British and German soldiers fraternizing at Ploegsteert, Belgium, on Christmas Day 1914. World War I was raging at the time, but front-line troops initiated the truce, which they documented in photos and letters. Commanders on both sides were furious when they learned of it. Courtesy of Imperial War Museum hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Imperial War Museum

Australian Christmas today is characterized by gastronomic eclecticism. Many of us have abandoned the old British customs — except for the rich and alcoholic Christmas pudding. Edward Shaw/iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption Edward Shaw/iStockphoto

Martha McCullough shows off a photo of her grandfather, Christmas Moultrie, who was born on the Mulberry Grove Plantation before Gen. Sherman's army burned it down ahead of the capture of Savannah in 1864. Both McCullough and Hugh Golson, a descendant of the plantation's owner, knew Moultrie as children. Carl Elmore/Courtesy Savannah Morning News hide caption

itoggle caption Carl Elmore/Courtesy Savannah Morning News

Congressional staff members gather at the Capitol to raise awareness of the recent killings of black men by police officers, both of which did not result in grand jury indictments, on Dec. 11. They are joined by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. (second from left), and Senate Chaplain Barry Black (far right). J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

In Jerusalem, Syrian Orthodox Christian Nadia Ishaq prepares her burbara porridge with boiled what kernels, raisins, dried plums and dried apricots, topped with ground coconut in the shape of a cross. The holiday honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale. Daniella Cheslow for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Daniella Cheslow for NPR

A woman prepares a Japanese Christmas cake at the Patisserie Akira Cake shop on Dec. 23, 2011. The sponge cake is drenched in symbolic meaning. Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images