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

A still image taken from Christmas Cat TV, which features an eight-hour streaming video of a "cat lady" and an elf hanging out with cats — some of them in holiday sweaters. Christmas Cat TV hide caption

itoggle caption Christmas Cat TV

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee speaks with reporters in November of 2012, during the lighting the Statehouse Christmas tree. Chafee announced the ceremony 30 minutes ahead of time to avoid what he called the "chaos" of 2011's lighting, which was protested by people angered by Chafee's decision to call the Statehouse tree a "holiday" tree. David Klepper/AP hide caption

itoggle caption David Klepper/AP

Decorating their house and yard with more than 31 miles' worth of lights, an Australian family has reclaimed a Guinness world record in Canberra, Australia. Guinness World Records 2014 is out now hide caption

itoggle caption Guinness World Records 2014 is out now

Kmart's plan to be open for 41 straight hours beginning at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning is drawing criticism. At this Kmart store in Connecticut, shoppers wait in line to take advantage of sales on Thanksgiving Day. Douglas Healey/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Douglas Healey/AP