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The Christmas Wars / Christmas Dilemma Part 2 of 5

Conflict over Starbucks coffee cup design.
Ellen Degeneres sounds off about the cup.

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This topic is a continuation from the previous essay

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starbucks sign 2015-NOV-05: Controversy over the design of coffee cups in Starbucks:

Last December, as in previous years, Starbucks switched from a plain white cup to a Christmas-themed paper coffee cup for the month. It featured Christmas tree branches on a red background. It included positive messages like:

  • "Hope,"

  • "Peace" and

  • "We invite you to listen to your desires and to renew your hope. To see the world not as it is, but as it could be. Go ahead. Wish. It makes the holidays the holidays."

Michael Cantrell, writing for "The Radicals" said:

"Apparently, for many people, the switch-up from white cups to red cups is a Christmas tradition, an indication the holiday season is upon us, but preserving the spirit of the season doesn’t seem to be on the company’s radar, although appeasing the PC Police and making sure no one’s delicate feelings are hurt certainly is.

Yes, because Christmas has CHRIST in it — and technically, since it is about His birth, it’s a day that really should be focused on Him— that makes it super offensive to the liberal crowd who simply can’t tolerate that Jesus character." 1

Starbucks' cup design for the 2015 winter holiday season is a very simple design. Using the traditional red/green colors associated with this time of year, the cup is in a plain bright red color, with a green Starbucks logo:

2015 Starbucks Cup

The Starbucks web site said that their design was based on the desire to:

"... usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories."

Raheem Kassam, writing for Breitbart, asked Starbucks to comment further. Their CEO said:

"We’re embracing the simplicity and the quietness of it. It’s [a] more open way to usher in the holiday."

Kassam concluded by talking about the seriousness of the change to an all-red background design:

"... subliminally, ... [their customers are] being told/reminded that this time of the year is no longer about Christmas. It’s about the colour red, or something. It’s a 'holiday season.' Don’t say Merry Christmas. It’s offensive.

And no, I’m not 'reading too much into it.' This is happening. And it’s as disgusting as an Eggnog Latte." 2

Two of the many comments added to the Breibert article by its readers are:

  • "jo" posted: "You people seriously need to get a life. This is ridiculous. It's a coffee cup! Christian iconography has never been on one of these cups, ever! Snowflakes and stars aren't Christian icons. Get a grip people. There.Is.No.War.On.Christmas."

  • Ron Stanford posted: "Starbucks has 21,366 locations around the world, and over 11,000 in the US. Are you telling me that they didn't have focus groups tell them it would p!ss of Christians? If so, they're incompetent. ... they wanted to phase out Christmas. Last year, they went out of their way to make Whites uncomfortable." 2

Donald Trump (R), presidential hopeful for 2016, was not impressed with the cup. He has promised to terminate the lease of the Starbucks store in Trump Towers, his New York City hotel.

He repeated the recent thoughts that he has expressed on the campaign trail:

"If I become president, we’re all going to be saying 'Merry Christmas' again, that I can tell you." 3

Some would regard this as a threat.

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Ellen Degeneres discussed the Starbucks coffee cup on her TV program:

She broadcast a skit on The Ellen DeGeneres Show about the Starbucks cup. She called it "CupGate2015."

It was posted to You Tube on 2015-NOV-10 where it received over 2.2 million views and captured over 22,000 likes vs. 820 dislikes within 2 days. That is a ratio of about 27 likes to every dislike.


It was also posted it to Facebook where it received just under 30 million views during the same interval! With luck, this skit might cause an armistice in the War on Christmas, and perhaps even a permanent suspension of hostilties.

Webmaster's comment: (bias alert):

One can always hope.

A Google search for: cupgate 2015 produced 44 hits.

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This topic continues in Part 3 with more information on the
Starbucks coffee cup and alternatives to the War on Christmas.

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Reference used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. Michael Cantrell, "Starbucks 'Holiday cups' no longer contain Christmas references," The Radicals, 2015-NOV-05, at:
  2. Raheem Kassam, "War On Christmas: Starbucks Red Cups Are Emblematic Of The Christian Culture Cleansing Of The West," Breibert, 2015-NOV-05, at:
  3. Bethania Palma Markus, "Trump busted for ‘Happy Holidays’ greetings after he urges Starbucks boycott over Christmas cups," Raw Story, 2015-NOV-10, at:
  4. Ellen Degeneres, "Starbucks Holiday Cup Controversy," You Tube, 2015-NOV-10, at:

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Home > Religious information > Christmas > Christmas Conflict > here

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Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2015-NOV-12
Latest update: 2015-DEC-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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