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November 10, 2015

From KoP to Starbucks, Christmas controversy season in full swing

Complaints include trees, Santa, and cup designs that have some seeing red

It's barely over a week into November, and this year's battle has already begun.

That's right. We haven't even gotten to Thanksgiving and the "war on Christmas," and the rebellion against it, has already begun.

In Reading, a controversy about aesthetics has been quelled. City residents who complained about the "Charlie Brown" tree that sat in the city's square last November won't have to worry this year.

Following outrage over the tree that was described as "pitiful," the city has brought in a 25-foot, full bodied concolor fir to stand in its place.

Elsewhere, Mr. Claus' abode had drawn the ire of holiday shoppers. At the King of Prussia Mall, a futuristic set-up to house this year's Santa visit had some shouting that the PC police were afoot.

Philadelphia Magazine reports that the spaceship-looking "North Pole" has sparked a number of complaints, from the simple comments about its appearance to cries over persecution.

The mall has decided to change the look since the owner, Simon Malls, also received backlash at five other locations where Santa's modern digs were put in place.

But that wasn't before a petition against the KoP mall was started, with comments from signees ranging from mildly upset to positively mad. Here's a sampling via Philadelphia Mag:

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion MUST be equal for everyone! Do not take my right to celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ because someone else doesn't believe it. I do... what about my rights??!!

The local examples don't even come close to the frontlines set up against Starbucks.

Since the company decided to go with a minimalist red design instead of snowflakes and other Christmas time imagery on their holiday cups this year, some have taken the simplicity as a slight to the holiday.

An Arizona pastor, "legally carrying a gun" into the store and making mostly inaccurate claims about Starbucks' holiday policies, decided not to boycott but instead tell a barista his name was "Merry Christmas" to force the employee to say the phrase.

In the Facebook video explaining his reasoning, which now has more than 14 million views, he goes on to ask others to use the hashtag #MerryChristmasStarbucks to stick it to the coffee chain.

Many ultimately used the hashtag to mock the idea of the movement.

Others, though, used it as a rallying cry:

Even Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has joined the fray, passively suggesting a boycott on Starbucks and reinforcing everyone would be saying "Merry Christmas" under his administration.

Somewhere, Linus weeps.