Feature

Bah, humbug

The week's news at a glance.

Vienna

A religious group is urging Austrians to return to their Catholic roots this Christmas and eschew “American” symbols of the holiday. In the Austrian tradition, it isn’t Santa Claus who brings presents on Christmas Eve, it is the infant Jesus. (And he doesn’t come down the chimney, he slips into the house through an open window.) Yet in recent years, Santa decorations have been popping up in markets and malls all over Austria, and the Pro–Christ Child Society says it is appalled. “We’re not really against Santa Claus,” said Phillipp Tengg, the society’s founder. “We’re against the fact that Santa Claus has become an advertising symbol of almost boundless consumption.” The society is slapping “No Santa” stickers—a picture of the jolly old elf with a big red slash across him—all over Vienna.

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