New life for Snowden the Snowman: Ultimate anti-NSA Christmas gift?

Holiday decoration, purposely or not, seems to pay homage to famed document leaker

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A Sarasota, Fla., store owner unwittingly or not, might attract a few anti-NSA-related holiday purchases with this Snowden Snowman, which seemingly pays homage to Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents over the past year. (Colleague Ellen Messmer passed along the photo, taken by a friend of hers.)

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In reality, Snowden was a holiday character who appeared alongside Raggedy Ann and Andy in books and cartoons, and became a favorite of retailer Target, which introduced a plush Snowden toy in 1997.

Back during the 1997 holiday shopping, Snowden items -- from stuffed animals to decorations to kitchen items -- were referred to as being "all the rage" by Target. Although these 16 years later, despite the emergence of Edward Snowden, Snowden the Snowman stuff isn't quite tearing it up on eBay yet, where you can still snag a "vintage rare Snowden the Snowman Dayton Hudson Hot Cocoa Swiss Miss tin can" for just $29"!

P.S. One other Snowden note: Lycoming College in Pennsylvania this year changed its mascot from Snowden the Snowman, whose name came from a library on campus, to a wolf called Lycos the Warrior. As far as we can tell, the effort to change the mascot began before the Edward Snowden news came to light.

RELATED: Snowden used sys admin role to collect passwords (Reuters report)

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