In 1698, Peter I of Russia instituted a beard tax to "modernize" Russian society after he toured a few Western countries. He tried to ban facial hair. Those that paid received a beard token that was to be carried at all times. The Russian eagle was on one side and the lower part of the face was on the other. The phrases "money taken" and "the beard is a superfluous burden" were also on the coin. Men who refused to pay were forcibly shaved. Just this year a U.K. barber suggested bringing back the beard tax to help with the national budget. He admitted being "anti-beard" and, btw, unable to grow one himself (hmmmmm), but in the end said he was really trying to make a "ridiculous state of tax in the hairdressing industry." P.S. That may or may not be St. Nicholas in the back of the line. Bonus: Would you ask St. Nicholas (not a random Santa) to pay?