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The world prepares for Christmas - Photo Gallery

France: Santa Claus decorations on Eiffel tower are pictured on December 4, 2012 at the Galeries Lafayette Paris department store, ahead of the Christmas celebrations. (Photo by Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)
Italy: Pasta stars decorate a Christmas tree on a stand at the Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre on October 25, 2012 in Turin. Untitled ‘Foods that change the world'. (Photo by Giuseppe Cacace /AFP/Getty Images).
France: A picture taken on October 31, 2012 at the Galeries Lafayette Paris department store, shows a big Christmas tree decorating the central ground floor. (Photo by Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images)
France: A picture taken on October 31, 2012 at the Galeries Lafayette Paris department store, shows a big Christmas tree decorating the central ground floor. (Photo by Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images)
UK: The Christmas lights are illuminated at Regent Street after being switched on by London 2012 Olympic athletes from Team GB on November 13, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images).
UK: A National Trust employee walks past the Christmas decorations on the tree in the Bedroom Corridor of Waddesdon Manor on November 16, 2012 in Aylesbury, England. The East Wing and Bachelor's Wing of Waddesdon Manor have been elaborately decorated for Christmas in the theme of English traditions and literature. The light-artist Bruce Munro has also created two installations in the grounds of the manor. The Christmas decorations at Waddesdon Manor are open to the general public until January 1, 2013. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Italy: Visitors look at the Christmas' 'Artist' lights' exhibition created by several Italian artists in the streets of downtown Salerno, southern Italy. (Photo by Katia Di Ruocco /AFP/Getty Images)
Italy: Visitors look at the Christmas' 'Artist' lights' exhibition created by several Italian artists in the streets of downtown Salerno, southern Italy. (Photo by Katia Di Ruocco /AFP/Getty Images)
Germany: Finished hand-made, wooden christmas figures stand on display at the Seiffener Volkskunst Christmas decorations manufactory on November 20, 2012 in Seiffen, Germany. Located in the Ore Mountains, Seiffen is home to a plethora of workshops that specialize in hand-painted wooden Christmas decorations in a tradition going back centuries. (Photo by Joern Haufe/Getty Images)
Germany: The Hands of Artisan Mirjam Boehme paints wooden figurines at the Richard Glaesser GmbH wooden toy manufactory on November 20, 2012 in Seiffen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Haufe/Getty Images)
France: Picture of the christmas animated shop window of the Printemps department store, taken on November 23, 2012, in Paris. (Photo by Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images)
Japan: People enjoy Christmas illumination with LED lights that changes into seven colors in Tokyo's Shiodome on November 26, 2012. The Christmas illumination will be displayed until 25 December. (Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi /AFP/Getty Images)
Germany: Members of a Croatian folk dance ensemble from Velika Gorica wait to perform at the annual Christmas market at Gendarmenmarkt on its opening day on November 26, 2012 in Berlin. Christmas markets, with their stalls selling mulled wine (Gluehwein), Christmas tree decorations and other delights, are an integral part of German Christmas tradition, and many of them opened across Germany today. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Germany: Visitors walk past a stall selling illuminated Christmas stars at the annual Christmas market at Alexanderplatz two days after the market opened on November 28, 2012 in Berlin. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
US: A nearly 300-pound White House gingerbread house is on display at the State Dining Room during a preview of the 2012 White House holiday decorations November 28, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. First lady Michelle Obama welcomed military families, including Gold Star and Blue Star parents, spouses and children, to the White House for the first viewing of the 2012 holiday decorations. The theme for the White House Christmas 2012 is 'Joy to All.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US: The White House kitchen garden, part of the nearly 300-pound White House gingerbread house. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Japan: Young children light candles on the ice sculpture of a large Christmas tree and decorations in the garden of Tokyo's Takanawa Prince Hotel on November 30, 2012. Hotel guests and visitors enjoyed ice made Christmas illuminations. (Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno /AFP/Getty Images)
Germany: Christmas decorations are for sale at a stand of the traditional Christmas Market in Nuremberg, southern Germany, on November 30, 2012. (Photo by Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images)
Germany: Christmas decorations hang for sale at a stand at the traditional Christmas market 'Nuernberger Christkindlesmarkt' ahead of the opening ceremony on November 30, 2012 in Nuremberg, Germany. Originated in the 16th century the Nuremberg Christmas market is seen as one of the oldest of its kind in Germany. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
US: A Capitol Hill workman rolls up a microphone cord after the US Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on December 4, 2012 on the West Front Lawn of the US Capitol in Washington. (Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images).
Germany: Christmas decorations hang for sale at a stand at the traditional Christmas market 'Nuernberger Christkindlesmarkt'. (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)
Austria: Women look at Christmas decorations on the Christmas market, in front of the 'Rathaus' townhall of in Vienna on December 1, 2012. (Photo by Alexander Klein/AFP/Getty Images)
Belgium: A photo taken on December 2, 2012 shows an abstract light installation replacing the traditional Christmas tree on the Grand-Place square (Grote Marktin) in Brussels. (Photo by Marion Colard/AFP/Getty Images).
France: A view of a giant Christmas tree near the Concorde square, with the Eiffel tower in the distance, on December 4, 2012, in Paris. (Photo by Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images).
Vietnam: A worker installs a Christmas decoration on the fence of a restaurant in downtown Hanoi on December 5, 2012. There is a Catholic community of six-million people in the communist Southeast Asian nation and Christmas, which is celebrated in big cities, is also a good opportunity for businesses. (Photo by Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images)
France: Picture of a view of a giant Christmas tree set near a ferris wheel at the Concorde square in Paris taken on December 6, 2012. (Photo by Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images).
Pakistan: Pakistani women walk past the a shop selling Christmas decorations in Lahore on December 9, 2012. Christians in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world will celebrate Christmas, the birthday of Jesus Christ, on December 25. (Photo by Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)
China: A Chinese couple walk past Christmas decorated trees on display in Beijing on December 10, 2012. Mathematics has provided an answer for those striving for the perfect Christmas tree, Britain's University of Sheffield says after being set the challenge of decorating a tree so that greenery and glitz are in harmonious proportion. Their formula states a 180cm (six-feet) Christmas tree would need 37 baubles, around 919 cms of tinsel (30 feet) and 565 cms (19 feet) of lights, and an 18cm (seven-inch) star or angel to achieve the perfect look. (Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
China: A Chinese man walks past Christmas decorated trees on display in Beijing on December 10, 2012. (Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
Italy: The Victor Emmanuel II momument is seen from the Christmas tree at Piazza Venezia (Venice square) on December 10, 2012 in Rome. (Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)
Italy: The Victor Emmanuel II momument is seen from the Christmas tree at Piazza Venezia (Venice square) on December 10, 2012 in Rome. (Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

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