Every year the big national retailers do their best to find out exactly what Christmas means to you, and then super-impose their product onto your vision. Below, we feature Starbucks' 2013 effort to usurp the meaning of Christmas, "Create Wonder | Share Joy":
We think Starbucks coffee tastes good, but it does not create wonder -- at least not the Christmas kind. And when you share their coffee you are not sharing joy, you are just sharing coffee.
We do not mind the exhortation to create wonder and share joy; it is good advice.
But we would find the sign more credible if it said, "Create wonder & share joy: Leave this place and go play The Christmas Game, which would give you a fighting chance of experiencing those things."
Instead, they surround their message with a swirl of magic coming from their cup, as if the aroma of their coffee might ignite the season for you.
Instead, the season will light up when you gather with people you care for, and look them in the eye and find out a little more about who they are and what they care about, and then share some of yourself also. Maybe a joint endeavor would inspire a feeling of closeness, too, which is why we include so many games and challenges in The Christmas Game.
It is possible that "Take orders and go on a coffee run to Starbucks" could be a shared endeavor that could bring people closer. There are blank cards included in The Christmas Game, in case you want to try it.
But we believe that no corporate product creates wonder or shares joy at Christmas. That only happens when you and your loved ones carve out some time and space free of commercial influence and are able to focus on each other and on the reason for the season.
Each year The Christmas Game helps more and more families experience the real wonder and joy of Christmas -- for less than it would cost to buy everyone a latte!
We'll leave the coffee-making to Starbucks. Hopefully they'll leave the Christmas wonder-making to us, because we'll leave it to you.