The Atlantic‘s Emma Green is entirely accurate about the ridiculous nature of this supposed controversy.
“Maybe we should boycott Starbucks. I don’t know,” Donald Trump said on Monday night at a speech in Springfield, Illinois. “Seriously, I don’t care.”
It was a rare moment of trollish apathy for the Donald, considering that he was referring to the kind of peevish campaign that’s right up his alley: a video going around the Internet by a guy named Joshua Feuerstein—he calls himself “an American evangelist, Internet, and social media personality”—raging against “the age of political correctness” and the new seasonal coffee cups at Starbucks.
“Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ, and Christmas, off of their brand-new cups? That’s why they’re just plain red,” he says.
First off, just to be clear, the long-haired, chill-looking person on Starbucks’s cups isn’t Jesus—she’s “a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or Siren.” And though Starbucks says it “has told a story of the holidays by featuring symbols of the season from vintage ornaments and hand-drawn reindeer to modern vector-illustrated characters” since 1997, there was never a time when someone could sip a latte out of a nativity-scene-decorated cup.
[. . .]
In an email, a Starbucks spokesperson said that the company’s baristas “are not provided a script or a policy around greeting customers. They are simply encouraged to create a welcoming environment to delight each person who walks through our doors.” So, no, Feuerstein isn’t right—there’s no ban on Christmas greetings at Starbucks. That being said, Starbucks is a global company that serves millions of customers per day at over 23,000 stores in 68 countries, including the United States, which is home to people who celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, other holidays, or nothing at all in December. They can’t, as a matter of protocol, wish everyone a Merry Christmas. For those who really, really need their barista to wish them a Merry Christmas to find their delight, Feuerstein has a solution: Tell her your name is “Merry Christmas,” and then she’ll have to say it when she’s fixed your hot beverage of choice.