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Leesburg, Va., resident Rick Wingrove opens a platform he uses at his home to advocate for atheism during the Christmas season. “This is about separation of church and state. We are not trying to destroy anyone’s Christmas,” he says. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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A Christmas tree is displayed at a shopping mall in Hong Kong as the city prepares to celebrate the Christmas holidays on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

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The stop-motion “It’s a SpongeBob Christmas!” special will air Dec. 9 on Nickelodeon in a tribute to classics such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” (Associated Press)

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The stop-motion “It’s a SpongeBob Christmas!” special will air Dec. 9 on Nickelodeon in a tribute to classics such as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” (Associated Press)

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First lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia (left) and Sasha and the family dog, Bo, welcome the arrival of the official White House Christmas tree, a 19-foot Fraser Fir from Jefferson, N.C., on Nov. 23, 2012, at the North Portico of the White House in Washington. (Associated Press)

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First lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia (left) and Sasha and the family dog, Bo, welcome the arrival of the official White House Christmas tree, a 19-foot Fraser Fir from Jefferson, N.C., on Nov. 23, 2012, at the North Portico of the White House in Washington. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** The town crier, played by volunteer Stephen Fahy, prepares to shout out to announce a group of visitors during "Christmas at Mount Vernon" at Mount Vernon in Alexandria, Va, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr/ The Washington Times)

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Rihanna is seen here Nov. 19, 2012, at the Westfield shopping center in the Stratford district of London for the switching on of the Christmas lights. (Ki Price/Invision/Associated Press)

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Damon Vix last year won two-thirds of the booths in the annual, city-sponsored lottery to divvy up spaces in a Nativity display in Palisades Park in Santa Monica, Calif., but he only put up one thing: a sign that read “Religions are all alike — founded on fables and mythologies.” Mr. Vix left the rest of his allotted spaces empty, upending a Christmas tradition. (Associated Press)

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Damon Vix last year won two-thirds of the booths in the annual, city-sponsored lottery to divvy up spaces in a Nativity display in Palisades Park in Santa Monica, Calif., but he only put up one thing: a sign that read “Religions are all alike — founded on fables and mythologies.” Mr. Vix left the rest of his allotted spaces empty, upending a Christmas tradition. (Associated Press)

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Marijuana plants are seen Oct. 3, 2012, in Chicago where officers say they discovered two football fields worth of pot plants growing on the city's South Side. Authorities say more than 1,000 cannabis plants — some as tall as Christmas trees — were discovered during a helicopter operation. (Associated Press)

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President Clinton holds Socks the cat as he and Mrs. Clinton hosted Washington area elementary school children at the White House Friday Dec. 20, 1996 where the president read "Twas the Night Before Christmas." (AP Photo/Ruth Fremson)

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Creative ornaments hang from one of the Christmas trees during The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011 on The Elipse in Washington, DC, Thursday, December 1, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr/ The Washington Times)

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Travelers check their luggage at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago two days before last Christmas. There are bargains on travel during “dead zone” periods not so close to holidays, according to those in the know. (Associated Press)

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Travelers check their luggage at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago two days before last Christmas. There are bargains on travel during “dead zone” periods not so close to holidays, according to those in the know. (Associated Press)

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Marijuana plants are seen Oct. 3, 2012, in Chicago where officers say they discovered two football fields worth of pot plants growing on the city's South Side. Authorities say more than 1,000 cannabis plants — some as tall as Christmas trees — were discovered during a helicopter operation. (Associated Press)

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Marijuana plants are seen on Oct. 3, 2012, in Chicago, where officers say they discovered two football fields worth of pot plants growing on the city's South Side. Authorities say more than 1,000 cannabis plants — some as tall as Christmas trees — were discovered during a helicopter operation. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** Fiona Apple performs Dec. 11, 1999, at the annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas concert at the Pond of Anaheim, Calif. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** Fiona Apple performs Dec. 11, 1999, at the annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas concert at the Pond of Anaheim, Calif. (Associated Press)

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Some historic preservationists aren’t happy about Macy's makeover. At right is how the ground floor of the store looked during the Christmas shopping season in 1931. (Associated Press)