1. Tokyo, Japan
Window cleaners dressed as Santa Claus and a reindeer during an event to celebrate Christmas at a shopping mall in Tokyo on Dec. 19.
A Bolivian squirrel monkey gets a special treat of sultanas and wax worms that were set out on a Christmas tree at London Zoo.
3. Madrid, Spain
Around 6,000 people dressed as Santa Claus and his elves run a “mini-marathon” through the streets of Madrid on Dec. 14 to promote festive cheer as the country tries to emerge from a two-year recession.
4. Hyderabad, India
Blind children wait to perform during Christmas celebrations at the Devnar School for the Blind in Hyderabad, India on Dec. 18.
5. Zurich, Switzerland
Members of the school choir of the Terra Nova private school perform at a Christmas market at the Werdmuehleplatz square in Zurich on Dec. 19.
6. Norfolk, U.S.
With a little help from elf Lauren Babashanian, right, Noah Golive, 5, tells Santa that he wants a Thomas Train (The Little Engine that Could) for Christmas during his live video chat with Santa via iPad on Dec. 19 at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Va. Noah is waiting for his surgery. Children hospitalized during the holidays don’t have the opportunity to see Santa in-person at the malls, but are able to see Santa via iPads.
7. Zurich, Switzerland
Christmas illuminations light the Bahnhofstrasse shopping street in Zurich.
8. Rome, Italy
Pope Francis delivers his message during the Angelus noon prayer from his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Dec. 8.
9. Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
A diver dressed as a Santa Claus gestures to visitors as part of upcoming Christmas celebrations at Aquaria KLCC underwater park in Kuala Lumpur.
10. Scarborough, U.S.
A man portraying Santa Claus talks to six-month-old Aubree-Jane Halladay, of Scarborough, Maine at a mall on Dec. 19.
11. Minusinsk, Russia
An amateur spider keeper, Yegor Konkin, 24, dressed as Santa Claus with a venomous Phormictopus antillensis spider placed on his face, prepares for Christmas and New Year performances at his parents’ apartment in the town of Minusinsk, Russia.
12. Madrid, Spain
A couple push their baby along during a mini-marathon of Santas in Madrid on Dec. 14.
13. Seoul, South Korea
Penguins wearing Santa Claus and Christmas tree costumes during a promotional event for Christmas at an amusement park in Yongin, Seoul.
14. Qunu, South Africa
Children look at a wall of condolence after a Christmas Party celebrating the life of former South African president Nelson Mandela at a museum in Qunu, South Africa, on Dec. 12.
15. Rome, Italy
A Christmas tree with light decorations spelling the word “peace” in different languages is seen at the end of Rome’s Via del Corso.
Reports say that Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino announced that the rainbow lights, a symbol of peace, in Via del Corso are dedicated to Nelson Mandela who died in Johannesburg on Dec. 5.
16. Washington D.C.
The National Christmas Tree at the White House in the background, with the flag at half staff to honor the death of South Africa’s former President Nelson Mandela on Dec. 6.
17. Taipei, Taiwan
A public bus driver dressed as Santa Claus gives a passenger directions on Dec. 18 in Taipei, Taiwan.
18. Atlanta, U.S.
Dee Sinclair, portraying Santa Claus, reads a story to children in Atlanta. “Kids don’t see color. They see a fat guy in a red suit giving toys,” said Sinclair, 50.
19. Ahmedabad, India
A man sells Santa Claus masks on a road side ahead of Christmas in Ahmedabad on Dec. 18.
20. Sydney, Australia
A meerkat named Bob inspects a present left near a makeshift Christmas tree at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on Dec. 20.
21. Cerritos, U.S.
Dressed as Santa Claus, Mark Tate pretends to sleep as he poses for photos with 4-week-old Leilani Mejico at a mall in Cerritos, Calif. on Dec. 17.
22. Cape Town, South Africa
Baby penguins swim inside the SANCCOB – the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds – after they were abandoned by their parents on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa on Dec. 3.
