Octavius Humphries, 32, (left) Seth Smiley, 51, and Seth's mom, Carole Smiley, 81, visited StoryCorps in Atlanta. StoryCorps hide caption

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A child laughs as he receives presents from a man dressed as Santa Claus during a Christmas party for children affected by Down Syndrome, organized by the Angels Down Friends association in Bucharest, Romania, on Friday, Dec. 18. Vadim Ghirda/AP hide caption

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Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., reflected in a Christmas tree ornament during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Mary Schwalm/AP hide caption

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Politics

'Twas The Night Before Christmas, 2016 Presidential Politics Version

In senior Washington editor Ron Elving's re-imagined poem, the clatter is on the news — over polls showing "who's now the greatest."

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While the days of sharing mixed tapes and audio cassettes may be long gone, exchanging playlists doesn't have to be. Darren Johnson/Getty Images/EyeEm hide caption

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When Mary asked Helen what she wants for Christmas, Helen said: "All I ask is to be in good spirits and in good health so I can come and show myself off when we have the party." Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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"Figgy pudding" is a traditional Christmas dessert that normally contains no figs — and isn't what Americans usually mean by "pudding." Edward Shaw/iStockphoto hide caption

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A trade card from the 1880s depicts a Santa Claus figure in a bird-themed sleigh pulled by reindeer as they are about the land on a rooftop to deliver presents from the huge sack of gifts. Getty Images hide caption

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Shoppers in Freeport, Maine, pass by store windows advertising Black Friday deals after the stores opened their doors at midnight. Portland Press Herald/Press Herald via Getty Images hide caption

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The world's largest stocking — stitched together from handmade blankets — was confirmed by Guinness World Records this week. Cramer Gallimore Photography/Caron United hide caption

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The Capitol Christmas Tree is unloaded from a truck following its journey from the Chugach National Forest in Alaska to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. After it is secured in the ground, the tree will be decorated with thousands of ornaments, handcrafted by children and others from Alaska communities. Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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An image from a new Christmas ad from British retailer John Lewis. Titled "Man on the Moon," the ad follows a girl's attempts to connect with a man she spots living on the moon. Screenshot by NPR hide caption

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The Carrolls, who once raised cattle, decided three decades ago to raise Christmas trees instead. The trees take seven to 12 years to mature. Courtesy of Claybrooke Farm hide caption

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Around Christmas, people around the world covet a Rudolph, Wis., postmark on their cards and letters. Carrie Antlfinger/AP hide caption

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A sculpture at Britannia stadium in the English city of Stoke-on-Trent commemorates the Christmas Truce, a legendary soccer game played between German and British troops in December 1914. Rui Vieira/AP hide caption

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A man peddles plastic Christmas trees and lights in downtown Monrovia. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

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Goats and Soda

Christmas In Liberia: Ebola Fears, No Snow, Holiday Spirit

The deadly virus has cast a shadow over the country. Nonetheless, many Liberians are determined to have a happy Christmas and a hopeful new year.

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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

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