Buzzkill: Critics Say Starbucks’ New Cups Are Another Volley in the ‘War on Christmas’

11/09/2015 at 02:25 PM ET


Another year, another entry in the archives of the alleged War on Christmas.

Starbucks rolled out their holiday season cups recently, and the new, conspicuously minimalist design features only the traditional red color, not — as in years past — reindeer, Christmas ornaments and other typically “holiday”-esque signifiers.

RELATED: The Holidays Are Officially Upon Us: Starbucks Red Cups Have Arrived

Social media users have already taken to their preferred networks to vent their spleen about the decision. For example, former Arizona pastor Joshua Feuerstein announced a prank campaign on Facebook: Tell your Starbucks barista your name is “Merry Christmas” and they’ll be forced to add it to the cup.

Switching over to Twitter, though, and you’ll find more people expressing confusion or utter apathy about the plight of Christmas at Starbucks.

There, are, however, people actually participating in Feuerstein’s “prank,” though.

Starbucks, in a statement of their own, said, “Starbucks is inviting our customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way, with a red cup that mimics a blank canvas. Over the past few years, our customers have been showcasing their work on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, and we even held a contest to support this creativity. This year’s design is another way we are inviting our customers to create their own stories on our cups.”

RELATED: There Is a New Ho Hos Flavor For the First Time Ever (and It’s Super Christmas-y)

Also, there are plenty of Christmas-themed products available at Starbucks that do feature the word “Christmas,” including the company’s Christmas blend coffee, Christmas tree ornaments and advent calendars.

And finally, a Full House alumni has weighed in: Candace Cameron Bure published her own thoughts on the controversy to Facebook Monday afternoon.

— Alex Heigel, @alex_heigl

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Showing 39 comments

Bender on

A war on Christmas? Who declared war on Christmas? Idjits that don’t have anything better else to than complain about companies and holidays next it will be a war on peeps and Easter

Lisa on

Christians need to stop complaining about a friggin cup and start worrying about the 7 sins they commit on a daily basis..and then forgive themselves for it. Sounds like a great religion for sinners.

LOL on

So, Conservatives, who always accuse Liberals of being overly offended by everything, are offended by paper cups?? Yeah, that makes sense.

Mary on

They are red and green for crying out loud! Christmas colors! If there were snowflakes on them, would that even make them Christmas-y? It’s probably cheaper for Starbucks to not print anything on them. If they were pale blue with snowflakes, people would be complaining about that too, that they weren’t Christmas colors.

Guest on

As a Christian, I think this is silly. It sounds like Starbucks never had the word ‘Christmas’ on the cups to begin with, just secular seasonal imagery. However – Starbucks has been known for being anti-Christian, and the better way to show your disdain for their insulting views is to not go there at all.

New Orleans on

I Love Red! Thanks Starbucks

Samantha Jone on

People need to GET A LIFE. It’s a CUP. They have never said anything regarding Christmas on them before, they sell a dang CHRISTMAS BLEND coffee. I really worry about the human race sometimes.

arkybee on

Sounds like Joshua needs a life. It’s a shame he can’t order that at Starbucks.

Anonymous on

My new name is Warren Cristmas

huh? on

This is pathetic! Don’t all those religious people, oh and regular people have other things to complain and worry about. I would think this would be the perfect time for them to convert and push their beliefs on others.. I really can’t believe this is a “thing”, how shallow we’ve become

helen on

Love the Idea of giving your name as merry Christmas, so you will have a cup with merry Christmas on it

Tammy on

Being a Christian, I am not offended by this plain red cup at ALL. It is simply and a pretty color.

I do not think Starbucks had “Christian” images on the previous cups, just fun holiday stuff. People get their underwear in a twist over the smallest change = dumb waste of time.

ALM on

There is no “war on Christmas”. It’s just Bill O’Reilly and his ilk whipping up faux outrage amongst the educationally challenged for ratings. And if you need symbols on a coffee cup to define your beliefs, then you really DO need Jesus.

sososad on

Pretty sure Starbucks isn’t going to miss the business of folks who shop at Walmart for their coffee anyway.

Jen DC on

First of all, Christmas was initially a pagan holiday, co-opted by Christians. Red, green, the tree, Yule log, gifts, mistletoe – all of the stuff people refer to as “Christmas decorations” etc., are ALL PAGAN SYMBOLS that were used to ease Christianity into the pagan European culture. Same with Easter (Eostre, named for the goddess of estrus).

Second, isn’t Starbucks a private company? Why, exactly, are they bound to show any type of any publicly preferred decoration on their cups?

Finally, seriously: You’re mad about a cup? Why don’t you take the $3/day you’ll save skipping that Starbucks and spend that money in a way that will actually have a positive net effect on society?