During the Christmas time SANCCOB receives hundreds of African penguin chicks abandoned by molting parents. Over Christmas one can adopt a African penguin chick for $50, with the money paying for its rehabilitation and release back into the wild.
23. Hauibei, China
A vendor arranges Christmas products at her booth in Huaibei, Anhui province, China.
24. Medellin, Colombia
A view of the Medellin river lit up with Christmas decorations in Colombia.
25. Shanghai, China
A shop worker decorates the street with red lanterns in celebration of Christmas in Shanghai on Dec. 19.
Christmas, while not traditionally celebrated, is gaining popularity in the communist country with retailers capitalizing on the holiday spirit to boost their end of the year sales.
26. Tanuan, Philippines
Children stand beside an improvised Christmas tree decorated with empty cans and bottles in the town of Tanuan in central Philippines which was ravaged by super typhoon Haiyan.
27. Conroe, U.S.
Children play in fake snow in front of the Dearing family home during Dearing Dazzle, a light show that is synchronized with Christmas music in Conroe, Texas.
This is the last year the Dearing family will host the light show consisting of 75,000 lights.
28. Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Troops eat lunch near a nativity scene at the Guantanamo Bay naval base on Dec. 18. Some troops have complained that nativity scenes and Christmas decorations at two dining facilities on the base improperly show a preference of one religion over others.
29. Kolkata, India
A folk singer and a man dressed as Santa Claus perform for underprivileged children during a sit-in demonstration demanding basic human rights in Kolkata on Dec. 19.
30. Washington D.C.
The first family, from left, Malia Obama, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and Sasha Obama, join children dressed like elves at the National Building Museum in Washington on Dec. 15.
The first family attended the taping of the annual 2013 Christmas in Washington, celebrating its 32nd year anniversary.
31. Cairo, Egypt
Samira, 6, looks for customers as she sells Christmas hats at a traffic intersection in Cairo, Egypt on Dec. 12.
32. Taiyuan, China
Women take pictures in front of a Santa Claus figure outside a shopping mall ahead of Christmas in Taiyuan, Shanxi province.
33. Polkowice, Poland
Christmas decorations and lights at the home of the Duszenko family in Polkowice, southwestern Poland.
Since 1999, the Duszenko family has decorated their house and garden before Christmas. This year, they used around 52,000 lights for the decorations.
34. Islamabad, Pakistan
Pakistani Christian boys decorate a Christmas tree on the roof of their house in Islamabad on Dec. 16.
35. Roswell, U.S.
Santa Claus has his beard pulled during a visit to Del Norte Elementary in Roswell, New Mexico after being delivered to the school via a TriState CareFlight helicopter on Dec. 19.
Passersby look at a Christmas-themed window display on Oxford Street in central London.
37. Tacloban, Philippines
A typhoon survivor decorates a Christmas tree amidst the rubble of houses destroyed by super typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city in central Philippines.
38. Paris, France
Life-size cartoon characters, from L-R, Samsam, Pink Panther, Raving Rabbit (Lapin Cretin) and Smurfette on the stairs of the Elysee Palace after Christmas party in Paris on Dec. 18.
39. Milan, Italy
Racy sex toys hang from the “Tree of Pleasure” in downtown Milan, Italy, before they were removed from the tree.
In an order to remove the provocative ornaments, city officials said that the Christmas season, “qualifying as a holiday for children and families, requires sobriety in urban decorations,’’ in particular when using “traditional symbols that distinguish Christmas.”
40. Seoul, South Korea
Buddhist children wearing Santa Claus costumes sing Christmas songs at the Chogye temple in Seoul, South Korea on Dec. 18.
41. New Orleans, U.S.
Courtney Boe, left, Christina Perez, center, and Mandi Ridgell, members of the singing group “The Victory Belles,” modeled after the WWII era group The Andrew Sisters, get ready in their dressing room before rehearsing for their upcoming Christmas show, “A Swingin’ Christmas,” at the Stage Door Canteen at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
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