The Tale of Two Red Cups

I am always behind the curve in what is trending, so I am probably becoming aware of the “Starbucks Red Cup Saga” just as others are moving on to something else that is just as meaningless.

That said, the tale of the first “Red Cup” is a short story about “Advent.”

The word, Advent, is a noun which means “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event” and is most commonly used at this time of year by Christians to signify “the first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.”

Most people, regardless of faith – or lack of faith for that matter -are aware that in the month of November “Advent Calendars” go on sale.

Question: “What is an advent calendar? How does an advent calendar relate to Christmas?”

Answer: “The word ‘Advent’ has a Latin origin meaning ‘the coming,’ or more accurately, ‘coming toward.’ For Christian believers, Christmas is one of the greatest events in the yearly cycle, being the celebration of the greatest gift ever given by God to mankind. That gift was Jesus, the Son of God Himself, born into this world in human form and coming to live among us to show us the true nature of God, experience human joy and sorrow along with us, and finally, going of His own will to die a horrible, agonizing death. In this way the price was paid for all human sin that had cut us off from our Holy God and Heavenly Father, resulting in our complete and total reconciliation with Him.

Centuries ago, the importance of this event caused many Christians to feel that it was inadequate merely to mark off only one day on the yearly calendar for celebrating this incredible gift from God. Believers had (and still do have) such a sense of awe and overwhelming gratitude and wonder at what happened that first Christmas that they felt the need for a period of preparation immediately beforehand. They could then not only take time themselves to meditate on it, but also teach their children the tremendous significance of Christmas.” (from

Behold, the 2015 Starbucks Advent Calendar below. Has Starbucks insulted Christians and taken a stance against Christmas? I think not.

Now for the second tale, which I personally find much more interesting:

I live in Washington, DC, and at ‘my’ Starbucks located on ‘H’ St. NW next to Walmart I recently purchased my morning mud in a red cup. I have seen all of the signs in Starbucks everywhere, proclaiming how enlightened they are and boasting of their concern for the environment and the human condition.

Very, very admirable on both counts.

I have to admit that I have resisted buying one of the many ‘refillable’ cups they sell (some of which are quite expensive, mind you), but I – well, there is no excuse, but this particular story isn’t about me.

It is rare that I linger in Starbucks long enough to get a refill, but twice in recent days I have returned to the counter with my red cup to have it refilled, only to have my ‘barista’ refuse to take it and, instead, opting to fill a brand new cup, with a brand new lid, and a brand new sleeve.

This is done for ‘health reasons’ which totally escape me since (and let me make sure I have this right) they want me to buy a $20 cup to bring in from the STREET, that has been in my HOME, and been exposed to an entire COMMUNITY of germs which they will then gladly fill, and refill to my heart’s content with no concern for the health and welfare of the public at large.

But they will not refill a cup I just purchased, thereby being environmentally UNfriendly, and wasting a perfectly good anti-Christian, anti-Christmas, communist red cup in the process!

“Lucy. You got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

Originally posted on “Medium”

About Tony Casson

" For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
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2 Responses to The Tale of Two Red Cups

  1. Don Woodall says:

    love it; you have written a classic here:)


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