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

itoggle caption Rui Vieira/AP

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

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

So bad it's ... good? Consumer appetite for ugly Christmas sweaters — the tackier, the better — has had an impact on how retailers stock for the season. TheUglySweaterShop.com/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption TheUglySweaterShop.com/Flickr

Charlie Brown and Linus pick out a scrawny tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas, a TV special based on the "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. The beloved show is airing for the 50th year Tuesday. United Feature Syndicate Inc./AP hide caption

itoggle caption United Feature Syndicate Inc./AP

Candice Nelson fits her daughter Arya Kubesh with a Halloween hat at a store at Galleria Mall in Edina, Minn. Retailers are hoping Halloween will give them a good bounce into the peak spending time of the year. Elizabeth Flores/MCT/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Elizabeth Flores/MCT/Landov

Worth living for: George Bailey, center, played by James Stewart, is reunited with his wife, Mary, played by Donna Reed, and his children in the final scene of Frank Capra's 1946 classic, It's A Wonderful Life. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

UPS delivery man Vinny Ambrosino was dressed for the holiday season on Tuesday as he delivered packages in New York City. Not all the things ordered for Christmas got to their destinations on time. Carlo Allegri /Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Carlo Allegri /Reuters/Landov

Step back in time: This is what 100 million years ago looked like, in a galaxy far, far away. ESO hide caption

itoggle caption ESO

Supermarket employees try to recover items left by looters in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina, on Monday. Looting has spread across Argentina as mobs take advantage of strikes by police demanding pay raises to match inflation. Bruno Cerimele/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Bruno Cerimele/AP