(I apologize in advance that this post was written about 6 weeks ago and never got posted. We worked A LOT in November and December. I updated where I felt it was relevant. Hey, I’m just happy I got it posted before 2016! and if you haven’t seen my favorite movie, It’s a wonderful life, then the pictures will probably seem weird and unrelated. It made sense in my own little world…)
I don’t watch television, and I haven’t listened to the radio since my car was totaled a few weeks ago. The only way I found out about the red cup situation, is because I work at Starbucks. I’ve worked there for over two years now, in addition to many other jobs.
One day I came in at 630am, and everything was red. Did people come in offended, outraged, disappointed? No. People came in thirsty for coffee and tea, ready to start their work day, and grateful for the cup that was placed in their hand, regardless of the color. : )
you see, sometimes the outside of the vessel, is pretty irrelevant compared to whats inside.
Some people always miss the big picture…
To the people who are angry- Did you spend more time today creating a beautiful, warm, comforting, motivating heart, mind and soul inside of you? Did it bring light, hope, and joy into the lives around you? Or did you spend more time sculpting, painting, comforting, arranging, altering, decorating, and enhancing the outside, while the inside rotted, became stale, and brought darkness, temptation, or nothing, to the lives around you? I hope that, if you have time to protest against a paper cup, that you first took adequate time to assess your personal situation and see if you have any logs in your eyes. I know I sure do, I can hardly see over here with these planks! Speaking of logs, is anyone concerned about the trees that the cups came from? I would like to see a recycled brown cup for Christmas next year with white snow, snowmen, and snowflakes : ) (so at least we could dream about a White Christmas while we sweat in front of our fans and dry out our umbrellas)
Hey here is an idea, Starbucks actually sells ceramic, metal, and plastic cups. You could get one of those- hey! even a Christmassy one!- and you could get your coffee inside of that! Maybe you could buy one for someone else, and they could use it to get their own coffee! AND, you would each get a discount every time you used it. Starbucks rewards people 10 cents at a time for using an eco option- a reusable cup- you can use any cup, you don’t even have to buy one at Starbucks. You can bring one in with Jesus crosses all over it! with sequins! maybe someone sells light up christmas cups.. I would like to see a coffee cup that is clear with snow like a snowglobe. If you are so proud of your faith, that you feel the need to demand a company express it for you on a cup, why don’t you express it for yourself, year round, every day? Write your favorite scripture on there and inspire your barista. : ) or at least some spiritual art work to glance at while punching a touch screen or steaming milk.
Hey, you could buy a regular 2 dollar coffee, in a plain red paper cup, that has a white lid and a green logo, filled with steaming hot coffee and give it to the cold homeless people who are in the streets begging for change and looking for food. Theres some Christmas spirit nobody is talking about! If you think the homeless guy wont like it, then you can definitely get him a Christmas gift card, with snowmen, trees, or something more festive and shiny. Because shiny and glossy and bright is what Christmas is all about right? Maybe you can buy him a Christmas ornament, shaped like a more festive Starbucks cup, and he can hang it on his tent and stare at it on Christmas morning while his stomach rumbles hungrily.
You could bring a red cup of coffee or Christmas gift card to your boss, the lady in the parking deck, your coworker, your grandma, your brother, your husband, your mama, your child’s teacher, the construction workers who have been in the cold and rain all week… I wonder if they would say, “Hey, wheres the snowflakes?! What kind of establishment breaks out the Christmas cups, ornaments, advent calendars, and Christmas carols the day after Halloween, and decides to use a classy, classic, festive PLAIN red cup? They must hate Jesus.”
I once had a very old man bring in a reusable cup to get coffee, and it had handrawn male reproductive organs all over it, and had the word “penis” all over it. I told him it was a nice cup(You know, just to get a feel for the situation) and he was happy to get a discount and said he picked it up at a thrift store when he lost his other favorite cup he had had for years…..
you see? Starbucks doesn’t care. Last year when I was working there, we had(barely visible) snowflakes and trees on the cups. Are those Christmassy? I mean God created them, but that can be celebrated year round. I didn’t know that was the meaning of Christmas. It seems this year the meaning of Christmas is complaining and protesting meaningless things.
And the whole thing is pretty confusing.
It seems to be labeled as a Christianity issue, but nobody can tell me why. The amount of people who celebrate Christmas and arent Christians is a large number. and I still dont get what cups have to do with the holiday.
