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Saturday, Nov 24 2012 12:02 AM

Inside Story: Christmas Around the World

Compiled by Emily Claffy

Christmas Around the World

* Second floor of Timeless Furnishings, 1918 Chester Ave.

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Christmas Around the World features holiday decorations and traditions from 43 countries, like this patriotic display from the United States. The annual display, at 1918 Chester Ave., will run through Dec. 29.

This nativity is one of more than 3,000 nativity pieces that can be seen at the annual Christmas Around the World display. They range in from this life-size scene, to one that has been painted on a single grain of rice.

This large nutcracker and Christmas tree welcome visitors to the Germany section of Christmas Around the World.

This large nutcracker and Christmas tree welcome visitors to the Germany section of Christmas Around the World.

These are just some of the the over 800 nutcrackers on display in the Germany section of Christmas Around the World. The nutcracker became a popular Christmas symbol in Germany during the mid 1800s.

At Christmas Around the World, guests are invited to tour the Christmas traditions and decorations of 43 different countries and regions. The display includes over 150 Christmas trees and more than 3,000 nativity pieces.

There are more than 150 ornately decorated Christmas trees on display at Christmas Around the World, like this one with traditional decorations from Northern Europe.

There are more than 150 ornately decorated Christmas trees on display at Christmas Around the World, like this one with contemporary decorations from China.

In addition to adding two new countries to the display, this year Christmas Around the World will also display a collection of hundreds of holiday-themed dolls from all over the world.

Sherrie Lewis, designer of Christmas Around the World, puts the finishing touches on one of the more than 150 Christmas trees on display at the annual event. The display will be open Monday through Saturday until Dec. 29, and is on the second floor at 1918 Chester Ave.

* Nov. 23 until Dec. 29.

* Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday

* Closed on Sundays, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

* Prices: $20 for a family of four, $8 for adults, $7 for seniors 65 and older, $5 for children and free for children 5 years old and younger

History

* First opened in 2008 on the second floor of Timeless Furnishings.

* Established by Sherrie Lewis, who has a love for Christmas and a desire to educate people about the Christmas traditions of other countries.

* Receives donations and consultations on traditions from local ethnic groups including Filipinos, Mexicans, Swedes, Egyptians, Peruvians, Germans and Koreans.

* The nonprofit organization, Foundation for Christmas Around the World, seeks sponsors to provide admission for disabled individuals, foster children, at-risk youth, Boys & Girls Clubs and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

What you'll find

* Christmas displays from 43 different countries; Hungary, Romania and Ecuador are new to this year's display

* 150 decorated Christmas trees covering 15,000 square-feet

* 3,000 nativity items including nativity scenes, framed cards and ornaments

* 1,000 international dolls

* More than 800 nutcrackers in the Germany display

* A section for vintage decorations

* A gingerbread replica of Saint Basil's Cathedral made by Manuel Rodriguez, who died of Lou Gehrig's Disease in 2011

* A gift shop with Christmas items

* Punch and cookies

Preparation

* Lewis receives help from family and friends to clean and update displays.

* Volunteers start cleaning and decorating toward the end of October and through November until the site is open.

* This year, Ryan Cheney's Eagle Scout project included painting shelving units and walls, as well as moving light fixtures for the event.

* Lewis receives decoration donations from locals, and attends estate and yard sales to scout new decorations.

Special events

* "Light a Light" from 6 to 7 p.m. Nov. 30. The event will honor Karen Goh and Kathy Butler for their community service.

* "Deaf Awareness Days" from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 8. Tours in sign language for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Last year's event featured a signing Santa for 85 attendees.

* "Latin Fiesta" all day on Dec. 15. Day includes dancing, singing, storytelling, as well as costumes from Guatemala, Ecuador, Columbia and Mexico.

* "Music Festival" all day on Dec. 22. Live musical accompaniment will be played for Christmas Around the World patrons. Christmas Around the World

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