Pope Benedict XVI speaks about the need for peace in his Christmas Eve Mass.
It may not be over yet, but retailers are breathing a sigh of relief and celebrating a successful holiday season, thanks to a last-minute surge in sales.
Pope Benedict XVI prayed for peace in Syria, reconciliation in Myanmar, and comfort in flood-stricken Thailand and the Philippines in his annual Christmas message "To the City and the World" on Sunday.
Photojournalist Bethany Swain introduces us to a camel spending Christmas at George Washington's Mount Vernon farm.
Call it a nation on the move, part two.
This Christmas season the classic film most of us will watch on our televisions is Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life." With good reason: It's the perfect feel-good Christmas movie. In celebrating the quiet good works that Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey has done in running his family's savings and loan bank for the benefit of the residents of Bedford Falls, "It's a Wonderful Life" tells the story of American modesty at its best.
The tree is twinkling, carolers are singing, eggnog is flowing and your spouse is ... hunkered down in the other room, counting the seconds until the season is over. Can't he or she just suck it up and make with the merry? After all, who doesn't love the holidays?
What I recall most is that Christmas dinner was on the table and ready to be served, but the Dolphins were driving late in regulation, a fact my mother seemed completely oblivious to. It was an impossible choice to make, not that I truly had one. The holiday dinner would go on as planned for our family of six, even while I did everything I could to keep an eye on the best football game I had ever seen.
This time last year, Phil Jackson, then the coach of the Lakers, complained that the NBA scheduled games on Christmas Day. It seemed, he said, that "Christian holidays don't mean anything" any longer. A few players echoed Jackson's sentiments, but the complaint died aborning.
What has five heads, wears short pants and is a danger to your family? If you answered AC/DC, you would have been right, in 1980. But in 2011, the correct answer appears to be the NBA's Christmas Day quintuple-header, five games from noon through midnight that few parents will relish playing in or coaching in or broadcasting.
What does Rob Kardashian want for Christmas? A girlfriend? Not so fast, he says, just time with family will do.
Sixty-two percent of U.S. households have pets, according to a 2011 survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). For many of those furry friends, life is good. As the "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan likes to say, pets in the United States get to see Santa -- along with dermatologists, physical therapists and even pet sitters.
David Murphy hasn't started shopping for his two boys yet, and he knows he had better get started. The divorced father of two boys, ages 11 and 14, has custody for a full week around Christmas Day this year and needs to get a tree and start buying presents.
If you're dreaming of a white Christmas -- much like the one Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen used to know at the Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, Vermont -- the humbug of the matter is: Neither the inn nor the town exist.
Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland gets his croon on for his first-ever Christmas album, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year."
In Portugal's second city, Porto, crowds throng the main shopping streets, accompanied by the smell of roasting chestnuts and the twinkle of festive lights. Bacalhau, the dried, salted codfish traditionally eaten on Christmas Day, hangs in store windows framed by hand-painted wall tiles. Tourists wander past clutching maps and cameras.
Toys R Us is giving last minute holiday shoppers a break this year, thanks to round-the-clock shopping right up until Christmas.
CNN''s Anderson Cooper finds some humor in Jimmy Kimmel's holiday challenge to parents.
One Oklahoma man uses an annual Christmas light tradition to propose.
Your grown-up kids aren't coming home for Christmas. They're all married, and it's the in-laws' turn to host dinner in another state. Or your divorce is finally final, and your ex has the kids this year. Yes, you can celebrate a few days later, but what do you do on Christmas?
The Obama family flips the switch to turn on the lights of the official White House Christmas tree.
If you want to travel anywhere over Christmas or New Year's, better book now.
Picture the glow of medieval squares illuminated by thousands of sparkling lights. Imagine gingerbread-style stalls where artisans offer traditional crafts that threaten to banish gifts of boring neckties and fruitcakes for eternity. Marvel at iPod-toting children falling under the spell of low-tech charms like wooden toys, ice rinks and vintage merry-go-rounds.
Kathryn's story: "Hey!" My 11-year-old daughter bounded out of the kitchen, swinging a miniature pocket watch from a chain. "What's this? Whose is it?" It was hers, and I told her so, but not that it was intended for her Christmas stocking. I had bought it between errands, then dropped it into the groceries, which I had asked her to unload and put away, having forgotten the tiny purchase that had settled to the bottom of the bag. One hundred and three days remained until December 25.
What would Christmas be without Zuzu's petals?
The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was lit by NYC Mayor Bloomberg and Tishman Speyer CEOs Jerry and Rob Speyer.
