Is Christmas Our Whore?

~the heart of compassion found in a red cup

Starbucks red cup controversy
(Facebook post from Austin Blood.)

In the last week of October, a Facebook friend posted:  “Let’s get through Halloween and Thanksgiving before the Christmas season starts.”

Less than a week later, that same friend posted a meme that said: “It’s okay to say Merry Christmas and One Nation Under God. (Share if you agree.)”

This past Sunday, I stepped into the Dollar Store and was stunned to hear Christmas music. The store was empty except for two clerks who were unpacking a heck of a lot of red and green and gold for sale.

Today, I find my Facebook wall filling up with red Starbucks cups. Apparently, some kind of Christmas controversy is brewing. Even Donald Trump weighed in:

No more ‘Merry Christmas’ at Starbucks. No more. Maybe we should boycott…

If I become President, we’re all going to be saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again.

My baby sister, who was once a Starbucks Barista, had this to offer:

The cups never said Christmas on them. It was normally snowmen and snowflakes. They still sell their Christmas blend coffee and Christmas albums and what not. Some Christians are saying there is a “War on Christmas.”  I’m assuming these are the same people that are upset people say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” It’s all quite silly. First world problems.

Others are mocking the controversy and ridiculing those engaged in it. Austin Blood, an author and relationship expert posted this:

ARE YOU PEOPLE FOR REAL?
We’ve got ISIS planting on bombs on passenger planes, children being sold into sexual slavery, millions of Syrian refugees wondering where their next meal will come from and you folks are screaming about a cup?

Alas, the Starbucks cup controversy didn’t capture my interest until I read the voice of a friend of a Facebook friend who took Austin Blood’s post one notch higher. Hilary K Maley, of Basalt, Colorado, agreed with Blood that perspective was needed, but she replied with a call for something else–compassion–surprisingly on behalf of those upset with the cups; but not for the reason I expected:

I think folks release their valves any and everywhere they are able. I feel for those up in arms around the slightest of things… & yet, stubbing my toe on the bed’s edge, or cleaning up cat vomit, can send me into tirades. Let’s be real here, many are in pain & are suffering, w/out a realization of where & how they release the pain. I say, let em be pissed w/ Starbucks for a NY minute…. PERSPECTIVE is imperative…but so is compassion. Years ago I had a friend in my life (may he RIP) who was nastier than Jack Nicholson’s character in As Good As It Gets. Nasty to his core to every human being he encountered, seething through his final years/days. I did my damnedest to understand his plight, but most times I pushed back & defended or stood in front of those he unleashed on… Literally. Eventually, I came to understand his suffering. No amount of money (he owned half of Chicago) could soothe what ailed him. He lived a loveless life. All his world was bought & sold. Even me, on a level. At the end of the day, & his life, I knew his pain & how & why he spewed it onto others. He couldn’t contain his own self loathing & internal rage. Those in the most pain tend to be the most angry, cruel, or absurd in their reactions to things. Bless their broken hearts. If they need to release their valves on Starbucks, so be it. Starbucks can take it. & remember this when your cohort, sibling, aging, ailing parent does the same to you, turning the other cheek takes on new meaning when you sit & think of someone’s cross to bear. A great teacher of mine once said, you’d run to help a stranger who is bleeding in the street in pain, but when it comes to a loved one in rage, in desperate pain, you turn on them, taking personally their rants. It has nothing to do w/ you. Have enough esteem to let it go or if you’re able, offer solace. They are suffering just as much as those w/ open wounds. Maybe even more so. Because we can’t & wont see their wounds… & we refuse to help.

Christmas isn’t her whore.

(ps.Starbucks can take it.” That’s my favorite part.)

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