Whoever is upset about these cups- and I havent met anyone yet- How often have you read your bible and been in constant communication with The Most High God recently? How is that relationship going? How are you treating those around you, including the Starbucks baristas, your family, your neighbors, those that you see in need, those that you may not see- that you KNOW of, that are in need, your coworkers, your pets, your children, the lady moving slow as molasses at Walmart…
You see, I am a normal human being, I am a disastrous mess. I have so many problems, and I am better than no person. I know this, very well, and this is why I don’t have time to complain about cups.
aint nobody got time for that.
I do know, that Starbucks and their customers have helped me to eat, get married and have a wonderful wedding, pay bills and rent, one of our dogs came from a Starbucks customer (even though she crazy!!), get groceries and gas, get our awesome house, build an orphanage, (www.gmchildrensministry.org) pay for numerous surgeries for our future son, help our ministry partners survive when they each had medical crisis, help pay for a funeral of an orphaned child we had wanted to adopt, and so much more. My boss even gave me a recliner and sofa.
My coworkers have helped me through the day to day drudgery when sometimes it is really just too much to take.
Some of our customers, tip every day, or every week. They have no idea, what that small amount of money(split between employees) has been able to accomplish for us in combination with a lot of prayer, sacrifice, hard work. and strategy. They are under no obligation to be generous, but they are, year round.
Some of these customers come in multiple times a day and not one customer has mentioned the cup debacle without laughing, making a joke, or saying how stupid it really is.
(UPDATE: It finally happened.(2 weeks after I wrote this!) A cranky lady with a scrunched up face came in with the worst attitude, did not respond when I said Good morning, and then barked at me,
“So, you’re still going to call it Christmas blend even though you don’t celebrate Christmas???” while tapping the stack of red cups beside me.
I responded calmly(Not sure how my face looked as I have minimal control over what it expresses…), “I don’t know what you mean by that. We have Christmas blend, dark roast or blonde, whichever you would like, and I do celebrate Christmas.” I believe she got a dark roast and huffed out of the store. No tip, no thank you, no nothing but ugly. Merry Christmas. I just want my child to not be bedridden in two casts for Christmas, I would burn every red cup in existence to achieve that. Is it so hard to say thank you to those working in food service and retail? We are humans too, with A LOT on our minds, just like you.)
Here is an idea, if you want to make the holiday season more merry and bright, next time you are in Starbucks, order your drink, then graciously thank the baristas on register, food, and bar, give them a Christmas card thanking them for dealing with your mess everyday and their contribution to your life, and then put a 50 in the tip jar. Christmas spirit- you nailed it. you just created it. Give those run down, sad, broke, and tired baristas a Christmas miracle and a renewed faith in humanity. Even I tip when I go to Starbucks and I never have money! It’s a well known joke at our store that everyone in our families gets coffee for Christmas and birthdays, because we get a pound of coffee for free each week, and we cant afford gifts. You can change that and make our Christmas super special! Maybe we can have enough for student loans, food, AND gifts for loved ones this year!
Another idea, every time you get a reward on the Starbucks reward program, use the amount of money you saved with a free drink, and put it in the tip jar. then buy the coffee for the lady behind you! awesome!!!! you are a kind, generous, smile creating machine! : )
(ANOTHER UPDATE! the week before Christmas there was definitely some Christmas spirit going into the tip jar! We got tips of 75, 40, 20, 10, 5, all different amounts. the 75 definitely blew me completely away, I wanted to run down the street crying and hugging the man, while he tried to quietly slip away… but seriously these people showed me some Christmas I didn’t expect and didn’t see last year. Not that Christmas is all about money, but the idea of giving away money- what supposedly makes the world go round, to someone you barely know, who really needs the money to survive, because you are a nice person, is so wonderful.
The only reason I even applied to Starbucks, is that I wanted to start this website and my own business, I wanted to follow my dreams as a missionary, artist, teacher, and homemaker, to make a life for myself and my future family,
but then… I met my sons.
I came back from Uganda and started working at Starbucks for several reasons- I knew when we got married we would eventually have children and I needed to get some health insurance. I also needed money to pay our bills as my savings from my wilderness treatment center job and teaching recycled green art and gardening jobs had run dry and i was not established enough or selling enough art to keep up.
The main reason above all for starting the job is that they offer adoption assistance. Most people don’t even know that. Are you as concerned about the benefits they offer their employees and how they DO make a difference in the world as you are about a disposable cup you are drinking out of and instagramming?! and then flinging in the trash. They have no obligation to offer these benefits. yet they do.
