Santa Claus is being banned from Christmas markets in Germany and Austria.
Anti-Santa campaigners claim Father Christmas was invented by Coca-Cola and detracts from the true spirit of the festive season.
Austria's biggest Christmas market is in front of the Vienna city hall where thousands of visitors march past stalls offering everything related to Xmas - except Santa.
The only Santa to be seen is the one in the middle of the occasional 'Ban Santa' stickers.
A Vienna city hall spokesman confirmed: "There are rules governing what stallholders can do and one of them is to agree not to use the image of santa as a condition of being able to trade there.
"Santa is an English language creation, people who want to see him should go to America where I am sure Coca Cola will be happy to oblige."
The move in Vienna has been followed by Christmas markets across Austria and Germany where St Nicholas is the traditional bearer of Christmas gifts.
Bettina Schade, from the Frankfurter Nicholas Initiative in Germany, said: "We object to the material things, the hectic rush to buy gifts, and the ubiquity of the bearded man in the red suit that are taking away from the core meaning of Christmas.
"The Christian origins of Christmas, like the birth of Jesus, have receded into the background. It's becoming more and more a festival that is reduced to simply worldly gifts and commerce." -- www.ananova.com