Consult this handy calendar of what gifts to purchase, when -- courtesy of consumer-retail experts.
Yes, Virginia, there was supposed to be a Christmas tree "tax" -- and it's just what the people who will pay the tax wanted. But its fate is as up in the air as Santa's sleigh at midnight.
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Then you're in for a rude awakening.
Even the wealthiest Americans plan on putting fewer gifts under the tree this holiday season but it's not because they can't afford it.
Holiday shopping online was strong right through Christmas, with consumers spending a record $30.8 billion for the season, according to a research firm report issued Wednesday.
Readers share the uncustomary customs they celebrate year after year.
The Vatican celebrates Christmas with a traditional midnight mass.
In his traditional Christmas message delivered Saturday to crowds braving winter's chill, Pope Benedict XVI urged peace in the Middle East and asked for God's comfort upon beleaguered Christian communities in Iraq and elsewhere in the region.
Millions of Americans are shopping for last-minute gifts on Christmas Day. Where are they going? CNN's Josh Levs reports.
The Premier League table at Christmas is generally regarded as a kind of crystal ball, channelling the end of the season to reveal the likely winners and losers. Since 2005-06, the festive leaders have gone on to lift the trophy four times out of six, while only one bottom-placed club has escaped relegation with a new-year flourish in the Premier League era. If you want to delve even further -- all the way back to 1888-89, in fact -- you'll find that 41 percent of champions have led at Christmas, while 71 percent of last-place stragglers were already dawdling behind the pack by the time Rudolph skidded to a halt on your rooftop. Sorry, Hammers.
While Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas, atheists may wonder if there is another birth they might be able to commemorate.
This holiday season, the Colombian military is trying a unique angle to get guerrillas to lay down their arms: It is creating Christmas trees deep in the jungle in hopes the holiday spirit will tug the rebels back home.
If Christmas shopping has left you wearied and holiday jingles are jangling your very last nerves, there's one sure way to restore your Christmas spirit: Put down those shopping bags, warm up some cocoa and settle in with a Christmas movie.
December 26 is historically one of the most dangerous days of the year for people vulnerable to cardiac problems, including heart attacks, arrhythmias, and heart failure.
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a computer mouse. 'Cause y'all are checking your work e-mail on your BlackBerrys under the dining room table.
When I was a little girl, my parents would take me every year to see "The Nutcracker." I remember practically drooling in awe as the massive Christmas tree grew out of the stage until it towered over the audience, and hiding under my seat whenever that hideous, sword-wielding, gazillion-headed rat wobbled out onto the stage.
I'm not a Christian, but like many Jews, I've envied Christmas since childhood. I like the twinkly lights, pink-cheeked carolers, heartwarming television specials, and exuberantly ho-ho-ho-ing Santa Clauses ... pretty much everything except the endless renditions of "Jingle Bells" warbling from every audio speaker in the country.
Lula Belle the camel was dropped from the cast after she fell into occupied pews during a dress rehearsal for Friday night's premiere of a West Palm Beach, Florida, Christmas concert.
Plus, Gwyneth Paltrow, Crystal Bowersox and Tommy Lee dish on what makes the season special to them
There's never been a better time to be a cheapskate. Global economic uncertainty gives you the cover you need to save your pennies. And the bursting bubble is a perfect reminder that we bought too much we didn't need with money we didn't have for too long.
Have you booked your holiday air travel? It's time to stop dragging your feet. Shop now, if you haven't already.
David Goldman enjoys video games and hot chocolate with his son after a five-year battle to reunite
The singer says she got fuzzy socks, plenty of food ... and, oh yeah, an engagement ring
A Salvation Army major was shot dead in front of his three children on Christmas Eve in North Little Rock, Arkansas, authorities said.
A U.S. veteran of World War II enjoys an unlikely bond with a small town in Luxembourg. CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom reports.
A small town in Luxembourg once destroyed by fierce fighting remembers one of the bright moments in the dark of World War II -- a visit from Saint Nick.
More than a foot of snow ensured a white Christmas for much of the country. CNN's Samantha Hayes has this report.
The musician reveals his holiday plans - with no touring involved
For all the joy of Christmas morning, there's certainly a lot of waste involved.
A woman jumped a barrier at the start of Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter's Basilica and knocked down the pope, briefly disrupting ceremonies.
Last Christmas Eve, Jeff Martin found himself forced to explain to a Canadian general why, when Santa Claus passed through Toronto, Ontario, that night, Google Maps had placed the city in the United States.
