Charity workers dressed as Santa Claus wave to pedestrians in New York. Professional Santas say it's not an easy job, and it's not just as simple as putting on a beard. John Minchillo/AP hide caption

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Jordan Gelber plays Buddy the Elf in Elf on Broadway. The limited-run production may not turn a profit immediately, but producers have a multipronged strategy for making money. Joan Marcus/The Hartman Group hide caption

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Lou Nasti runs a factory in Brooklyn that makes animatronic Christmas displays. He's been at it for almost 44 years. Neda Ulaby/NPR hide caption

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J-Day, the first Friday in November, marks the release of Denmark's Christmas beer, Tuborg's Julebryg. It's practically a national holiday as the beer is promoted tonight in bars throughout the country. Tuborg hide caption

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The hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria. Harvard biologist Donald Pfister claims that both people and reindeer ate the mushrooms. "Reindeers flying -- are they flying, or are your senses telling you they're flying because you're hallucinating?" he says. John Tann/flickr hide caption

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The production begins with 200 people in the stands, and then in come Mary and Joseph. Above, a shepherd stands with a llama. Courtesy of George Barnett hide caption

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Children kissing under mistletoe. Fox Photos/Getty Images hide caption

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Rabbi Joshua Metzger, his wife Brocha, and their children Menachem Mendel and Sarah Perel stand by a menorah on the first night of Hanukkah in 2005, which fell on Christmas Day. Kathy Willens/AP hide caption

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