayyy out of proportion.  Out of all my friends, family, and acquaintances who share the Christian faith, I have only come across one person who is frustrated with the cups.  One!  Everyone else I’ve talked to has yet to meet someone who is upset by them.  And the one person who is upset, is just concerned that in a desire to be politically correct, Starbucks has wiped their cups clean and removed everything festive from their products.  That’s a concern that I’ve heard mentioned many times, as people are afraid that – in a desire to be politically correct and embrace everything – we sometimes are forced to give up the original and unique holiday traditions that we so love and cherish.

But my acquaintance is just that…  Concerned.  They aren’t being rude or obnoxious about it, by any means.  They’ve just chosen to go the Dunkin Donuts route from now on (which, I have to admit, I drink more of these days, since it fits better into my budget).  And quite frankly, that’s their right as a consumer.

Because I understand their concern (even if I don’t share it when it comes to the coffee cups), I have been disappointed in the anger I’ve seen directed at anyone who isn’t ‘for’ the cups.  (Things such as posts that say, “If you have a problem with the cups, then don’t bother following my blog” or “don’t bother being my friend” or “please stop following me on Instagram.”)  What??  Are we seriously going to threaten friendships over an opinion that has to do with a cup?  I was honestly shocked when I came across these angry posts…

My personal opinion?  Well, since you asked, I think it’s ALL very ridiculous.  I honestly didn’t think about it at all until I started to see the red cup debate blasted all over social media.  And other than being upset at the amount of anger I saw being thrown around, I still think it’s all very silly… and a waste of time.

Had Starbucks said they hate Christmas and all that it stands for, that would be one thing.  But that’s not what’s going down.  And quite frankly, I think the majority of people share my viewpoint; so it’s kind of silly that there’s so many blog posts, Facebook posts, and articles that are all ranting and raving about the people who supposedly do have a problem with the cups.  (It really does feel like a publicity stunt, to be honest.  I mean, where are the masses of people that are so against the new design?  I sure can’t see them…Do they even exist, or is this just an attempt to create some free advertising?  I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but something smells fishy in the coffee store).

Sorry, this IS one of my blog posts, after all.  There had to be some cheesy humor in here somewhere. 

One thing I know for sure, we’ve wasted wayyyyy too much time worrying about these silly cups.  And that’s my take on the whole thing.  🙂


3 thoughts on “Seeing Red

  1. Common sense, my friend. Some people have it; some people don’t. You definitely do! I love hearing your take on things so thank you for sharing!

    I work in marketing and the current design trend is clean + simple. Flat design. This cup totally illustrates that. I wasn’t surprised by it at all, and even looking back on past designs, this year’s cup isn’t far out of the norm. It still fits in the “collection” but is updated. And hey, red and green still represent Christmas yet isn’t over-the-top. This isn’t Starbucks making a Christmas or religious or political statement; this is Starbucks making a branding statement. (And there’s my marketing perspective for what it’s worth!)

    1. I have another friend in marketing, and she said the very same thing. Clean and simple is in this year!
      I told Nate today that my only frustration is that I haven’t had a red cup of my own yet… 😉 Ha, ha. I need to splurge on a holiday beverage soon!! 🙂

  2. I told myself that I would stay out of this, but I think you have some really good thoughts here so I wanted to leave a comment here. Mostly I just don’t want to add any fuel to anyone else’s fire (on one side or the other).

    Sometimes it just blows my mind that something like this is what people get so up-in-arms about. What about the Syrian refugee crisis? Or the millions of children in Africa who have been orphaned because of HIV? Where is the global outcry among Christians to “do something” there? Why are we so quick to “boycott Starbucks” over a cup we feel offended by and yet we are so indifferent to what is happening else where in the world? Or even in our own cities. Poverty, hunger, poor education, sex trafficking… it’s all happening in our cities as well. This whole thing screams #firstworldprobz and it almost makes me sick to see it. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen some of the outcry and some of it has come from people I love very much. So I’m not trying to sound judgmental of them. I understand that they love Jesus and Christmas and take this very personally. This is why I’ve tried to stay far away from this conversation.

    To be totally honest… when I first saw the red cups, I squealed in glee and started jumping up and down clapping. No lie. I was so happy to walk into our Starbucks on Nov 1st and see the stacks of red cups. When I was handed my cup and I finally got a good look at it and noticed how plain it was, I commented on that to Christopher. But who cares if it’s more plain this year because it’s still RED CUP time! That was my thought at the time. Then the drama started. And my thoughts shifted to (1) if you are angry at Sbux, then you should probably stop giving them so much free publicity (similar to your publicity stunt theory). And (2) if Sbux was really going anti-Christmas, why on earth would they still do a red cup? Why not a blue and silver cup to represent winter? (which by the way, I still would think was awesome). Like you said, unless Sbux came right out and said “we are anti-Christmas”, I honestly wouldn’t think that these cups are even remotely “not Christmassy” since they are in fact still red with a green logo. If they were red, green, and black then I’d think of Kwanzaa or if they were blue & white I’d think of Hanukkah, but they aren’t. They are still red and green. Classic Christmas colors.

    Yeeeesh… and this is why I have stayed out of all of this. Because obviously I have lots of thoughts that would certainly offend some people and add to the fire, haha! Social media is such a good thing in many ways, but it also puts blinders on us sometimes where we can only see what’s happening in our world and miss the bigger picture.

    Sum up to say, I think you are totally on point with this. 🙂

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