The new Starbucks holiday cups -- a Winter tradition since '97 -- sport a minimalistic two-toned ombré design, with a bright poppy complexion at the top, blending into a darker cranberry tone at the base, anchored with the traditional and recognizable "Starbucks red". Basically, it's a fucking red cup. But that's not stopping people across the United States from being totally pissed off about it. Because really, isn't that what the holidays are all about?
The controversy is this: some people believe our culture is actively engaged in a "War on Christmas," a supposed battle for the heart of the holiday season that rests on the rights of schools/businesses/government buildings to openly celebrate and promote Christmas, specifically, instead of being more inclusive and generic for the sake of those with alternative (or no) affiliated holidays. For instance, saying "Happy Holidays," instead of "Merry Christmas" at the checkout line. Makes sense, right? Seeing as not everyone celebrates Christmas, so it should be difficult to assume they want to be enthusiastically wished a "Merry Christmas," every time they buy a pack of condoms or some tube socks.
Though Starbucks has shied away from directly putting the word Christmas on its cup for years, previous designs have included traditionally Xmas-orientated imagery like trees, snowflakes, and reindeer (none of which have actual religious connotations anyway, but whatever) that are absent in this year's model. Naturally, this made people feel betrayed and furious. So, in a stunning blow to the billion-dollar coffee chain, protesters have started to write "Merry Christmas" on their cups, or, they simply tell the barista that their name is "MerryChristmas," thus birthing the pervasive hashtag, #MerryChristmasStarbucks.