The Foxes' Premier League form has been a far cry from that which won them their first ever top-flight title last season.
Ranieri's side currently sit 14th in the table, just two points off the relegation zone after 13 games.
Since Schmeichel broke his hand last month, Ron-Robert Zieler has been deputising, but the shot-stopper has conceded 16 goals in eight games, keeping just one clean sheet.
Ahead of the hectic festive schedule, Ranieri is hopeful that he will have his first-choice keeper back in the fold.
"I hope before Christmas Day he'll be ready," the Italian coach told reporters. "It depends on him and the surgeon but his fitness is getting better. He is working on a normal training session, separately.
"I shake his hand and he always gives me his left hand but today I said give me his right and shook it - gently."
Leicester have won just three league games this season, but they are doing better in Europe having reached the last-16 stage of the Champions League.