Predominantly Muslim country embraces some traditions of the Christmas holiday. CNN's Ivan Watson reports.
It may be the first modern Christmas movie ever made for audiences in Turkey, a mostly Muslim country that does not celebrate Christmas.
What is it about Christmas music that enters our very souls, calms us and even gets us to do things that are right for humanity? This music even has the ability to make us like our old Aunt Emily. If there were a marketing campaign for Christmas, it would be the most successful campaign ever devised.
As Christmas season went into full swing this year, Glen Fullmer's 7-year-old son came home from school with an assignment: Make a poster illustrating his family holiday traditions.
"Christmas was always a really big deal in my family and my mom always went all out," the reality star says
Long before company celebrators bench-pressed fax machines, partygoers performed competitive face-plants into ice water, or family members gathered around an aluminum pole to wield complaints at one another, the common people of ancient Rome began to act up.
In Europe, "Christmas" lasts much longer than a day. The season stretches well over a month -- not to extend the shopping season, but to fit in the many holy days and festivities.
Over the years I've attended all kinds of work holiday parties. From the afternoon punch and cookies where you just have to show your face for five minutes, to the intimate and extravagant fine dining meal, to the huge blowout with endless food, open bar, chocolate fountains and partying until the wee hours of the morning.
At least half a million Facebookers are raging against Simon Cowell, trying to keep his British TV talent show "The X-Factor" from claiming the number-one spot on the British singles chart on Christmas Day.
In case you've not been paying attention -- or somehow missed those carols that have been playing at the mall since the week before Halloween -- Christmas is next week.
Americans are in a war that pits the politically correct against Christmas carolers, some say. They say it's a battle that plays out in the halls of Congress, retail stores and public schools across the country, and it's one that's been raging for years.
It could have been any other night at the Aspen Social Club in midtown Manhattan, except on this evening more than 100 New Yorkers mixed, mingled and sipped free booze for the worthy cause of providing toys for kids in need.
Nothing says "happy holidays, America," like smartphone apps you can stare at instead of talking to those pesky family members in the living room.
Every family has its own set of holiday traditions. Some spend the day opening gifts and stuffing themselves with turkey, while others volunteer at soups kitchens, sing in the church choir or take in a movie.
Oprah Winfrey chats with the President and First Lady as they prepare for their first Christmas in the White House
Courteney Cox and Laura Dern attend the celebration, which included a huge Christmas tree
Jennifer Aniston is getting in the holiday spirit.
The Twilight hunk and wife Jennie Garth have the answer to the tree question
The first lady unveils White House holiday decorations and theme: "Reflect, Rejoice and Renew."
Did Cyber Monday outshine Black Friday this year?
Christmas will be only modestly more expensive this year, according to a study out Monday, as prices for everything from partridges to pear trees declined in the weak economy.
Not satisfied with your holiday weekend shopping? Don't worry, it's Cyber Monday.
I'm perched in a wooden treehouse lazing on a cushy double mattress atop a white sand beach along Mexico's Riviera Maya. Overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea, I'm about as far away from holiday hoopla and craziness as I can get when the beach butler comes by to see if I need anything.
The stock market is up. Consumer confidence is down. Unemployment is way up. Gas prices are down.
The odds are against little Noah Biorkman making it to Christmas, so strangers are sending him gifts and cards. WDIV reports.
On a crisp Halloween night, icicle lights and Santa Clauses mingled with ghosts and jack-o'-lanterns in a Washington, Illinois, neighborhood.
The estranged couple will unite for a traditional holiday season with their brood
The country duo get in the Christmas spirit in a festive new commercial
Even though he has only one album under his belt, David Archuleta doesn't think it is at all too soon to release a collection of Christmas music.
If you expect holiday bargains to get better as Christmas Eve draws near, you may be disappointed this year.
When Lulis Leal's family gets together for Christmas, she is usually sunning herself on a beach surrounded by palm trees and turquoise waters, with not one extended relative in sight.
HLN money expert Clark Howard tells you where to find the best deals if you want to take a holiday vacation.
The battle for your toy dollar is on! Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us are just two of the giant monster mega-toy sellers going head to head this holiday season.
HLN Money Expert Clark Howard has a few holiday strategies that will help you give more, but spend less.
Discount retailer Target is offering up to half off of popular toys like Barbie and Fisher Price to lure bargain hunters this holiday season, said a company statement released Wednesday.
Wal-Mart is looking to jump-start holiday sales by expanding last year's $10 toy incentive tenfold, the company said Wednesday.
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