December 22, 2010.
On the 24th, the Pope will host a Christmas dinner in the Pontifical apartment. His secretaries, priests Georg Ganswein and Alfred Xuereb, will also be there. It will be a sad Christmas, because one of the pope's domestic caretakers, who was considered part of the family, recently passed away.Federico Lombardi
“At midnight the Pope will light a candle from his window at the end of the brief inauguration ceremony of the Nativity in St. Peter's Square. Then, before the Mass, he will place the baby Jesus in the manger of the Nativity in his living room, next to the Christmas tree.”
At 10pm Rome time, Benedict XVI will celebrate a widely-viewed Christmas Eve mass in St. Peter's. The mass is a global event, gathering ambassadors and pilgrims from all over the world. During this ceremony last year, the Pope fell to the ground, when a young women jumped over the barriers to greet him.
On the 25th, the Pope will celebrate Christmas in 60 languages. From the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, the pope will give his famous blessing “Urbi et Orbi,” which means to the city of Rome and the world. Federico Lombardi
“On December 28 his brother from Germany will arrive to spend the rest of Christmas with him. It is an old tradition between the two brothers. Before, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he would go to Germany to be with his brother Georg and he always arrived on December 28.”
In the last ceremony of the year, the Pope will recite the "Te Deum," a traditional prayer of thanksgiving for God's gifts throughout the past year.
On January 1st the Catholic Church commemorates World Peace Day and the pope will celebrate his first mass of 2011. During this mass, Benedict XVI will pray for the needs of all the countries in the world.
At the Vatican, the Christmas season officially closes with the feast of the Epiphany on the 6th of January. During this celebration, kids take center stage in remembering the day the Wise Men, guided to Bethlehem by a star, were the first to visit and adore Jesus.
On this morning, the Pope will celebrate Mass in the Vatican and the angelus in St. Peter's Square. Normally there is at least one person dressed like one of the Three Kings, among the throngs of pilgrims.
As you can see, keeping up the Christmas tradition means following a pretty busy schedule.