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Map: Santa Tracker

Video: Children explain Santa to Lester Holt

Photos: Faces of Santa

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  1. Ho-ho-hoooooooold on!

    See the many ways St. Nick spreads holiday cheer around the world.

    Clad in Santa Claus costumes, workers wipe windows some 180 feet above the ground outside a hotel in Tokyo, Japan on Dec. 20, 2012. (Toru Yamanaka / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Happy glances

    Jordyn Akyoko, 5, looks at Santa Claus during a Christmas story reading by first lady Michelle Obama at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The first lady toured the hospital on Dec. 14, 2012 before greeting 200 patients and hospital staff. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Holiday bliss

    A couple wearing Santa Claus costumes for SantaCon 2012 — a mass gathering of people who love dressing up as St. Nick and spreading holiday cheer — are pictured in Trafalgar Square in London on Dec. 15, 2012. (Kerim Okten / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A very brisk run

    More than 700 runners participate in the Boston Santa Speedo Run on Dec. 8, 2012. The run, sponsored by Universal Studios Home Entertainment's release of "Ted" on DVD, was a fundraiser for the Play Ball! Foundation. (Paul Marotta / Getty Images Contributor) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. There for children

    Icelandic philanthropist Einar Sveinsson, dressed as Santa Claus, speaks with a patient in the oncology ward during a visit to the Benjamin Bloom National Children's Hospital in San Salvador, El Salvador on Dec. 11, 2012. Sveinsson has visited the hospital and brought gifts to patients every December since 2001. (Jose Cabezas / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Going under

    A diver dressed up like Santa Claus swims with a sea turtle at the Sea Life Aquarium in Timmendorfer Strand, Germany on Dec. 6, 2012. (Jens Buettner / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Joy after the storm

    Dressed as Santa Claus, Tim Connaghan helps load toys onto a pallet at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Dec. 3, 2012. The toys were bound for children in New Jersey communities that are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. (Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Having a blast

    Photographer Gordon Murray, foreground, takes a picture of Ron Ingram, top, and Barbara Ingram, right, as they pose with Santa Claus at the third annual "Santa and Machine Guns" event at the Scottsdale Gun Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Dec. 2, 2012. (Ross D. Franklin / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Spirited football fans

    Runners dressed in Father Christmas costumes take part in the annual 5K Santa Dash in Liverpool, England on Dec. 2, 2012. The runners in blue suits typically are such die-hard supporters of the Everton Football Club that they refuse to run in the colors of their rivals, the Liverpool Football Club. (Paul Ellis / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Puppy breath

    Beaux Jangles, an 8-week-old English bulldog, greets Santa at PetSmart's 25th annual "Santa Claws" photo event in Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 1, 2012. (Richard W. Rodriguez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. One way to pay for college

    A man dressed as Santa leaves a meeting of the Studentenwerk Nord student support service in Berlin, Germany on Dec. 1, 2012. Most students at the meeting attend Berlin Technical University (Technische Universitat Berlin). After receiving training at a Santa workshop, they are dressing up as Santa and visiting company parties and families in December as a way to make a little money to help fund their studies. (Carsten Koall / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Radiant reindeer

    Bicycle designer Dieter "Didi" Senft presents his rideable, lit-up reindeer in Storkow, Germany, on Nov. 29, 2012. (Patrick Pleul / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Holiday in Hungary

    Joulupukki, the Finnish Santa Claus, poses for photographs with children in a hotel at Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, Hungary, on Nov. 30., 2012. (Tamas Kovacs / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Sobbing with Santa

    Rose Morrison, 2, of Scranton, Pa. cries as she sits with Santa Claus for a holiday portrait at The Viewmont Mall in Dickson City, Pa. (Butch Comegys / The Scranton Times-Tribune via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Scuba Santa

    A diver dressed as Santa Claus swims with dolphins at Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Yokohama, Japan. (Yuriko Nakao / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Holiday happiness

