A War on Christmas

Anna Jackson , Staff Writer

The day after Halloween marked the Christmas season kickoff. Stores began putting out Christmas decorations. Some people went as far as to put up their Christmas tree. And, of course, Starbucks released their annual red cups.

This year’s cup is a simple, red- gradient design, free of any images. With this release came backlash from a small group of Christians. This group claimed that by not using snowmen, snow akes and other typical winter images on the cup, as Starbucks had in the past, the company was not supporting the holiday season. The group went as far as to say that Starbucks was declaring war on Christmas. A plain red cup is declaring war on the Christmas season. How bizarre?

This group of Christians is causing uproar over the images of snowmen and Christmas bells being removed from a cup. Starbucks has never used Christian images, such as a cross or nativity scene, on their holiday cups. The backlash is illogical, but it reveals a bigger issue that involves the Christmas and holiday season. We are focusing on the wrong things.

Christmas is not about snowmen and ornaments decorating our cups of coffee. Christmas has become a marketing extravaganza, and we, as a society, have played into it. Christmas kicks off with Black Friday shopping, where people camp outside of stores and trample their fellow shoppers to get one of the ve televisions that the store has in stock.

Christmas focuses more now on the holiday shopping, not the holiday. It is all about writing Santa with a long list of all the material things you want under the Christmas tree or nding him in a store to sit on his lap to list out your Christmas wishes. The holiday season has parents of lower incomes stressed as to whether they should pay bills or buy their children Christmas presents because society has placed such an importance on gifts that not getting their child something is unacceptable.

In my family, there are always petty, snide comments made about how much was spent on someone else’s present and how what someone else got is better than what he or she got. It is ridiculous. Everyone gets the same amount of money spent on him or her, but no one seems to be happy with the presents. Rather than catching up with family members that they have not seen in months, some would rather sit with a scowl in the corner because of a Christmas gift.

The holiday season should be about spending time with loved ones and sharing in the joy of making it through another year. It should be a time spent in preparation for the New Year. For Christians, it should be a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But regardless of faith or religion, the holiday should be a break from everyday stresses and be a joyful time that is spent with loved ones.

Christmas is about more than snowmen on a red cup or gifts under a Christmas tree or the lack of those things. Christmas is a time of joy, a time of love and a time for happiness. We should not cloud this time of the year with negativity over a Starbucks cup design or by stressing over an expensive shopping list. We should go back to the basics of Christmas. Eat, sleep, count your blessings and enjoy the company of your loved ones this holiday season, and let presents under the tree just be an added bonus.