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Merry Christmas from the Photo Department!

We take a break for our collection of year end blogs.

Here is a collection of some of our Christmas and Holiday pictures leading into this season.

DAVID COOPER - Gorgeous holiday window displays are one of the first signs of the season, these windows are at Holt Renfrew on Bloor Street were up November 1, 2012.

CHRIS SO - Passersby stop and study the window displays at the Hudson's Bay Flagship store on Queen Street West.

DAVID COOPER - Santa has his list in the Hudson Bay windows on Queen Street.

RICK MADONIK - Monkey, a nine year old Yorkie, has a little sled he is dragged around in as he works the runway during a fashion show at Winter Woofstock at The Fairmont Royal York.

RICK MADONIK - Riley, an eight year old Papillion, lets his tongue hang out while having his picture with Santa taken at Winter Woofstock.

COLIN McCONNELL - The family of  the late Stella Bruner-Methven, her moms Mishi Methven and Aimee along with with siblings Sam, 14 months, and Hugo, 4 months, decorated her favourite tree with Christmas decorations outside the gates of Riverdale  Farm in Riverdale park on December 14th 2012.

VINCE TALOTTA - Spectacular fireworks display by Circus Orange  at the Calvalcade of Lights following the lighting of the Christmas Tree at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.

KEITH BEATY - Team from Blachere Illumination working on decorating Berczy Park with big illuminated tree. 

STEVE RUSSELL - Shoppers rush about a busy Eaton Centre making purchases and enjoying the light throughout the busy mall on the last Saturday of shopping before Christmas.

LUCAS OLENIUK - Karen Dow lives in a high-rise and is committed to creating a community spirit in her Toronto building. Dow and her partner create a miniature Santa's Village in her penthouse and invites the public to view.

STEVE RUSSELL - Sheila Almetico sings along at the Annual Tuba Christmas Festival and Sing-a-long at Nathan Phillips Square.

STEVE RUSSELL - Emma MacGregor from Aurora plays at the Annual Tuba Christmas Festival and Sing-a-long at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.

RICHARD LAUTENS - Thousands packed the Distillery District Christmas Market for a special world-record attempt. 15,000 people were expected to take part in the World Carolling Challenge, which aimed to assemble the most carollers singing in one place, they came up short of the record.

RICHARD LAUTENS - Arash Ghafoori by the huge tree in the middle of the Ditillery Christmas Market.

RICK MADONIK - Rabbi Mendel Kaplan lights the ice mennorah in front of members of his congregation of Chabad on Flamingo, in Thornhill on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, the 2nd night of Channukah.

ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE - A boy watches The Santa Claus Parade from a tree near Queen's Park, November 18, 2012.

ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE - Santa Claus and his reindeer during The Santa Claus Parade, November 18, 2012.

ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE - Santa performs for an audience of children during a show at Sherway Gardens, November 27, 2012. 

RICHARD LAUTENS - Part of the choir sings as other members file in.  Conducting is Canon Dr. Giles Bryant at The Toronto Star's 34th Annual Christmas Carol Concert at St. Paul's church on Bloor Street.  The packed event saw thousands come out to hear the 250 musicians and choir members perform and to raise money for the Toronto Star Santa Claus Fund.  Last year's concert raised $54,000 to provide gift boxes to the needy.

RICHARD LAUTENS - Canon Dr. Giles Bryant is the main conductor and sings as he conducts the Toronto Star's 34th Annual Christmas Carol Concert  at St. Paul's church on Bloor Street near Church.

STEVE RUSSELL - Mrs. Claus sports an umbrella as she listens to the Candy Cane Carollers. The weather outside is frightful but far from a white Christmas the Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District.

STEVE RUSSELL - Exhausted Leah Malcolm, 2, naps while her mother Jennifer and sister Danielle, 5 talk. Children's Wish Foundation teamed up with Air Transat for a Santa Flight to the North Pole to search for Santa. In its seventh year, the flight takes 100 sick children and their families on a flight to search for Santa and bring him back to Toronto. Air Transat donated $780,000 to the Children's Wish Foundation.

STEVE RUSSELL - Ava McConnell, 4, gets in one last cuddle with Santa after the  Children's Wish Foundation Santa Flight to the North Pole. 

DAVID COOPER - Santa and one of his Reindeer visit the Toronto Star Newsroom at the invitation of Star Investigative Reporter Emily Mathieu as part of the ongoing Christmas Decorating Wars with the Radio Room. 

RENE JOHNSTON - Robert Pylypiw stacks thousands of Santa Fund gift boxes in the warehouse. The boxes are delivered to 45,000 children across the GTA, they contain toys, mitts, hats and candy.




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