Although Starbucks denies it, it appears that they have thrown the first spear in the annual war on Christmas. Their "Holiday" cups are red with their green logo. They claim a minimalist approach that will be comfortable for all.
It is Christmas, for Pete's sake. It is not the "name it yourself holiday". It is a celebration of the birth of Christ. A day important to millions of Christians in this country and billions around the world. The martyrs who sacrificed there lives for their faith over the years did not expect it to be denigrated by a mere coffee vendor, no matter how over-blown their self-image.
But, in fact, there are two Christmases. Their is the religious Christmas and there is the secular Christmas. Most Christians celebrate both. But many non-Christians still celebrate the secular holiday. They do that because taking part is both joyous and uplifting.
Starbucks could have used a secular Christmas motif on their cups. Santa and Christmas trees would have satisfied all but the most severe of their critics. But as they have taken a non-religious secular stance, it will be the plain red cup with a logo. I would bet that they are offending more good folks than they are pleasing.
I do not know if the phrase "Merry Christmas" will be heard within the confines of their little coffee shops. I will never know as I will not be found there. I will continue to wish people a Merry Christmas in public, and I will do it in loud ringing tones. If someone takes offence where none is intended it is on them. I take no offence when someone wishes me a Happy Hanukkah or a joyous Kwanzaa. I am willing to celebrate any holiday that is celebrated with joy, peace, and good fellowship.
So let me be among the first to wish you unbelievers and even you haters out there a Merry Christmas. Unclench those anger muscles. Relax. Enjoy the season. Most people are friendly even if you don't want to be. You might even read "A Christmas Carol" and put yourself in the place of Ebeneezer Scrooge. You might even wake up one morning and find you were wrong.