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Under a setting sun, volunteers huddle near the fire and wait to greet visitors during "Christmas at Mount Vernon" at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate south of Alexandria on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011. Holiday visitors had the opportunity to see a gingerbread replica of the mansion created by former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier, chocolate-making demonstrations and the third floor of the mansion, which is usually not open to the public. In 1787, George Washington paid 18 shillings to bring a camel to Mount Vernon for his guests’ enjoyment. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

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