The latest front in the war is Starbucks, where the Festive Cups have gone from red WITH snowflakes to … red without them. People are genuinely up in arms.
Here, for instance, is a video from an evangelist, urging that people go to Starbucks and pointedly tell the barista that their names are “Merry Christmas,” thereby extracting this greeting from them no matter what.
Yes. Great. Just what we need: angry people bristling with guns and indignation, walking into Starbucks demanding to be told MERRY CHRISTMAS … or else. This is exactly the spirit of the thing. When Jesus first wished Merry Christmas to Tiny Tim and Howard Schultz on 34th Street all those years ago, this is exactly what he had in mind.
Now, we are upset. HOW DARE OUR CORPORATE MASTERS NOT WISH US THE CHRISTMAS WISH! Is this why Jimmy Stewart died for our sins up on the housetop with the reindeer long ago?
Corporations, by and large, decide when our seasons are. Especially in parts of the country not blessed with changing foliage, snow, fog, sleet and other weather cues, what tells us that we have passed from summer into autumn and from autumn into winter is the arrival of the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Seasonal Holiday Cups at Starbucks.
Knowing Starbucks, the odds are that if you pointedly tell them your name is Merry Christmas, you will get back a cup that says “Mary Kristof” on it. Or “Marie Krispers.” Or “Race Together.”
Haven’t our baristas suffered enough? First they had to explain racism to us, now this?
I hereby propose a counter-campaign. If we’ve decided that our right to be GREETED WITH SPECIFIC GREETINGS trumps the right of Starbucks employees to have a pleasant day, why not go to Starbucks and insist that your name is “JAVERT… DO NOT FORGET MY NAME” or that your name is “Alexander Hamilton. My name is Alexander Hamilton./And there’s a million things I haven’t done.” (hashtag: #musicalstarbucks)
Or, alternatively, go to Starbucks and insist that your name is “Hail Satan.” (hashtag: #hailsatanstarbucks) We need to put the “Satan” back into “Starbucks Holiday Beverages” where it belongs. (The snowflakes on a red background, to me, always suggested that it was snowing in Hell, and I am sad that we have been deprived of the Reason for the Season.)
Or, better yet, we could just tip our baristas and leave them alone.