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Pope Benedict XVI presided over Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, delivering a homily that focused on the "essence" of the holiday rather than the "commercial celebration" it has become.

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Pope celebrates Christmas Eve Massupdated: Thu Mar 29 2012 05:55:00

Pope Benedict XVI speaks about the need for peace in his Christmas Eve Mass.

CNNMoney: Retailers see 11th-hour surge in holiday salesupdated: Wed Dec 28 2011 15:33:00

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 prays for Syria and Myanmar in Christmas messageupdated: Sun Dec 25 2011 09:07:00

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.

An unusual holiday guestupdated: Sat Dec 24 2011 09:08:00

Photojournalist Bethany Swain introduces us to a camel spending Christmas at George Washington's Mount Vernon farm.

A nation on the move for Christmasupdated: Fri Dec 23 2011 11:01:00

Call it a nation on the move, part two.

A movie for this Christmasupdated: Fri Dec 23 2011 07:54:00

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.

When spouses clash over Christmasupdated: Fri Dec 23 2011 01:02:00

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? Don Banks: Remembering the Christmas gift that was The Longest Game Everupdated: Thu Dec 22 2011 13:27:00

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. Frank Deford: Sports leagues don't shy away from scheduling games on holidaysupdated: Wed Dec 21 2011 12:28:00

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. Steve Rushin: Over the years, the NBA has become a staple on Christmas Dayupdated: Wed Dec 21 2011 09:58:00

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.

Rob Kardashian likes family Christmas traditionsupdated: Wed Dec 21 2011 09:37:00

What does Rob Kardashian want for Christmas? A girlfriend? Not so fast, he says, just time with family will do.

Fun gifts to spoil your pet this Christmasupdated: Wed Dec 21 2011 07:44:00

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.

Holiday survival guide for divorced parentsupdated: Wed Dec 21 2011 07:42:00

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.

5 spots for Christmas movie magicupdated: Tue Dec 20 2011 15:26:00

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.

Rocker Scott Weiland croons for Christmasupdated: Tue Dec 20 2011 13:27:00

Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland gets his croon on for his first-ever Christmas album, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

Portugal: When there's no light at the end of the tunnelupdated: Tue Dec 20 2011 06:14:00

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.

CNNMoney: Toys R Us to stay open round the clock till Christmas Eveupdated: Mon Dec 19 2011 16:05:00

Toys R Us is giving last minute holiday shoppers a break this year, thanks to round-the-clock shopping right up until Christmas.

Parents pull Christmas prank on kidsupdated: Fri Dec 16 2011 07:58:00

CNN''s Anderson Cooper finds some humor in Jimmy Kimmel's holiday challenge to parents.

A Christmas light proposalupdated: Fri Dec 09 2011 10:07:00

One Oklahoma man uses an annual Christmas light tradition to propose.

The anti-Christmas travel planupdated: Fri Dec 09 2011 10:07:00

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?

Obamas flip switch on Christmas treeupdated: Thu Dec 08 2011 08:16:00

The Obama family flips the switch to turn on the lights of the official White House Christmas tree.

CNNMoney: Ways to save on last-minute holiday travelupdated: Wed Dec 07 2011 10:50:00

If you want to travel anywhere over Christmas or New Year's, better book now.

5 great European cities for Christmas marketsupdated: Tue Dec 06 2011 10:12:00

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.

Give as good as you getupdated: Fri Dec 02 2011 08:01:00

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.

It's the most wonderful (TV) time of the yearupdated: Thu Dec 01 2011 11:29:00

What would Christmas be without Zuzu's petals?

Rockefeller Center tree lightingupdated: Thu Dec 01 2011 11:29:00

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was lit by NYC Mayor Bloomberg and Tishman Speyer CEOs Jerry and Rob Speyer.

Best days for seasonal shoppingupdated: Wed Nov 23 2011 10:34:00

Consult this handy calendar of what gifts to purchase, when -- courtesy of consumer-retail experts.

CNNMoney: What tree growers want for Christmas: a 'tax'updated: Wed Nov 09 2011 16:23:00

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.

Review: 'A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas' a treat for fansupdated: Fri Nov 04 2011 10:35:00

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Then you're in for a rude awakening.

CNNMoney: Are the rich finding the true meaning of Christmas?updated: Fri Oct 07 2011 12:36:00

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.

CNNMoney: Online holiday shopping: $30.8 billion spentupdated: Thu Dec 30 2010 10:48:00

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.

What is your most unique holiday tradition?updated: Sun Dec 26 2010 19:57:00

Readers share the uncustomary customs they celebrate year after year.