Kate on

You know what, when actual persecution of Christians occurs in places like Syria where people are killed for their faith, stories like these just shows how spoiled and silly American christians are.

As a christian it is your right to say “Merry Christmas” to others and those whom you like. People are free to respond “Happy Holidays”. If you don’t like it don’t wish people. By making Barista’s put your name as Merry Christmas down, it is you who are cheapening christmas. Christmas the last time I checked is not about a red cup or a reindeer or snow, but about some savior coming down as a baby. This is like the boy who cried wolf. If Christians cry persecution for a starbucks cup, no one would believe them if they talk about real persecution in parts of the world. Move to Syria with your red starbucks cup and try to live there as a christian. Then talk about persecution, until then keep the fake war to yourself

Kimberly on

I’m sorry, if you want to reaffirm your faith in religion, go to church. Don’t look for it in a cup of coffee.

ME1155 on

Starbucks is making money off Christmas maybe not on the cups but on all the products they want you to buy instead. Don’t really like star bucks much don’t care for the taste

This really takes the cake on

I’m totally lost. This is an issue? A red cup? Um, if this is bothersome, you’re more than welcome to get out of line and let the rest of us carry on with our daily caffeinating. Really. It’s okay. You can go get your reindeer cups somewhere else. We won’t mind (or miss you).

Carrie on

I am a youth minister and this past Sunday my grade 5 class and I looked at sheep and goats parable. I explained to them that they need to look beyond the surface for christian faith.. saying you’re a christian, doesn’t make it so.

Red, Whiite & Green are all colours used in the liturgical calendars, and all three colours appear on the cup. SO maybe instead of getting hyper that a red cup is anti-christ, they should look beyond the surface (and this includes looking beyond the surface of their actions)

Susan on

The comments here are priceless. This whole thing was a joke, and it was always intended to be a joke. Lighten up, libbies.

jp on

How stupid. It’s a business. If they use these cups and have some leftover in January they can use them more easily than if they had Christmas stuff on it. And do these people go to Starbucks to worship? It’s just a coffee shop.

kathy on

The war isn’t on Christmas, it is against Christians, and it is very obvious. Read the comments here. As for Starbucks, no thanks, I don’t care for their anti military anti Christian attitude. I will take my money and go to Chick Fil A & gladly support them.

maggie on

This is crazy! People are mad over a paper coffee cup? It’s to drink out of, and not for making a religious statement. There is no war on Christmas. Instead of worrying about a coffee cup not being Christmasy enough, maybe these people should concentrate on living the teachings of Jesus. Forgiveness, advocating for peace, and helping the poor, are what Jesus is about, not whether a corporation puts a reindeer on their paper cups.

Truhfinder on

Its not really about the “red” cup for most Christians. It’s the constant ridiculing and mocking of our faith on a daily basis. We slowly and methodically see “Christmas and Jesus” disappearing while uplifting other faiths as acceptable…Happy Holidays substitutes for Merry Christmas; Salvation Army bell ringers given their marching orders; the war on Crosses and Nativity Scenes across the country and so much more…we are angry and not silent any longer. This is what is really going on here. We’re fighting back!

Phil Esteen on

The preacher is flag wrong!
The preacher doesn’t even know The Bible1
The preacher does NOT even know that Red is Christ’s color!
Red is the color of blood and Jesus Christ is the Agnus Dei, the lamb of God, who washes away our sins.

Enough of you silly ‘war on everything’ jerks! You presume the privilege and power to dictate America’s religion and you have no right to do so.

Get over yourselves.

thecrud on

America has gone full retard.

KT on

I think these cups are beautiful and totally capture the Christmas spirit!

Carrow on

I’m not particularly religious anymore but I still LOVE the Christmas holiday season. I love everything about (except for the over commercialization)

I love the the weather, the decorations, Santa and his reindeer, Christmas songs, dinner and wrapped presents under the tree!

I love for businesses to say Merry Christmas in their advertisements. Leave Christmas alone Increasingly More Secular America!

Margaret on

Samantha jones you do realize , You don’t have much else to do either. I have seen your name everywhere on this subject. I think Starbucks has paid commentors. It’s not just a Christian thing , it’s any acknowledgement of the season. Do not buy their gift cards and someone acknowledge how Starbucks is only acknowledging people who agree with them. Totally ignoring those they have offended. It’s not a Christian thing . They are not taking notice of a season that brings them huge profits. There’s Chanukah too. We are boycotting them. No one is going to buy their gift cards except Samantha Jones

You need Jesus on

If coffee cups define your Christmas – It’s you who needs Jesus!
Starbucks isn’t denying Christmas. We have so many other important issues of the world to focus on! Do not encourage these crazy radicals by starting something – when there is nothing!!!

Mike on

The only thing more pathetic than the people complaining about the Starbucks cups are the people complaining about those people.

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