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Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

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With only three days left until Christmas, Santa Claus appears to be just about everywhere - assisted by armies of Santa's Helpers. Photographers have captured images of people dressed as jolly old Saint Nick in the United Kingdom, Japan, India, Australia, the United States, and other countries throughout the world. People everywhere are observing the season of giving not only by donning red and white apparel but by participating in charitable events, passing out gifts, listening to Christmas wishes, and simply having fun. Collected below are recent images of Santa Claus and his many helpers around the world. (Disclaimer: At least one of them may not be the Real Santa Claus.) [28 photos]

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Olivia Ruch, a seven-month-old with a look of concern on her face, sits on Santa's lap in Santa's Grotto in Selfridges department store in London, England, on December 7, 2011. Santa is portrayed by actor David Warren, who has been playing the role for the past ten years. (Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett)
Olivia Ruch, a seven-month-old with a look of concern on her face, sits on Santa's lap in Santa's Grotto in Selfridges department store in London, England, on December 7, 2011. Santa is portrayed by actor David Warren, who has been playing the role for the past ten years. (Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett)
Nikolai Vasilyev water-skis while dressed as Santa Claus along the Yenisei River outside Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, on December 22, 2011. Vasilyev, 58, a teacher of the Krasnoyarsk Aerospace College, constructed the self-made water skis to travel on the water surface. (Reuters/Ilya Naymushin) #
Runners dressed as Father Christmas start in the 3rd Michendorfer Nikolaus Lauf running event in Michendorf, Germany, on December 4, 2011. Around 700 participants took part in the competition that is hosted by the Laufclub Michendorf running association. (Reuters/Tobias Schwarz) #
A Beluga whale wears a Santa Claus hat during a show at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium-amusement park complex in Yokohama, Japan, on November 19, 2011.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye) #
Santa Claus, who traveled to India from Finnish Lapland, gestures a traditional Indian "namaste" greeting during pre-Christmas celebrations at a hotel in New Delhi, on December 17, 2011. Santa Claus inaugurated a 20-foot tall Christmas tree made up of more than four thousand recycled plastic bottles illuminated by LED lights. (Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images) #
A man dressed as Santa Claus arrives by helicopter during an event at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on December 21, 2011. The hospital organized the event to distribute gifts to children who are hospitalized to receive medical attention. (Reuters/Jorge Dan Lopez) #
Santa Claus prepares a reindeer and sled in Santa Park near Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, on December 15, 2011. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images) #
Santa Claus sits at his desk in his office outside of Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, on December 14, 2011. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images) #
A tourist sits on Santa's lap as he visit him in his office in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, on December 13, 2011. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images) #
People take part in a half naked "Santa run" in Budapest, Hungary, on December 11, 2011. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh) #
Bashii, a Sumatran tiger, meets Santa Claus while playing at the Australia Zoo, on December 16, 2011 in Beerwah, Australia. (Australia Zoo via Getty Images) #
A Palestinian man dressed-up in a Santa Claus costume waves as he walks on Jerusalem's Old City walls on December 21, 2011, a few days ahead of Christmas. (Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images) #
Charity runners dressed as Santa Claus warm up before taking part in the Disability Snowport UK fun run in Battersea Park, on December 3, 2011 in London, England. 1,600 runners took part in the 6 kilometer run to raise funds for the charity which helps disabled people take part in snow sports. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #
Santa Claus, portrayed by Steve Stickley of Stephens City, Virginia, gets a kiss from a stray puppy during an open house at the Esther L. Boyd Animal Shelter in Winchester, Virginia, on December 3, 2011. (AP Photo, The Winchester Star, Jeff Taylor) #
One of the 250 Santas participating in a fundraising event makes a run at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine, on December 4, 2011. To qualify for a free lift ticket each Santa had to wear a full red Santa costume, complete with beard, and donate at least $10 to the Bethel Rotary Club's annual drive to provide gifts for the area's needy children. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) #
Principal chief of the United Houma Nation, Thomas Dardar Jr., Indian Santa for the day, arrives at the Dulac Community Center in Dulac, Louisiana, on December 18, 2011. Darder Jr. says that Indian Santa and the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program gave more than 1,000 presents at 10 locations over the past two weekends. (AP Photo/The Houma Courier, Julia Rendleman) #
Hector Chacon, a Guatemalan firefighter dressed as Santa Claus, rappels down the Belize bridge in Guatemala City December 18, 2011, to give toys to children living in the neighborhoods under the bridge. Guatemalan firefighters have been giving toys to children living in the very poor area of the city during Christmastime for 13 years, according to Chacon. (Reuters/Jorge Dan Lopez) #
Uriah Cole rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle dressed as Santa Claus past children at Toddler Town in East Alton, Illinois, on December 1, 2011 (AP Photo/The Telegraph, Margie M. Barnes) #
Schoolchildren dressed as Santa Claus form the shape of a star ahead of Christmas celebrations at a school in the southern Indian city of Chennai, on December 10, 2011. Some 1,500 schoolchildren aged three to five formed the shape of a Christmas star on Saturday in an attempt to make an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records, a media release said. (Reuters/Babu) #
Schoolchildren dressed as Santa Claus sit on chairs to form the shape of a star in the Chennai, India, on December 10, 2011. (Reuters/Babu) #
Santa Claus poses with a Beluga whale at SeaWorld San Diego, on December 15, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego via Getty Images) #
People wearing Santa Claus costumes take part in a charity swim for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, on the East Strand beach in the town of Portrush in Northern Ireland, on December 18, 2011 (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton) #
Santa Claus maneuvers a Christmas tree onto a ship in Hamburg, Germany, on December 8, 2011 in. Every year during the Advent season, Christmas trees are distributed to the ships in the Hanseatic city. (Daniel Bockwoldt/AFP/Getty Images) #
Participants dressed as Santa Claus take part in the Great Edinburgh Santa Run on December 11, 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Around a thousand people took part in the annual fundraising event, with all money raised being donated to the charity "When You Wish Upon a Star". (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #
Santa Claus has his pant legs bitten by a crocodile during feeding time inside a cage of a crocodile farm in Manila, Philippines, on December 16, 2011. The Philippines, a mainly Roman Catholic country in Southeast Asia, celebrates one of the longest Christmas holiday in the world, playing Christmas carols in shopping malls in September and putting up lantern and fireworks early in December. (Reuters/Romeo Ranoco) #
A swimmer wears a Santa Claus hat as he swims in near-freezing water in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China, on December 17, 2011. (Reuters/Sheng Li) #
A man dressed as Santa Claus is lifted by crane towards the world's first Santa-friendly chimney in Somerford Keynes, England, on December 19, 2011. The development of the chimney, which is undergoing practical tests, was inspired by Leo Park after he told his mother, Jade, that the chimney in the house they were having built was too small to accommodate Santa Claus. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth) #
Santa Claus embraces a woman during an event at the San Juan de Dios Hospital, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on December 21, 2011. The hospital organized the event to distribute gifts to children who are hospitalized to receive medical attention. (Reuters/Jorge Dan Lopez) #

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