Mom surprised by soldier son in Santa suit: ‘It meant everything’

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A New Jersey mom received the gift she wanted the most for Christmas, wrapped in a big red suit with a white beard and glasses.

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Pope Francis’ simple style on Christmas offers sharp contrast to Benedict’s ornate garb

(Photos: Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters)

Pope Francis offered Christmas wishes Wednesday for a better world, praying for protection for Christians under attack, battered women and trafficked children, peace in the Middle East and Africa, and dignity for refugees fleeing misery and conflict around the globe.

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Home (and hungry) for the holidays: Families struggle to feed kids during school break

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The snow was blowing sideways in New York City last Saturday, but parents still streamed in to New York Common Pantry, some leading as many as four or five children by the hand while they sat with volunteers and chose their food on an iPad.

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President Obama: ‘Spirit of giving’ connects all Americans during holidays

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President Barack Obama used his annual Christmas message to urge Americans to remember troops serving far from home and embrace the spirit of the season and give back.

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Christmas in Afghanistan: Thoughts of home as US troops get on with job

(Photo: Noorullah Shirzada / AFP - Getty Images)

It was neither a silent nor holy night for American troops based in Afghanistan.

With the whir of choppers overhead, weapons holstered at their sides, and convoys rolling out, everyone was constantly reminded of the job at hand and dangers they face.

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Pope Francis wishes for ‘a better world’ in Christmas Day address

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Pope Francis called on the world to end the “hatred and vengeance” in Syria and to “heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq” in his first Christmas Day speech to an estimated crowd of 150,000 at the Vatican on Wednesday.

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Pope Francis delivers his first Christmas homily

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The faithful flocked to St. Peter’s Basilica for Pope Francis’ first Christmas Eve midnight Mass, in which the pontiff once again preached the importance of acceptance and humility, qualities he has demonstrated continually in his first nine months as head of the Catholic Church.

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Window washers bring Christmas cheer to sick kids

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For the very sick children in one hospital, the sight of Santa Claus washing their windows brings a smile.

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Years after death, wife gives husband final Christmas gift

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David Schmitz knew his wife loved him, but she confirmed the depth of her affection and fondness for him and their children with a surprise gift this Christmas — two years after she died from cancer.

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Boy from iconic wartime photo pays it forward at Christmas

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It’s one of the most powerful pictures from the Iraq war: an 8-year-old, his lip trembling, is handed a folded flag at his father’s funeral.

The iconic image inspired a family friend - someone the young Christian Golczynski had never met - to send him a present and, later, to launch a foundation that helps hundreds of kids just like him. 

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Family sets world record for most Christmas lights

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An Australian family set a Guinness world record for covering their home in more than half a million Christmas light bulbs.

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First lady gives kids a special thrill for Christmas

(Photo: Gary Cameron / REUTERS)

Kids anxious to learn when Santa would arrive got an update from a surprise guest this year when first lady Michelle Obama fielded their phone calls.

Alabama dad ‘shocked’ by BCS Christmas gift

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For Alabama fan Don Buckhannan the Christmas gift of a fedora just like the one the legendary Coach Bear Bryant used to wear was pretty great — and then he looked inside the hat to find tickets to the sold-out BCS national championship. He and his son Daniel talk about the thrilling surprise.

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President Obama greets Marines in Hawaii on Christmas

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KANEHOE, HAWAII – President Obama spent part of his last full day in Hawaii participating in an annual tradition for his wife Michelle and him: greeting Marines at the base near his vacation home here.