German discount retailer Penny has introduced a rainbow-colored holiday chocolate in the familiar shape of Saint Nick to celebrate “diversity, tolerance, and love” — and, naturally, concerned citizens have taken to social media to express their dismay.
The limited-edition rainbow “Zipfelmann” didn’t make its way to store shelves until November 6, but Penny’s Facebook announcement on November 3 quickly drew attention, garnering over 11,000 likes, along with 4,000 comments and nearly as many shares.
The Facebook comments, as carefully selected by Bento (link in German), run the gamut from pearl-clutching panic over the decline of Western civilization to heartfelt support for the move to snarky metacommentary on the absurdity of outrage over a chocolate figurine.
“Germany is throwing itself and its culture away,” wrote one dismayed commenter. “I could puke.”
“I’d divide these up and give them to #ConcernedCitizens as a symbol in favor of #Personhood and against #HateSpeech,” wrote another.
“A colorful, hollow-bodied chocolate figure, that, yes, takes the form of Santa Claus — as so often mentioned in the Bible — and yet has no beard!” wrote one clever poster in mock horror. “Sorry, but I see the West already in flames.”
While the modern German Weihnachtsmann (literally “Christmas Man”), often called Nikolaus, is as much an expression of consumer culture as Santa Claus is in the U.S., that hasn’t stopped traditionalists from rallying around the figure as a symbol of a wholesome Yuletide. Penny has actually taken heat since 2015 for referring to their holiday mascot as Zipfelmann (a neutral moniker referring to the figure’s peaked cap) without using the word for “Christmas.”
Whatever they choose to call him, people hold some strong beliefs about the jolly wintertime elf. If you’d like to gain some absolutely genuine, canonical knowledge about Kris Kringle, click here to read 12 things you didn't know about Santa.