Christmas at the Vaticanupdated: Sun Dec 26 2010 06:35:00

The Vatican celebrates Christmas with a traditional midnight mass.

Pope's Christmas message urges peace in troubled landsupdated: Sat Dec 25 2010 12:00:00

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.

Ultimate last-minute Christmas shoppingupdated: Sat Dec 25 2010 10:50:00

Millions of Americans are shopping for last-minute gifts on Christmas Day. Where are they going? CNN's Josh Levs reports. Georgina Turner: Christmas Premiership standings not always an accurate indicatorupdated: Fri Dec 24 2010 10:03:00

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.

Why I'm dreaming of a white-noise Christmasupdated: Fri Dec 24 2010 09:43:00

While Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas, atheists may wonder if there is another birth they might be able to commemorate.

Colombian military's new weapon against rebels: Christmas treesupdated: Fri Dec 24 2010 07:00:00

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.

The best and worst Christmas filmsupdated: Thu Dec 23 2010 17:31:00

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.

Why the day after Christmas is hazardous to your heartupdated: Wed Dec 22 2010 08:24:00

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.

It's the holidays, so let your work e-mail goupdated: Wed Dec 22 2010 08:09:00

'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.

Bring back glamour to the holidays!updated: Tue Dec 21 2010 11:33:00

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.

Can Santa save Christmas in Washington?updated: Sat Dec 18 2010 09:40:00

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.

Camel trips, falls into pews during Christmas show rehearsalupdated: Fri Dec 10 2010 19:08:00

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. Lauren Conrad's Favorite Thing About Holidays: Eating!updated: Fri Nov 26 2010 14:29:00

Plus, Gwyneth Paltrow, Crystal Bowersox and Tommy Lee dish on what makes the season special to them

I'm dreaming of a cheapskate Christmasupdated: Mon Nov 15 2010 12:46:00

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.

Time to book those holiday flightsupdated: Thu Nov 04 2010 08:00:00

Have you booked your holiday air travel? It's time to stop dragging your feet. Shop now, if you haven't already. Back from Brazil: Sean Goldman Wants to Go Fishingupdated: Wed Dec 30 2009 12:18:00

David Goldman enjoys video games and hot chocolate with his son after a five-year battle to reunite Carrie Underwood Talks About Getting a Fiancé from Santaupdated: Tue Dec 29 2009 16:55:00

The singer says she got fuzzy socks, plenty of food ... and, oh yeah, an engagement ring

Salvation Army major shot dead in Arkansas on Christmas Eveupdated: Mon Dec 28 2009 21:26:00

A Salvation Army major was shot dead in front of his three children on Christmas Eve in North Little Rock, Arkansas, authorities said.

American St. Nick in Luxembourgupdated: Mon Dec 28 2009 14:28:00

A U.S. veteran of World War II enjoys an unlikely bond with a small town in Luxembourg. CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom reports.

Kindness of American Saint Nick rememberedupdated: Mon Dec 28 2009 14:28:00

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.

Midwest's white Christmasupdated: Fri Dec 25 2009 17:48:00

More than a foot of snow ensured a white Christmas for much of the country. CNN's Samantha Hayes has this report. Sugarland's Kristian Bush Looks Forward to Xmas Lights at Homeupdated: Fri Dec 25 2009 17:29:00

The musician reveals his holiday plans - with no touring involved

Recycle yule into Christmas alt-fuelupdated: Fri Dec 25 2009 08:36:00

For all the joy of Christmas morning, there's certainly a lot of waste involved.

Woman knocks down pope at Mass; Christmas celebrations beginupdated: Thu Dec 24 2009 22:00:00

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.

Behind the scenes: NORAD's Santa trackerupdated: Thu Dec 24 2009 12:16:00

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.

Muslim Turks celebrate Christmasupdated: Thu Dec 24 2009 09:27:00

Predominantly Muslim country embraces some traditions of the Christmas holiday. CNN's Ivan Watson reports.

Santa movie spotlights Turkey's east-west divideupdated: Thu Dec 24 2009 09:27:00

It may be the first modern Christmas movie ever made for audiences in Turkey, a mostly Muslim country that does not celebrate Christmas.

Songs show we all need a little Christmasupdated: Wed Dec 23 2009 15:31:00

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.

For many, December's a dilemmaupdated: Wed Dec 23 2009 15:06:00

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. Kendra Wilkinson 'So Excited' Over First Christmas with Husband, Babyupdated: Wed Dec 23 2009 11:57:00

"Christmas was always a really big deal in my family and my mom always went all out," the reality star says

'Seinfeld' over, but Festivus keeps givingupdated: Wed Dec 23 2009 10:34:00

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.

