Photo by: Starbucks

My Toddler Gets Upset Over Red Cups Too

Photo by: Starbucks

There’s trouble in Latte Land. Red cups are alleged to not be Christmassy enough. Usually around this time of year we are complaining about Christmas stuff coming out before Remembrance Day and how it’s poor form to celebrate the holidays before our veterans. Apparently, some folks are more mad that their personal beliefs aren’t being sufficiently promoted by a private company that is no way obligated to do so.

This is clearly a devastating turn of events. I can tell you stories about all the times my child used to throw a tantrum when I gave him a plain red cup and he wanted the blue one. He can definitely sympathize about the darkness of days when your receive a cup that does not meet your expectations. Plain red cups ruined his life too. The good news is that you can get through this. I’m going to share with you some ideas on how you can celebrate Christmas even if your cup is just plain red.

1. Share it with someone who can’t afford a five dollar coffee. Jesus hung out with all sorts of people who couldn’t pay for a latte if one were available. The Christmas spirit is about giving, not having your religious beliefs endorsed by a multinational corporation.

2. Drink it while educating yourself about actual examples of religious persecution. Select examples that result in death or dismemberment and not just hurt feelings. Now look up “privilege” and think really hard about your situation and see which is more likely to be applicable.

3. Next, read about imprinting. I get it. You have come to expect holiday doodles on your coffee receptacle and that’s celebrating Christmas to you. Unfortunately, that’s like a baby duck following a tractor thinking it’s their mom. It’s a coffee cup. It’s not an angel heralding the arrival of Jesus. If it were an angel heralding the arrival of Jesus, would you pour scalding hot coffee in it? That seems like an incredibly horrible thing to do to an angel. What kind of monster are you?

4. After that, review confirmation bias. When you believe something to be true, you tend to look for examples that support your position and you remember them. This further reinforces your previously held belief and you believe it even more strongly. It’s a logical fallacy. Before you walked into that coffee shop with a green awning, did you already decide that big business does not sufficiently support your belief system? Could confirmation bias be at play here?

5. Make a list of all the things you do without your coffee cup telling you to do it. Let me start you off: Breathe. Pee. Poop. Call your mom and let her know you are okay and ask how she’s doing too. Would you look at that? That’s like four things. How can you argue you needed your coffee cup to tell you to celebrate Christmas?

6. Decorate it in the style that suits you. Consider it a blank canvas. Do you yell at people in an art supply store that there is no masterpeice on the canvas you just purchased? “I expected Van Gogh and it’s all white and boring and blah. How did you not anticipate my specific artistic style and preferences?” No. You paint on it. So grab a sharpie and Christmas your own damn cup. Seriously. I hear colouring is really therapeutic and the holidays are stressful. Starbucks obviously recognized this and gave you enough room to draw one of those complex mandalas while you listen to elderly relatives ask you why you aren’t married yet and why you have so many cats.

7. Manage your expectations. The mission of a coffee cup is to safely carry coffee without burning the finger tips of the person trying to transport it. It is not the responsibility of a coffee cup to publicly uphold your personal religious values. Did you avoid getting burnt by your cup, regardless of the plainness of its decor? Say “That’ll do, cup, that’ll do.” (Like on Babe).

8. Do a headcount. How many people are in your location right now? How many of them do you think believe exactly the same thing as you? Ask yourself why you think you are so special that your beliefs should be emblazoned on a cup to the exclusion of all others.

9. Consider how many other products do not contain a Christmas message. My toilet paper had no seasonal greeting on it and I used it anyways. Why is toilet paper above being boycotted? Is there an official list of products which require seasonal messaging and those that don’t?

If these tips don’t help you celebrate Christmas with your plain red cup, I have one more suggestion. It’s about thankfulness and it’s what my child says about Christmas gifts. “You get what you get, and don’t throw a fit!” Repeat this a few times, drink your coffee and embrace the simple message. This is coming from a kid whose life was ruined by a lot of red cups over the years, so he’s kind of an expert. However you choose to celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a good one. I leave you with these words from How The Grinch Stole Christmas:

Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.

Alison Tedford is a freelance writer and mommy of one from Abbotsford, BC. She is a data analyst, an eating disorder support group facilitator and a pole dancer. She documents her journey in fitness, feminism and parenting on Sparkly Shoes and Sweat Drops. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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