It’s beginning to look not enough like Christmas

...but get your sleigh bells out because, according to both Fleet Street and the high street, it’s OFFICIALLY CHRISTMAS ALREADY!!!!!!!!!

Annoying, isn’t it? Some shops are so confused they’ve still got their Zombie Brains Halloween Candy Bites out alongside their Happy Santa Reindeer Chocoballs.

And now, to add to it all, a Tory MP has managed to manufacture a complete “political correctness gone mad” non-story out of Starbucks apparently hating Christmas. Starbucks have had the temerity to issue festive paper cups in a uniform shade of red. And, er, that’s it. Nothing else. Quite literally nothing else, which is why Sir David Amess MP is so irate and has been calling for the “idiot” designer to be “sacked”.

You see, according to Sir David, Starbucks have failed to refer to Christmas at all in their seasonal redesign. He’s especially distraught at the lack of snowmen and snowflakes, those time-honoured symbols of the Christian faith. Clearly this is an attack on Christianity itself (as the usual suspects have been quick to suggest)!

Except, of course, that Starbucks have referenced Christmas: Christmas is one of the few festivals of any sort with its own brand identity, even its own colour scheme. It's a good start that Starbucks' own house colours are green and white but add a merry ho-ho-ho red and - bless my figgy pudding - you've got Christmas! When did it become compulsory to add reindeer (not a species indigenous to Roman-era Palestine) or stars (even that star is only attested in one out of four gospels) to every last ephemeron of the trivial secular spendfest that is the modern Most Wonderful Time of the Year™? Is there no room for simple design values?

We’re not sure where the Honourable Member for Southend West would draw the decorative line. Where does he stand on holly leaves? Are poinsettias permitted? Should there be mandatory minimum glitter per article? Does he wish to see every lily gilded, every mulled wine overspiced? Would he have been happier were the Infant Saviour to be depicted on a one-use, valueless receptacle destined for landfill or recycling?

Personally, we at BrandSoup like the quiet, sophisticated understatement of the red cup. Actually, in this instance, we wholeheartedly support Starbucks, and we never thought we'd find ourselves saying that! We’re also delighted to remind ourselves that Sir David (or plain “David” as he was back then) was the MP who let himself be duped into asking parliamentary questions about the fictitious drug “cake”. He’s clearly given just as much careful thought to his latest pronouncements.

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