Why don’t you stay at home and use your keurig or french press or coffee maker or pour over to make your own coffee or tea, and then the money that you save from not going to Starbucks(you are boycotting remember, the cups were too upsetting?) you can save all of that money and be a Christmas miracle blessing! And I don’t mean to the big huge wealthy charities who will strike it rich this Christmas season, you can give it to this family, The Hanks TRIBE, who will distribute it among vulnerable children and be a TRUE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. Or we can use it to finally bring home our beautiful son who we have waited painfully and miserably for, for two and half years now, while (sometimes)smiling at you every morning handing you your coffee, constantly on the brink of tears depending on the day and recent heartbreak.
(UPDATE: We did use our extra money from tips, bonuses, overtime work, gifts, and donations, to buy gifts for family, pay bills, gas to get to our families houses, leaving nice tips at coffee shops and restaurants, but mostly, we sent it to Uganda, to pay for our childs hospital bill and to give the GM Childrens Home kids some new clothes for Christmas, they went to church, ate, and celebrated and did many activities. : )
Whether we receive the assistance or not, and I believe we will, Jake and I will be grateful for every dollar we received from Starbucks AND Home depot, while we worked there, along with every benefit and experience, along with money we have in our 401ks. And less about ourselves, we will be grateful for the fact that Starbucks supports such an awesome thing, that changes lives around the globe and builds families.(family and love has always been the meaning of Christmas for me, as this is where I learned what Godly love truly is) : )
If you have a problem with people not being festive and outwardly decorative for Christmas, then you have a problem with us. Because I refuse to decorate for Christmas, I wont even put up a tree or wreath, until my son is home to experience it. Aint nobody got time. There are support letters to send, funds to raise, parenting articles to read, prayers to be prayed on hands and knees everyday, belongingings to be sold, websites to build, coffees to handout, bills to be paid, frugal meals to be cooked, and 4 jobs to be hustling at. We don’t even have time for sleep who cares about a cup. I just need the coffee. with my discount please because we’ve got an adoption to pay for. We are fasting from the shiny decorative side of Christmas until our son is here, because we have both had beautiful, wonderful, blessed, warm and loving Christmases our whole lives, and he never has. We cannot wait to share with him, what Christmas is like for us.
If you really want to be a Christmas blessing, a blessing that will last long into the future, longer than gifts and food and trees, help us get our child home in 2016 as soon as possible! Pray for us and donate if you can.
MAYBE YOU want to pay for our friend George’s surgery or buy the kids a Christmas dinner or gifts? let us know!!! whether you love or hate the cups, we love you, and we love these kids, and we would love to hear from you.
(UPDATE- the kids had a great Christmas and George is doing well. Thanks to all who made this possible!)
This post is not meant to offend anyone, or shun anyone, I love you, and if you dont like the cup, you dont like the cup. and thats fine. I dont love the cup- I dont care about the cup. Its not on my radar. When I receive messages that my child has broken his leg yet again, or has typhoid, and I don’t have a way to do anything about it, and nobody cares, or when I realize that my children in our children’s home still don’t have reliable access to water, medical care, enough food to eat, money to pay for school, nice clothes to wear, that is what makes me angry.
And when I realize how much money every one will spend on trees, wreaths, food, gifts, etc, this year, it breaks my heart that we must consume that much here with the money and resources we’ve been blessed with instead of sharing some with those who have nothing. Those who have never even celebrated that type of Christmas. Those who have never experience comfort or peace in life. Those who have NOTHING to their name, but are still more generous and loving than all of us.
We are the vessels y’all.
God is the coffee.
He keeps me going, he gives me energy when I have none left. He soothes and comforts me when I’m alone, cold, distraught, worried, concerned, hopeless, he lifts me up out of the dark and into the light and soothes and warms my soul. We are the cup. Are you filled up? Are you full of the Lord? and who are you going to share the Lord with this holiday season and in the coming year?
Who are you warming, feeding, comforting, reaching out to?
We all have something to give.
On a side note-
Why does nobody care that Thanksgiving got skipped this year? I’m not a vegetarian anymore, and after 8 years, I’m ready for some Turkey!!!!!!!! We should all sit around with turkey legs like at the renaissance festivals and we can put them all to the center for prayers, and then proceed to dip them in our individual bowls of gravy. (oh no, who am i?!)
There is not a war on Christmas. okay there is. There is a war on everything. that is life. Good and Evil. The war is not on Christmas, the war is for your life, and most importantly, your soul. The red cups are not forever, but your soul is. where will you spend eternity!? and what kind of cups will they have in heaven?! I cant wait to find out.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!! may we all be grateful for each and every blessing bestowed upon us graciously by THE MOST HIGH LORD and FATHER, each and every day. Thank you Lord for EVERY. THING! AMEN.
update 1.1.16-fundraising page!