Starbucks’ decision to redesign its annual holiday cups this year and remove references to Christmas and other religious symbols has many reacting as if this is the story of “The Barista Who Stole Christmas.”
For years now, Starbucks has been featuring holiday cups, which usually incorporate designs including reindeer, ornaments and other images associated with Christmas. Now that these cups boast a simplistic solid red scheme, some have accused Starbucks of ruining the holiday. Presidential candidate Donald Trump even suggested people boycott Starbucks.
What exactly has so many Starbucks customers steaming?
As a religious minority in America, I find the uproar extreme. As our society continues to progress, it’s important and healthy to experience moments of realization and humility—whether you believe Starbucks has ruined Christmas or not. This is one of those moments.
Being Jewish around the holiday season means a couple of things to me. When I was younger, it meant sitting there awkwardly as we went around the classroom sharing our Christmas plans. Then it turned into explaining to my friends that I have to take other days off from school because Hanukkah doesn’t fall over “Christmas” break. Today, it’s about embracing the holiday spirit, even if that spirit involves Santas in the malls and Jingle Bells on the radio.
So to those upset with Starbucks’ change of design, I’m sorry that you think your Starbucks cup has a little less holiday spirit than usual. But remember, those people drinking that very same coffee next to you may have a different story than yours. Not better. Not worse. Just different.
I’m not asking for a Hanukkah-themed cup; I’m asking that as our society gets better at learning how to celebrate our differences, we don’t backtrack. We don’t need another Christmas-themed cup. We need inclusive-themed brains.
I applaud Starbucks for its decision. Maybe I’ll even enjoy a peppermint mocha with my potato latkes come December.
Jon Savitt is a writer and comedian.
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