Europe rich with Christmas traditionsupdated: Tue Dec 22 2009 18:09:00

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.

Will they or won't they party at the office?updated: Mon Dec 21 2009 10:44:00

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.

Facebookers rage against Simon Cowell's Christmas juggernautupdated: Sun Dec 20 2009 03:48:00

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.

Follow Friday: Tweeting through the snow ...updated: Fri Dec 18 2009 10:48:00

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.

Heated debate again over 'War on Christmas' claimsupdated: Fri Dec 18 2009 10:09:00

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.

New Yorkers party for a purposeupdated: Thu Dec 17 2009 09:54:00

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.

Apps of the week: Celebrate the holidays with your smartphoneupdated: Wed Dec 16 2009 08:11:00

Nothing says "happy holidays, America," like smartphone apps you can stare at instead of talking to those pesky family members in the living room.

Music stars' favorite holiday traditionsupdated: Tue Dec 15 2009 18:04:00

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. Obamas Recall Favorite Christmas Giftsupdated: Sun Dec 13 2009 09:47:00

Oprah Winfrey chats with the President and First Lady as they prepare for their first Christmas in the White House Jennifer Aniston Hosts Star-Studded Holiday Partyupdated: Mon Dec 07 2009 19:08:00

Courteney Cox and Laura Dern attend the celebration, which included a huge Christmas tree

Jennifer Aniston gets some holiday cheerupdated: Mon Dec 07 2009 18:48:00

Jennifer Aniston is getting in the holiday spirit. How Peter Facinelli Solves His Christmas Dilemmaupdated: Fri Dec 04 2009 12:40:00

The Twilight hunk and wife Jennie Garth have the answer to the tree question

Obama holiday previewupdated: Thu Dec 03 2009 03:49:00

The first lady unveils White House holiday decorations and theme: "Reflect, Rejoice and Renew."

CNNMoney: Cyber Monday: A lot of clicking and shoppingupdated: Tue Dec 01 2009 10:27:00

Did Cyber Monday outshine Black Friday this year?

CNNMoney: '12 days of Christmas' get pricierupdated: Mon Nov 30 2009 16:28:00

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.

CNNMoney: Cyber Monday shoppers: 4 million per minuteupdated: Mon Nov 30 2009 15:34:00

Not satisfied with your holiday weekend shopping? Don't worry, it's Cyber Monday.

Holiday travel that won't bust the budgetupdated: Tue Nov 24 2009 08:50:00

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.

Fortune: Mixed forecasts for holiday spendingupdated: Thu Nov 19 2009 11:25:00

The stock market is up. Consumer confidence is down. Unemployment is way up. Gas prices are down.

A boy's early Christmasupdated: Wed Nov 18 2009 12:13:00

The odds are against little Noah Biorkman making it to Christmas, so strangers are sending him gifts and cards. WDIV reports.

Beautiful bright lights shine for dying boyupdated: Wed Nov 18 2009 12:13:00

On a crisp Halloween night, icicle lights and Santa Clauses mingled with ghosts and jack-o'-lanterns in a Washington, Illinois, neighborhood. Jon & Kate Plan for a Very Gosselin Christmasupdated: Wed Nov 11 2009 19:08:00

The estranged couple will unite for a traditional holiday season with their brood VIDEO: Sugarland Spread Holiday Cheer!updated: Wed Nov 11 2009 13:47:00

The country duo get in the Christmas spirit in a festive new commercial

David Archuleta delivers 'Christmas from the Heart'updated: Tue Nov 10 2009 15:02:00

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.

CNNMoney: Gift shoppers: Bag your best bargains earlyupdated: Tue Nov 10 2009 13:49:00

If you expect holiday bargains to get better as Christmas Eve draws near, you may be disappointed this year.

Escape your family for the holidaysupdated: Mon Nov 09 2009 10:34:00

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.

How to escape for the holidaysupdated: Mon Nov 09 2009 10:34:00

HLN money expert Clark Howard tells you where to find the best deals if you want to take a holiday vacation.

Clark Howard: Price wars making holiday shopping a little cheaperupdated: Thu Oct 08 2009 10:54:00

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.

Who's been naughty or nice?updated: Thu Oct 08 2009 10:54:00

HLN Money Expert Clark Howard has a few holiday strategies that will help you give more, but spend less.

CNNMoney: Target slashes toy prices 50% for the holidaysupdated: Wed Oct 07 2009 14:16:00

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.

CNNMoney: Wal-Mart's holiday bargain: 100 toys for $10updated: Wed Sep 30 2009 08:20:00

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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