But we anti-Christmas warriors are getting in our licks early, I am proud to say. The Starbucks Christmas coffee cup is a deep red this year. One could even say a Christmas-y red. That is not good enough for Christmas defenders. They bemoan the lack of elves, Santas, reindeer and snowflakes, which have apparently decorated Starbucks' Christmas cups in the past, and accuse Starbucks of muting its holiday joe containers to avoid offending people like Jews, Hindus, atheists and people who are just fed up with Christmas from the day after Halloween to December 26th.
The Christmaseers already have a leader in Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who said of the Starbucks move:
"Maybe we should boycott Starbucks... I don't know. Seriously. I don't care. By the way: That's the end of that lease. But who cares? Who cares? Who cares?!"
It's not exactly "Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead," or "I have not yet begun to fight," in terms of American war rhetoric, but in this era of shrinking American pride, Trump is the best the crazy Christmas crowd has. Apparently.
So I bought one, spending a few minutes in Starbucks to do so, which always causes me to wonder at the number of Americans who can't brew coffee or get an Internet connection at home. The cup still has the Starbucks mermaid on it, who I freely admit has one thing in common with Satan,* but apart from that, doesn't seem to have much potential to be weaponized. You could use it to toss a scalding Frappucino at a mall elf, I suppose, but if you wanted to make a Molotov cocktail to chuck at a Nativity display, you'd be better off with a beer bottle. Besides, for Nativity displays, I prefer to sneak into the churchyard in the early hours of the AM and dress Mary, Joseph and any attending shepherds or angels in Yasser Arafat-style headdresses. It's more risible by far and circumvents those pesky arson laws.
The other pre-Thanksgiving Christmas controversy comes to us from Menlo Park, New Jersey, former home of Thomas Edison. His genius hasn't rubbed off into its present-day settlers apparently, because the local mall has installed, prior to Turkey Day, what its critics have called a 'strip club Santa.'
For those of you who are drooling to get over to Menlo Park and see this lascivious display, calm yourselves. No actual strippers are present. Instead, your regular rotund Santa is there, but instead of being surrounded by trees and reindeer, he has several pearly white glowing arches around him. They are supposed to represent glaciers.
They don't look like any glaciers I've ever seen.** They look more like something you might see in Saint Louis if you had sampled enough on the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour that you couldn't keep track of the number of arches in the sky.
Faced with outrage, the mall crumbled and installed a couple of trees, but people are still honked-off and threatening to go to other malls and see other Santas. We anti-Christmas guerrillas count this as victory and are shouting "Cry havoc, and unleash the Starbucks cups of war!"
Because we're better rhetoricians than Donald Trump. Who isn't?
*Neither of them exists.