Across the country, St. Patrick’s Day comes early

(Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images)

With bagpipes galore and plenty of Guinness, Irish-American revelers – and their less lucky non-Irish counterparts – celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with parades across the country on Saturday.

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Happy Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow, predicting an early spring.

Inside NORAD’s command center as Santa trackers follow Santa’s progress

(Photo: Brennan Linsley / AP)

Over a thousand volunteers at NORAD handle more than 100,000 thousand phone calls from children around the world every Christmas Eve as NORAD charts Santa’s progress around the globe. 

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A 90-year tradition: Obama lights National Christmas Tree

(Photo: Jason Reed / Reuters)

President Barack Obama lit a new National Christmas Tree at a traditional ceremony Thursday outside the White House that officially kicks off the holiday season in the nation’s capital.

Disco cathedral? Lyon’s Festival of Lights

(Photo: Robert Pratta / Reuters)

The Festival of Lights, with designers from all over the world, is one of Lyon’s most famous festivals and will run from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9. The annual festival takes over buildings, squares, rivers and hills of the city with more than 70 performances and light installations and attracts over four million visitors to the city of Lyon, France.

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First glimpse of White House holiday decorations

(Photo: Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images)

A stuffed replica of Bo, the presidential dog, wearing a Santa Claus hat at the White House.

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Spruce up: It’s tree-lighting time in Rockefeller Center

(Photo: Richard Drew / AP)

What’s 80 feet tall, 50 feet in diameter, weighs 10 tons and is guaranteed to get everyone in the Christmas spirit?

It’s the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, which on Wednesday night will be lit for the 80th year. The Norway spruce, which is from New Jersey and survived superstorm Sandy, will be adorned with 45,000 multi-colored LED lights requiring five miles of wire.

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Wal-Mart offers its earliest Black Friday ever

(Photo: Mike Derer / AP)

Attention frustrated Black Friday shoppers who can never grab that hot product: Wal-Mart is hoping to relieve some of that anxiety.

The world’s largest retailer is throwing its doors open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, two hours earlier than a year ago. It’s also guaranteeing shoppers that it will have three of the most popular items it sells if they line up inside the store during a one-hour event that day.

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Indonesians feed ‘hungry ghosts’

(Photo: Y.T Haryono / Reuters)

Chinese Indonesians throw fake money to honor their ancestors during the Hungry Ghost Festival in Medan, North Sumatra, Aug. 31. During the festival, Chinese perform ritual prayers so that the spirit-soul of their ancestors will go to heaven. According to tradition, ghosts and spirits are believed to come out from hell to visit earth during the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar called the Ghost Month.