"Photography is a memory business," one of the Wise Men once told us.
Those words acted as a guide while we scanned hundreds of photos to select the baker's dozen appearing in this pictorial of the Christmas holiday season around the world this year.
Ranging in subject from Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff at a Christmas celebration in Sao Paulo to Sri Lankan Christmas decorations reflected by a pond in Colombo to a swimmer wearing a Christmas hat during the traditional Christmas bath in Monaco, these images struck us as especially memorable, at least among those shot in advance of Christmas Day itself.
Of course, the real test of their memorability will come next year, when we check to see whether we do in fact recall them. (The smart money says we will.)
Photo: REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
Christmas decorations are seen in front of a pond Sunday ahead of the holiday celebration in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
People walk past Christmas trees made of recyclable materials, as they appeared Sunday at a city hall complex at Mandaluyong in Manila, Philippines.
Photo: REUTERS/Jin Sung-chul/Yonhap
People wearing Santa Claus costumes attend an event Sunday before they give gifts to underprivileged children during a visit ahead of the Christmas holiday in Seoul, South Korea.
Photo: REUTERS/Jason Lee
A woman cycles past a Christmas tree outside a Roman Catholic church in the village of Xiliulin near the city of Taiyuan in China's Shanxi province Sunday.
Photo: REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
A man dressed as Santa Claus and selling Christmas and New Year's Eve party supplies rings a bell to attract customers in the Lebanese port city of Sidon Sunday.
Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
A swimmer wearing a Christmas hat is seen during the traditional Christmas bath of Monaco Sunday.
Photo: REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
People look at Christmas decorations at the home of Virginie and Jessy in Paillencourt, near Cambrai, in France Sunday. For the past 13 years, the homeowners have decorated their house to look like the home of Santa Claus, using 5,000 bulbs, 1,001 Christmas balls, and 30 Santa Claus figurines.
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, right, speaks with a model wearing clothes made of recycled materials as she attends a Christmas celebration Friday in Sao Paulo with people who are homeless and people who make a living out of collecting goods for recycling.
Photo: REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
People pose for a picture next to Christmas decorations Friday in the ancient city of Byblos, north of Beirut, Lebanon.
A Santa Claus figure is illuminated at a Christmas market in the city center of Frankfurt, Germany, Dec. 20.
A giant wooden Christmas pyramid is pictured next to the Frauenkirche cathedral at a Christmas market in the German city of Dresden Dec. 20.
Customers pass a giant Christmas tree at a German shopping mall in Hamburg Dec. 20.
A man poses dressed as Santa Claus at a Christmas fair in Madrid Dec. 20.