Faces of Santa

Jolly old St. Nick's appearance may vary from nation to nation, but around the world, his message is universal: Peace on earth, good will to men.

Jolly old St. Nick's appearance may vary from nation to nation, but around the world, his message is universal: Peace on earth, good will to men. Band-ing together Dressed in Santa Claus costumes, members of a music band make their way to perform in the eastern Swiss city of St. Gallen on Nov. 27.

Arnd Wiegmann / X00493

Actor David Warren, who has been playing Santa for the past 10 years, holds dubious 7-month-old Olivia Ruch at Santa's Grotto in Selfridges department store in London on Dec. 7.

Suzanne Plunkett / X90130

Dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, a diver feeds sardines at the Coex Aquarium in Seoul, South Korea, on Dec. 7.

Lee Jin-man / AP

Filipino traffic enforcer Ramiro Hinojas, wearing a Santa Claus costume, directs motorists on a street in Pasay city, south of Manila, on Dec. 6.

Francis R. Malasig / EPA

A man dressed as Father Christmas carries crates with letters addressed to Santa Claus at a special Christmas post office in the village of Himmelpfort, north of Berlin, on Nov. 10. Organizers expect to receive some 280,000 letters and wish lists from children writing in 17 languages.

Thomas Peter / X02624

Part-time Santas pose together in an employment office in Rostock, eastern Germany, on Dec. 7.

Frank Hormann / dapd

Santa Claus pops into the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on Dec. 7. (The jolly old elf's position on tax policy is unknown.)

Charles Dharapak / AP

About 200 volunteer workers dressed in Santa Claus outfits form heart shapes as they launch an event to visit and give Christmas gifts to prematurely born babies in Seoul, South Korea, on Dec. 6.

Ahn Young-joon / AP

Some of the 250 Santas participating in a fundraising event take a run at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine, on Dec. 4. 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.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Competitors take part in the annual Santa Dash in Liverpool, England, on Dec. 4. Thousands of entrants run through the streets of the city dressed as Santa Claus.

Paul Ellis / AFP

A man dressed as Santa Claus walks through the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid on Dec. 2.

Dominique Faget / AFP

Security guards in Santa Claus costumes perform martial arts as they pose for photographers during a promotional event for the upcoming Christmas holiday season at Coex shopping mall in Seoul, South Korea, on Dec. 1.

Jo Yong-hak / X90071

Holding a bell, Santa waves from the roof of the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 28. Santa will greet children inside the shopping center until Christmas Eve.

Mark Kolbe / Getty Images AsiaPac

A man dressed in a Santa Claus costume stands on the field before the start of a soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, on Nov. 27.

Alessandro Garofalo / X02242

Santa Claus trainees learn how to speak and walk like a "real" Santa at the "Santa Claus academy" in Tokyo on Nov. 27.

Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP

People dressed in Santa costumes warm up before the start of a charity race in Sydney, Australia, on Nov. 27. More than 2,000 people ran to raise money for a children's charity.

Daniel Munoz / X01439

A man dressed as Santa Claus talks to a little boy at the Christmas market at the foot of the cathedral in Cologne, Germany, on Nov. 26. His sign translates roughly to: "So that all children get Christmas gifts."

Marcel Van Hoorn / ANP

Volunteers of America Sidewalk Santas march in the 109th annual Sidewalk Santa Parade through midtown Manhattan on Nov. 25.

Brendan Mcdermid / X90143

Bicycle designer Dieter "Didi" Senft wears a Santa costume as he presents a ridable and lit-up candle arch in Storkow, Germany, on Nov. 24. Senft has built unusual bicycles for years and has also set world records.

Paticke Pleul / DPA

Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus wave to spectators during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York on Nov. 24.

John Minchillo / FR170537 AP

A Santa Claus greets young spectators during the unveiling of Lord & Taylor's Christmas windows at Lord & on Nov. 14 in New York City.

Jemal Countess / Getty Images North America