Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Happy Christmas, Mr Starbucks

There's been a lot of fuss about nothing over the Starbucks Xmas cup. Apparently having no Xmas-related imagery on it is rejecting the whole feast and with it Christianity, motherhood and apple pie.
Whereas obviously putting a snowflake, reindeer or penguin on the cup is just like having the lickle baby Jesus in the room with you. Which of course, in a very real sense, he is. Though he's not the hipsters behind the counter. Except in a very real sense, obviously.

The good news is, it looks like Christians are getting their rebuttals in early to prove we're not all idiots. In fact, I reckon Starbucks, being sellers of coffee, are under no obligation to do anything "seasonal" at all with their mugs. We don't expect restaurants to change all their crockery to feature nativity scenes every November, after all.

But the logo is still on the mugs. And as that link shows, the logo is meant to be based on a siren. That's right, a vicious woman who sits around looking attractive and singing seductive songs on rocks, and then destroys the sailors who are lured into her clutches. Though these days she sits on a cardboard cup on the premises of a purveyor of average-quality coffee, luring hipsters and office workers into telling the barista what their name is. Which, if you think about it, is basically a gigantic, low-tech phishing exercise. She must feel she's come down in the world.

But look at it another way, O people who like to feel more Christmassy. Maybe, like many of these things, the whole "pagan" link is a lie. This is, after all, a woman with a star on her head, with watery associations - at Christmas. .And Starbucks are encouraging their customers to scribble on their cups.

I suggest when you go Starbucks, if that's the kind of thing you do, you tell the barista that your name is "Stella". And then grab your green pen.... 

Surely what they've actually done, unknowingly, is paid their respects to "Stella Maris", the Star of the Sea - a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Even if it's not, let's face it, we're good at repurposing pagan ideas. We've been doing it for 2,000 years, apparently. So that mug's a bit more suitable for Advent, innit? Happy Christmas, Mr Starbucks!


  1. I'm surprised that you are denigrating St Arbucks in this way. They're trying hard (not hard enough) to sell more of the Nectar of God's in their Cafe-Churches across the nation. Surely, we should be supporting this Fresh Expression of Christmas by supporting their religious(commercial) mission, not withdrawing the Michael.

  2. Rather than the US-focus on the marketing of coffee, I prefer the Italian's regulated approach where the price of un caffé throughout the country is fixed by government, (although it has recently increased 10% to €1.10).

  3. Well I gave up on Starbucks a year or two ago, but this seems like a worthy attempt to bring them back onto the path of righteousness.

  4. Can I be Donna? (Donna nobis pacem)

  5. About as much evidence for Jesus being born on the 25th December as there is for Starbucks paying appropriate corporation tax! i.e. the paper trail vanished long ago. I do wonder if Mr Feuerstein is actually a militant atheist double-agent, he seems to very publicly drag your religion into the gutter at every opportunity?

  6. It must be true - I read it in Wicca-pedia


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