    Children visit with Santa Claus during the 62nd Annual Macy's Operation Happy Children in New York City. The event was held to bring the excitement of Santa to underprivileged children throughout the five boroughs fo New York. (Brian Ach / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. On the ball

    A Christmas market scenery is reflected in a Christmas ball in Cologne, Germany, on Nov. 26, 2012. (Oliver Berg / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Tree's company

    Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, portrayed by Gerald and Twila Morris of Meeker, Colo., greet visitors on Capitol Hill on Nov. 26, 2012, as the Capitol Christmas Tree, a 73-foot Engelmann Spruce from the White River National Forest, near Meeker, Colo., arrives in background. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Hollywood holiday

    Santa attends the 2012 Hollywood Christmas Parade in Los Angeles on Nov. 25, 2012. (Phil Mccarten / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Finn and games

    A Santa Claus from Lapland, Finland, walks with children inside a shopping mall in Tokyo on Nov. 25, 2012. (Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Santa in the stands

    Santa Claus joins fans to watch Utah's 42-35 victory over Colorado in an NCAA college football game in Boulder, Colo., on Nov. 23. (David Zalubowski / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Smile!

    Santa helps Jamir Ray, 4, of Astoria, Ore., smile for the camera at a Macy's department store in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Volunteer cheer

    Volunteers are seen in Santa suits before they march through Midtown Manhattan during the Volunteers of America's 110th Annual Sidewalk Santa Parade in New York on Nov. 23, 2012. In what has now become an annual tradition, over 50 fully suited Volunteers of America's Sidewalk Santas take to the streets of Manhattan the morning after Thanksgiving to raise money for those in need. (Adrees Latif / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Merry marchers

    Volunteers of America - Greater New York hosts its 110th Annual Sidewalk Santa Parade in New York City, featuring moe than 50 fully-suited, bell-ringing Santas. (Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. On Dasher! On Datsun!

    Ramiro Hinojas, 47, a traffic enforcer, wears a Santa Claus costume as he directs traffic along a main street in Pasay city, Manila. (Romeo Ranoco / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Hark the Herald Square

    Santa Claus makes his way through Herald Square in the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Nov. 22, 2012, in New York City. (Louis Lanzano / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Jingling the opening bell

    Santa Claus poses after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 21, 2012. (Ben Hider / NYSE via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Santa hits the sack

    Estonian Santa Claus "Santa Aare," left, Dutch Santa Claus "Santa Holland," center, and Swedish Santa Claus "Snaretomten" compete in the Kicksled Sack Race during the Santa Clause Winter Games in Gallivare, Sweden on Nov. 17, 2012. (Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Holiday in Holland

    Sinterklaas, center, is surrounded by Dutch Princess Maxima and her children -- Princess Ariane, left,, Princess Amalia, center left, and Princess Alexia, center right -- during his arrival in Scheveningen, the Netherlands, on Nov. 17, 2012. (Koen Van Weel / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Season of giving

    Children reach for presents from Santa Claus outside of the post office in Himmelpfort, Germany, on Nov. 9, 2012. (Thomas Peter / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Red-letter day

    Postal employees dressed as Santa and his elves work during the opening day of the Father Christmas postal office in Libourne, France, on Nov. 6, 2012. The employees sort through letters sent to Santa from children around the world, and mail back colorful greeting cards. (Caroline Blumberg / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Angels and elves

    Santas and angels pose in front of a giant telescope at the Archehold observatory in Berlin, Germany, on Nov, 1, 2012. (Hannibal Hanschke / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
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    Toru Yamanaka / AFP - Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (32) Faces of Santa
  2. Image: Band members dressed in Santa Claus costumes make their way to perform in St. Gallen
    Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters
    Slideshow (21) Faces of Santa
  3. Denise Joyce and Nancy Watkins / Scared of Santa: Scenes of Terror in Toyland
    Slideshow (13) Scared of Santa
  4. awkwardfamilyphotos.com
    Slideshow (62) Awkward holiday photos

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