I have been alternately disgusted and amused at the war that’s been waged on Starbucks this week in response to the introduction of their “holiday” paper cup: it’s red. Yes, it’s red. With the (usual) green Starbucks logo. None of the usual candy canes, snowflakes, Santa’s sleigh or even a hint of “Christmas” appears on this year’s cups.
Because I am a Face Book user, this particular hue and cry has been in my face every time I sign on, and I’ve been amused to watch it swell from the initial murmurings to, now, the appearance of Christian memes that position a chalice next to a red paper cup and declare that Jesus is to be found in one and not the other.
I can’t figure out if Starbucks was just going with a minimalistic design this year
(which I actually think is pretty clever and clean) or if we are the ones who’ve been duped, as Starbucks is now getting more attention than ever. Was there a method to their mad-minimalism?
Yesterday I stopped at the drive-through of Dunkin’ Donuts. When the server extended his arm through the window and handed me a styrofoam cup with the word “Joy” printed on it in green and red, I impulsively clapped my hand and said “Yay!!! Joy!!!” He had no idea what I was getting at. I felt like a fool. Starbucks has even pulled me into their marketing web… and now I’m blathering about over at their competition about how great it is that Dunkin’ Donuts has kept the Christ in Donuts… or something like that.
Here’s my small point. Starbucks has got us talking. Christmas, of course, is the one Christian holiday that doesn’t need much promotion. Even the wildly secular spectacles of the feast raise the awareness- if only peripherally- that unto (some of us) a Son is born…
… I wonder if Starbucks might consider plain pink, yellow and spring green cups at Easter to get us talking about the principal feast day of our faith?