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Lack of holiday message on coffee cups offends few students

Natalie Burkhart

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The holiday cups – sans any holiday greeting. Photo courtesy of Starbucks.

The holiday cups – sans any holiday greeting. Photo courtesy of Starbucks.

The arrival of the Starbuck’s red holiday coffee cups sans season’s greetings is causing a controversy students were quick to chime in on.

The discussion over this season’s solid red holiday cups comes because the lack of designs makes them — some students perceived — anti-Christian. Previous designs on the cups included holiday symbols, but not religious ones.

Johnson Ho, senior in nursing and former employee of the Starbucks on Kemp Blvd., said, “They’re equating these red cups to Christmas, but it’s just there for the holidays. It kind of symbolizes that the holidays are upon us, so I think it’s silly that people are making it a big deal when it’s not necessarily even a specific holiday — it’s just holidays in general.”

Ho said he first noticed mention of the controversy on Facebook and Twitter before he looked into it further.

Lindsey Stone, sophomore in respiratory care, said, “Honestly, I think it’s really silly. I mean, it’s a cup. A national hysteria has been stirred over a cup.”

And Savannah Terry, junior in radiology, also said there was too much hype over it.

“People get offended too easily now,” Terry said.

Terry said she thinks maybe people miss the decorative symbols, but also that she doesn’t see how it would affect Christians because the symbols were general ones not geared toward a certain religion.

Ho said he thinks people accusing Starbucks of being anti-Christian are “blowing it out of proportion and making it a big deal.”

Terry said nobody talked to her about the controversy, but she saw sarcastic posts about it online that supported the belief that the holiday cups do not provoke a serious issue.

Stone said she heard about the controversy from the Ellen Degeneres video which used humor to tackle the issue.

“Somebody needs to make light of it because it’s a coffee cup. I mean, is that really what we’re worried about?” Stone said.


“I really don’t think it’ll have any effect on our campus. As far as it goes nationally, it might for a short period of time, but I really don’t think Starbucks is going to be hurt as far as their profits go because of it. I think everyone can agree it shouldn’t be as big of a deal as it is.” |Lindsey Stone, respiratory care sophomore

“I don’t think we really care what the cup looks like. As long as we’re getting our caffeine and coffee, I think that’s all that matters to us.” |Johnson Ho, nursing senior

“As a Christian myself, I do believe that Jesus is reason for the season, but Starbucks is all about diversity and I don’t think they had any intention of offending anyone. It’s kind of disheartening to see people of the faith not representing it the way they should.” |Lindsey Stone, respiratory care sophomore

“I don’t think people will stop going there because coffee is coffee, and it’s not like they changed their flavors. Overall, I don’t think it will severely affect Starbucks. It’s just a cup, so I will still go.” |Savannah Terry, radiology junior


This year’s iconic red Starbucks cup features a two-toned ombré design, with a bright poppy color on top that shades into a darker cranberry below, the company said in a Nov. 8 press release.

“In the past, we have told stories with our holiday cups designs. This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories,” said Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks vice president of design and content.

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Lack of holiday message on coffee cups offends few students