Perspective: The Internet that stole Christmas

Ricardo Soltero

Earlier this month, Joshua Feuerstein called out Starbucks in a video that went viral, claiming that the company was waging a war against Christmas. Feuerstein goes on to say that the company’s choice of using the plain two-tone red cup this season was a Starbucks campaign against the holiday.

What comes to my mind is Tina Fey’s recent comment when she herself got caught in controversy.

“I don’t worry about what the Internet says. Getting in trouble with the Internet is not real. The Internet is not a force you have to obey,” Fey said in an interview for The Advocate.

We should be weary of these anger trends on the Internet. Some may be harmless but it can get out of hand very quickly. It started like a video rant and it escalated to Internet rage. Countless memes and everything in between. It sparked anger out of oblivious people.

“Starbucks removed Christmas from their cups because they hate Jesus,” Feuerstein said in his now infamous video.

“Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups? That’s why they’re just plain red,” Feuerstein continued.

According to Feuerstein, the fact that this plain looking cup doesn’t have any snowmen, Christmas trees or snowflakes per say, means Starbucks is denouncing Christmas and Christ altogether.

Laughable, right?

Well if you have paid any attention to recent events, this isn’t the only situation where the “appropriate” Christmas bells and whistles weren’t up to people’s standards.

Just look at what happened when the makers of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups decided to turn their product into the shape of a Christmas tree. That did not go very well, as the chocolate usually didn’t end up in the buyers’ hand looking like a Christmas tree but resembling more of a turd, according to the hundreds of people who went online to complain about this.

Then you have Bill O’Reilly’s now 10-year “War On Christmas” which has found its fair share of supporters. O’Reilly recently claimed that the war has been won as this was the first year that not one store commanded its employees not to say ‘Merry Christmas.”

Who would’ve believed that any of this would gain so much traction and that conservatives would get behind any of it?

It definitely took off and the Internet went nuts over it. Conservatives ate it up. It escalated so quickly that even Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump weighed on the controversy.

“If I become president, we’re all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you. That I can tell you.” said Trump on the eve of the Republican presidential debate.

The problem here is not people wanting their Christmas to look, smell and feel a certain way but the fact that they need any of it for their Christmas to feel like Christmas.

It’s very silly for people to overreact over Frosty the Snowman or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer ‘s absence from promotional materials. To rely on this consumer-based gimmickry to represent your Christmas is what is wrong here. What happened to the original spirit of Christmas? Is it so watered down that we rely on a snowman or a snowflake to validate our Christianity?

People are generally uninformed and don’t know the full story, like the unfounded notion that companies are prohibiting their employees from saying “Merry Christmas.” They would jump the gun at anything that could relatively offend them and wouldn’t bother to check the facts.

Yet lately, companies have felt the need to issue statements to try to validate their reasons to the public for any of their choices. This shines a light on another issue, the fact that the Internet can scream so loud in rage, that say a company like Starbucks needs to set the record straight, feels like a step backwards.

The Internet gave voice to the so-called “keyboard warriors.” Those who troll around the web, finding what offends them next and moving on. This goes back to Fey’s comment about the Internet not being real. It’s not. Most of these scandals disappear within the week or two, moving on to the next big wave of things that will cause a stir and offend the people.

People may move on but the thought remains for many. What happened to our wonderful Christmas? Do we feel so threatened that we have to suffocate others with false symbolism and complain why the rest of our non-Christian neighbors are not being forced to wish us a “Merry Christmas?”

This holiday season, don’t give in to fabricated stories that are meant more harm than help. Nobody is waging a war against Christmas. Enjoy this holiday season with the family and remember what made your Christmas so great in the first place. Make it your own. Facebook likes, re-tweets and Instagram post be damned.