Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen....
Most of you have likely heard about the controversy surrounding Starbuck's coffee and their line of cups for the holiday season. Apparently, their cups now are red and green, colours traditionally associated with Christmas. For some reason, Starbuck's only put the colours on the cup. Nowhere on the cup does it say "Merry Christmas," or even "Happy Holidays." Starbuck's said that they wanted to embrace the simplicity of the season and offer customers a blank canvas to tell their own holiday story.
First, to Starbuck's, colours are colours. Removing words from the cup does not change the deep connection of red and green to the holiday of Christmas. Starbuck's should be aware that more than words state the holiday. Aesthetics do so also. That being said, better than avoiding the controversy, seize it. Print cups for every major holiday around this time of year. Remind all of us that some of our neighbours celebrate Christmas. Others celebrate Hannukah. Others celebrate Kwanza. We have the distinct pleasure of living in a multi-cultural mosaic in North America. That makes me happy, even if my coffee comes in the Christmas cup. Starbuck's can even go beyond December. Print cups for other holidays throughout the year. Did you all know that Starbuck's coffees are certified kosher for Pesach?
To the people who are upset at Starbuck's for removing the colours, get a grip. Christians are being murdered in Iraq and Syria. North Korea has concentration camps. The homeless problem in our cities is appalling. To waste time on a couple of words on a coffee cup is an insult to every person suffering anywhere in the world. If you do not like it, bring your own mug. I have a lovely Hannukah mug from Starbuck's. Alternatively, there are many coffee shops in every city and town. Get your morning fix somewhere else. Or you can go to any Starbuck's and purchase this year's Christmas blend . I think they have a holiday blend also.
In years past, Starbuck's has given out free coffee to veterans in honour of Remembrance Day. That is a far more important statement from this company, a statement worth respecting.
The Gorman family has been in Toronto now for over a decade. Jennifer and I will tell you though that we really miss being in Manhattan during December. All of the stores have stacks of Christmas trees out on the sidewalks. It lends a lovely smell and a richness of colour. People smile a little more. Stores are decorated. It is a time-honoured tradition to go to Rockefeller Center to see the tree, and perhaps to take part in the public singing of Handel's "Messiah." I like to purchase a bag of hot chestnuts from the street vendors to nosh while looking at all of the store displays along 5th Avenue. That Christmas is not a Jewish holiday does not mean that we cannot share in the joy of our neighbours. That governments guarantee freedom of religion was never intended to mean that there was to be no public recognition of holidays.
Have a lovely day.