It’s unlikely you are unaware of the controversy surrounding Starbucks’s holiday cups. Yes, you heard me, I said holiday cups! Although, it doesn’t bother me if you say Christmas instead.
You see I am a Jew with a Christmas tree. An interesting phenomenon, if you consider that 3 of my 4 grandparents grew up in Orthodox Jewish homes. Two of which spent their early years in Russia with the third being a first generation American born to Russian parents. They grew up so religious in fact that my paternal grandmother likely died as a result of following old Jewish law, which forbids driving on the Shabbat. In oppressive St. Louis heat she insisted on walking to temple, refusing those who offered her a ride, only to die later that night at 80 years old. Even so, I know she was cool that I grew up with a Christmas tree. It was a tradition brought to our family by my maternal grandmother, who I was fortunate to have in my life until she was 97 years old. Raised a Catholic, she embraced the Jewish religion after marrying my grandfather with one small exception, a Christmas tree. Lucky for me, he thought it was “pretty”, and the tradition continues in my home today.
In case you don’t know the story, a lot of people don’t like this year’s Starbucks holiday cup. In previous years, there was a design on the cup, such as a jingle bell, poinsettia’s, ornaments, etc. Instead, it is a plane red cup with the traditional Starbucks green logo. I think it looks classy and don’t see the reason for the uproar considering past designs weren’t religious. A jingle bell is not the same as a nativity scene, is it? Some customers are saying that their name is “Merry Christmas” so Baristas will write it on the cup and say it, when the drink is ready. Okay- glad that’s your idea of fun.
I don’t think Christmas should disappear altogether, but I also don’t think its offensive if a store or an employee chose to say, “Happy Holidays” I appreciate the acknowledgement that not everyone celebrates the holiday. Although I sometimes look and feel like I was around in 0 AD, I wasn’t. I don’t pretend to know the ultimate truth, although I have to admit that I am pretty sure Jesus would tell us all to relax. It’s just a red cup.