Tim Welch, Contributing Writer
By now, almost all of us have availed ourselves of the latest salvo in the so-called “War on Christmas” – the Starbucks cup controversy.
At the beginning of this month, Starbucks began distributing their coffee in plain red cups to acknowledge the holiday season.
Some people are upset that the cups aren’t “Christmassy enough” (last year, apparently, Starbucks’ cups had snowflake designs and other holiday kitsch on them). I think this whole cup controversy is utterly ridiculous.
Not because there’s not enough acknowledgement of Christmas, or that a lot of us are so close-minded we can’t deal with the thought of acknowledging non-Christian holidays.
In my opinion, the real problem is that we are getting keyed up over Christmas before Thanksgiving has even happened at all.
What do you think of when you think of Thanksgiving? – Turkey? Pilgrims? Football? Unfortunately, I think that most people are and will be thinking about Black Friday.
Black Friday – the infamous day when people leave their families to go fight other people for a 50% discount on X-commercial product; the day the Christmas/holiday season traditionally starts; or simply the day after Thanksgiving.
It is so named because so many people go shopping on that day that stores “go in the black,” meaning they make a boat-load of money, which is what the holidays are actually all about.
The other day, I actually heard a reporter on the news refer to Thanksgiving as “the day before Black Friday.”
I find it funny that in spearheading a “Merry Christmas” attitude, so many of us have trampled over the only holiday on the calendar which actually began as a Christian celebration.
Remember, Christmas is a reappropriation of Saturnalia, Halloween/All Saints’ Day is a reappropriation of Samhain, and Easter is really a reappropriation of Passover.
In fact, the Pilgrims came up with Thanksgiving as a replacement holiday for Christmas, which they felt was too secular and commercial.
Granted, Thanksgiving has its own baggage – it undeniably marks the start of the erasure of Native American culture from this continent.
But we can’t even have a viable conversation on how to reconcile the holiday with its history.
That’s because we’re too busy whining about Starbucks cups not having snowflakes on them – as though snowflakes are synonymous with Christmas in Florida anyway.
So I actually am offended by the Starbucks red cup controversy.
Not because their cups aren’t Christmassy enough – but because they’re taking away from Thanksgiving.
Christmas gets enough attention. Let’s try to give some to Thanksgiving.