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President Obama waves to people gathered outside in the rain as he shops for Christmas gifts Wednesday in Alexandria. The president's spokesman said Mr. Obama's assertion that he ranked among the greatest presidents was taken out of context. (Associated Press)

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Visitors are seen reflected in the rain streaked Vietnam Memorial wall by the Christmas tree in the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 21, 2011. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/ The Washington Times)

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Selena Hajiani, at center, with William Hynes, both of Albany, N.Y., holds an ornament with a photograph of a soldier who went missing in the Vietnam War, on the Christmas tree at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 21, 2011. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/ The Washington Times)

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9-year-old Benjamin Hawley, center, of Arlington, VA, gives his Christmas list back to his mother after visiting with Santa. (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

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Air Force Brigadier General Select Peter Masciola head home after surprising his 10 year old son Kevin, left, and 12 year old daughter Tamara, center, at their school, Saint Columbus School, by coming home for Christmas after a 6 month deployment outside Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, December 19, 2011. (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

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Air Force Brigadier General Select Peter Masciola head home after surprising his 10 year old son Kevin and 12 year old daughter Tamara at their school, Saint Columbus School, by coming home for Christmas after a 6 month deployment outside Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, December 19, 2011. (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

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Tamara L. Miller, right, and her husband, Air Force Brigadier General Select Peter Masciola, center, speak to reporters after surprising their 10 year old son Kevin and 12 year old daughter Tamara at their school, Saint Columbus School, by coming home for Christmas after a 6 month deployment outside Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, December 19, 2011. (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

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Tamara L. Miller, left, smiles as her husband, Air Force Brigadier General Select Peter Masciola, surprises his 10 year old son Kevin and 12 year old daughter Tamara at their school, Saint Columbus School, by coming home for Christmas after a 6 month deployment outside Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, December 19, 2011. (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

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Air Force Brigadier General Select Peter Masciola kisses his daughter, 12 year old Tamara after surprising her and her brother 10 year old Kevin by coming home for Christmas after a 6 month deployment. (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

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Demonstrators march past Christmas decorations in downtown Lisbon on Wednesday on their way to the finance ministry. They are protesting the government's proposal to increase the hours of work in a week. Portugal needed a $103 billion bailout earlier this year as its high debt load pushed it close to bankruptcy. The government is enacting an austerity program of pay cuts and tax hikes. The posters say "Increase in the work hours is robbing in the salary." (Associated Press)

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Scott Weiland's take on traditional Christmas music is either awful, or it's awfully advanced. You can decide Dec. 19 at the 9:30 Club.

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Rudolph's nose (left) and chilly pear tree are two light cocktails made with Champagne, which means they're perfect for Christmas brunch. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** Christmas lights illuminate 125th Street in Harlem. (Associated Press)

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Belgium Grenade Attac_Lea.jpg

Ambulances are seen near a Christmas market in Liege, Belgium, on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, after several men attacked a crowd in a busy square with hand grenades and gunfire. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

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Marvin Stoner sends some holiday cards at the post office in Bethlehem, Ind., on Tuesday. For decades, the post office in Bethlehem has been a Christmas destination for thousands of cards, each seeking a red-inked imprint (above) depicting the three wise men following a star. The stamps could soon be a Christmas memory. (Associated Press)

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Greenery referred to as a "holiday tree" by Gov. Lincoln Chafee is lit Tuesday in the statehouse in Providence, R.I. Mr. Chafee and Republican state Rep. Doreen Costa battled over whether to call the official spruce a "holiday" tree or a "Christmas" tree. (Associated Press)

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Creative ornaments hang from one of the Christmas trees during The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011 on The Elipse in Washington, DC, Thursday, December 1, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr/ The Washington Times)

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A Christmas tree is seen with a setting sun during The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2011 on The Elipse in Washington, DC, Thursday, December 1, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr/ The Washington Times)

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Six well-armed women are among the many people who have taken up the Scottsdale Gun Club's offer for a ready-for-the-Christmas-card photograph with Santa Claus, complete with semiautomatic assault weapons.

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Republican National Committee The Republican National Committee's official "Take Back the White House" Christmas tree ornament is among the holiday offerings at gopstore.com.