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Customers outraged over Starbucks’ lack of holiday spice

By Taylor Broderick [1]

BELLEVILLE – The new Christmas cups at Starbucks [2] have stirred up some mixed emotions among its customers.

On Nov. 1, Starbucks revealed its annual Christmas cup. But the design, or lack of, has caused many customers, and even celebrities, to say they’ll boycott the coffee company.

Unlike in past years, the 2015 cups have no Christmas-themed design on them. They are plain red and bear the Starbuck’s logo.

With no snowflakes or reindeer imprinted on their coffee cups, people have jumped to the conclusion that Starbucks is anti-Christian and that the plain red cups are a declaration of war on Christmas.

Donald Trump, who’s seeking the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S presidential race, stated his outrage over the issue during a rally in Springfield, Ill., on Monday. In a rant about how jobs being shipped overseas are hurting college students looking for work, Trump brought up the Starbucks shop he has in his Manhattan Trump Tower [3].

“No more ‘Merry Christmas’ at Starbucks. No more,” Trump said to the crowd. “Maybe we should boycott Starbucks,” he added.

CNN posted the video of Trump talking about boycotting Starbucks on YouTube.

Other celebrities, such as Demi Lovato [4] and Rob Lowe [5], have taken to Twitter to express their thoughts on the new cups:

https://twitter.com/ddlovato/status/664094608280780801 [6]

Celebrities aren’t the only people voicing their opinions. People on Twitter are using the hashtag #boycottstarbucks and #merrychristmasstarbucks to describe their distaste for the company’s decision.

Jeffrey Fields, the vice-president of design and content for Starbucks, said in a statement that this year’s holiday cup is all about the customer telling their Christmas story by drawing on their own design.

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

Many people have already started using the cups as a canvas for their own unique designs. Anyone who gets creative with their red cup can post a picture and tag the Starbucks Instagram [20] account or use the hashtag #RedCupContest. Here are some of the designs that have already been submitted.

12081167_710141552419159_839847883_n [21]  12093698_1645977595641618_1450947855_n [22]  12081069_1486623588308367_1401029648_n [23]


On Tuesday, comedian Ellen DeGeneres [24] made light of the whole issue using sarcasm and wit, in the opening monologue of her talk show [25].

“What I’m about to show you is highly offensive. Brace yourselves,” Degeneres says as she pulls out the red Starbucks cup.

A store partner at the Starbucks on Front Street N. in Belleville, who didn’t want her name used, told QNet News the store hasn’t had any complaints about the cups yet. However, she added, employees have heard people talking about the controversy.

“I think the cups are beautiful and it also forces us to engage in the human connection,” the Belleville Starbucks employee said.

She says the plain red cup is already creating conversation between people. If you walk into any Starbucks she said it’s clear to see there’s a Christmas theme and employees are in the holiday spirit.

“(Employees) have every right to say Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah,” the employee said.

So what do you think? Is this new red cup a clever way for Starbucks to take Christmas and holiday cheer out of the season? Or has this issue been blown way out of proportion?