Santa Claus Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade New York

Santa Claus rides a float along Central Park West during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, Nov. 23. (Craig Ruttle/Associated Press)

Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?

High-wire artist Falko Traber, dressed as Santa Claus, waves from a motor-driven reindeer sleigh that is pulled over the Christmas market in Karlsruhe, southern Germany, on Dec. 5.

Santa Claus reindeer sleigh High-wire artist GERMANY

(Uli Deck/AFP/Getty Images)

Waiting for Santa — a.k.a. St. Nick — at the Christmas market 

Peter Arndt poses as Santa Claus at the Christmas Market in Bremen, Germany, on Nov. 27. The so-called 'Bremer Weihnachtsmarkt' runs until Dec. 23 and attracts more than 1.5 million visitors per year, according to official figures.

Santa Claus GERMANY CHRISTMAS Market in Bremen

(Focke Strangmann/EPA)

St. Nicholas arrives at a Christmas market in Mayrhofen, Austria, on Dec. 3, to bring gifts to the well-behaved little girls and boys.

Santa Claus arrives at Christmas market in Mayrhofen AUSTRIA

(Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters)

Making a list

Prince William presents Prince George's handwritten Christmas wish list to Santa Claus, during his visit to the Esplanade Park and Manta's Market in Helsinki, Finland, on Nov. 30. 

Prince William gives Prince George's Christmas list to Santa Claus

(Lehtikuva/Heikki Saukkomaa/Reuters)

Checking it twice

A St. Nicholas impersonator distributes gifts to children at the Christmas Post Office in the district of St. Nicholas near Saarbruecken, Germany, on Dec. 5. From Dec. 5-24, a voluntary Christmas post office is set up, where around 35 helpers work to answer thousands of letters from children to Santa Claus.


(Thomas Wieck/EPA)

Russia's Father Frost

A man dressed as Father Frost, the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus, stands next to a great grey owl as he stages a performance for visitors at the Royev Ruchey Park in the suburbs of Krasnoyarsk, Russia, on Dec. 6. 

Father Frost Russian equivalent of Santa Claus

(Ilya Naymushin/Reuters)

London Santa dash

Runners in Santa outfits take part in the annual Santa Dash run on Clapham Common in London on Dec. 3. Two thousand runners dashed to the finish line in this year's festive fun run to raise money for the the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children.

Santa Dash run London England Father Christmas

(Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

SantaCon around the world 

Revellers in London take part in SantaCon, a global annual event in which people dress up in Santa costumes and parade around to celebrate Christmas. According to the official website, SantaCon events are taking place in 397 cities in 52 countries this year. 

Santacon Donald Trump mask London

(Peter Nicholls/Reuters)

People dressed as Santa Claus participate in the annual bar crawl SantaCon in New York City, on Dec. 9. The annual bar crawl of festive drinkers, now in its 19th year, has seen some backlash from city residents, due to the large, unruly crowds. 

Santa Claus Santacon Bar Crawl New York City

(Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Presents for pets

Santa Claus teams up with a volunteer crew in California to load a truck with bags of free pet food for Rover's Retreat, a partner of San Diego Humane Society's PAWS program, on Dec. 5.

Santa Claus feeds dog petsmart San Diego Christmas

(Sandy Huffaker/PetSmart/Associated Press)

Santa Speedo run

People take part in a half-naked Santa run in downtown Budapest, Hungary, Dec. 10. This is the 14th year that dozens of nearly naked Santas hit the streets of Budapest to support a local children's foundation.

Speedo half naked Santa run Budapest HUNGARY

(Bernadett Szabo/Reuters)

Estonia's Santa Claus summit

A man dressed as Santa shows his beard to a smiling child during the Santa Claus summit in Rakvere, Estonia, on Dec. 3. 

Santa Claus summit in Rakvere Estonia

(Ints Kalnins/Reuters)

Scuba Santa

A diver wearing a Santa costume swims in the tank at COEX Aquarium in Seoul, South Korea, on Dec. 10, during a promotional event for a Christmas sardines feeding show with Santa Claus.

Santa Claus diver SEOUL SOUTH KOREA

(Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Getting ready for the busiest day of the year

Instructor James Lovell teaches student Santas during a training session at the Ministry of Fun Santa School in London on Nov. 16. Pens at the ready, a dozen trainee Father Christmases received their final instructions before heading out to Britain's department stores, tourist landmarks and private parties for the festive season. 

Student Santas at The Ministry of Fun Santa School in London

(Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

With files from Reuters, the Associated Press, Getty Images and EPA