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10 Truly Religious Things to Write on Your Starbucks Christmas Cup

How is this cup offensive?

Published in ChicagoNow, November 10, 2015

OMG! A red and green Starbucks Christmas cup is not good enough. Saying “Happy Holidays” or failing to put up holiday lights is part of the war on Christmas. Really?

I’ll tell you what is truly offensive. Making a big deal out of the commercialization of a major religious holiday by telling me it is not commercialized enough. Assuming everyone in this country celebrates Christmas. And trying to force a coffee shop to create a cup that properly reflects the spirit of Christmas, in your opinion.

In past years, the cup was the same except for faint background images of ornaments, snowflakes, and holly. There were also designs featuring snowmen, animals and kids with scarves, and winter scenes. All of these images reflect the true meaning of Christmas, right?

All of the folks offended by the minimalist Starbucks Christmas cup are free to take a sharpie and write “Merry Christmas” on their cups. But don’t just stop there. Choose one of these truly religious bible verses to scribble on your cup. I suspect any of them are more reflective of the true meaning of Christmas than a bear wearing a scarf.

  1. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31)

  2. Love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18 and Mark 12:31)

  3. Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. (Proverbs 10:12)

  4. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:2)

  5. He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be answered. (Proverbs 21:13)

  6. Learn to do good; seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)

  7. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. (Luke 6:37)

  8. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

  9. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. (1 Timothy 6:18)

  10. With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

As someone who grew up Jewish and loved to sing in her high school choir, it seemed to me that Christmas was everywhere. I remember loving Christmas carols but wondering if it was kosher for me to sing the words to one of my favorites, Hark the Herald Angels Sing:

Hark! The herald angels sing

“Glory to the newborn King”

Peace on earth and mercy mild

God and sinners reconciled

After all, the angels were singing to let everyone know Jesus had been born. The carol celebrated the arrival of the Messiah, and the shepherds traveling to Bethlehem to find Mary and Joseph and the infant Jesus lying in the manger.

This was not what my religion taught me. But the song was beautiful and joyous, so out of respect for those members of the choir who were celebrating what Christmas really meant to them, I sang along.

Peace on the earth, good will to men (or humankind, if you prefer). Write that on your Starbucks Christmas cup… and then put it into practice.



by Laurie Levy
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