Every family has their own version of a holiday tradition. It could be something as simple as decorating a tree or baking cookies on Christmas morning. Or it could be something completely out-of-the-ordinary, like the traditions of these 12 celebrities. There’s no one way to celebrate the holidays, and as these celebrities prove, it’s all about family time and making sure that the day is as special and memorable as possible.
So, to find out how the rich and famous celebrate the holidays, we’ve looked at the special holiday traditions a dozen Hollywood elites have been repeating for years. From eating fast food on Christmas morning (we can get behind that) to taking an ice-cold swim (we might need some convincing for that one), these traditions sure are special. Check out 12 celebrities’ holiday traditions ahead.
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend: Fast Food
In true Chrissy-Teigen fashion, model spends each Christmas Eve (after Kris jenner’s annual Christmas party, of course) with her husband, Legend, ordering McDonalds as a late-night meal. “It’s a Chrissy tradition for sure,” Legend said in Postmates’ celebrity interview series, The Receipt. No word on whether Teigen and Legend’s kids, Miles and Luna, are a fan of this tradition, but from the looks of it, it’s at least parent-approved.
Jennifer Garner: a Gratitude Tree
To remind her family of what they’re thankful for that year, Garner makes a second tree, which she calls her “gratitude tree.” The purpose of the tree is simple: To decorate the tree, each family member writes something that they’re thankful on a leaf until the tree is filled with leaves. “I always make a gratitude tree and hang it up and then we make leaves and write things that we’re grateful for on them every day of November,” she told Us Weekly.
The Obamas: Performing for Presents
Because her extended family is so large, Michelle Obama and her aunts created a tradition where each family member must perform something to receive a present. “Our extended family was so large, people couldn’t really afford to buy gifts for everyone,” she told Ladies’ Home Journal. “So a couple of my aunts would go out and purchase small gifts. They would put them in a basket and in order to get a gift you had to perform. You could tell a joke, read a poem, do a backflip—anything counted. It’s a tradition that we’ve carried on today.”
As for examples of what she and the rest of the former First Family has done? “I’ve hula-hooped, done a dog trick with Bo and read poems,” she says. “The kids [Sasha and Malia] will sing or put on plays. The president [Barack Obama] and some of the other dads will get together and do a song,” she said.
Brooklyn Decker: Opening Presents at 3 A.M.
Though many can’t picture Christmas without Christmas morning, Decker’s holiday begins at 3 a.m. The reason is simple: She wants the Christmas lights on as her family opens presents. “One of our unusual traditions is that we can’t open presents in the daytime,” she told Us Weekly. “It has to be dark outside because we want the Christmas lights. We wake up at about three in the morning and go back to sleep at around six.”
As for her husband Andy Roddick’s opinion on the tradition? “He was very grumpy waking up at three in the morning but you have a full tree waiting for you!” Decker said.
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski: Pranks
As neighbors of Jimmy Kimmel and his wife, Molly, Krasinki and Blunt have a tradition to prank their neighbors each holiday. The tradition was revealed on a 2014 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! which documented the couples’ prank war. The prank started with Krasinski gift-wrapping Kimmel’s car. But of course, Kimmel had the perfect response by gift-wrapping Krasinski and Blunt’s entire home.
Blake Lively: Getting in the Same Bed
For Lively, the holidays start with some simple family time in bed. Though she isn’t sure how she fits her entire family in one bed, the actress revealed that one of her favorite traditions is talking in bed with her whole family for seven-plus hours. “I don’t know how my family does this but everybody gets in the same bed,” Lively told The Kit. “Somehow we spend seven hours a day just chatting. It’s really nice to have that time.”
Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher: No Presents—Only Donations
For Kunis and Kutcher, the holidays are about more than presents—in fact, the couple doesn’t give their children anything for Christmas. Instead, she asks loved ones to donate money to charity in lieu of what they would spend on a present. “So far, our tradition is no presents for the kids. We’re instituting it this year because when kids are younger than one, it doesn’t really matter…We’ve told our parents, “We’re begging you—if you have to give her something, pick one gift. Otherwise, we’d like to take a charitable donation, to the Children’s hospital or a pet, whatever you want. That’s our new tradition,” Kunis told Entertainment Tonight.
Tove Lo: Sauna and Ice Water Bath
Though an ice bath on Christmas morning doesn’t sound like the most pleasant way to start the holiday, Lo swears that it’s an age-old tradition in her native Sweden. Fortunately, after the ice bath, they jump into a sauna. “I’m from Sweden, so we do a lot of sauna, and then rolling around in the snow or jumping into the ice water,” Tove Lo told Young Hollywood. “My parents live by the water, so we make a hole in the ice, and then sit there, and then run up to the sauna.”
Carrie Underwood: Waffle House
Why spend Christmas morning washing dishes when you don’t have to? That’s what Underwood was thinking when she started the holiday tradition of going to Waffle House on the morning of the big day. “We’ll get up and go to Waffle House. It’s such a hectic time, and I don’t feel like making breakfast on a day that you’re just making so much food anyway. So we order breakfast and leave a ginormous tip,” she told People.
Nico Tortorella: Poker
For the Younger star, the best part of the holidays is when their entire family comes together to play poker—with hundreds of dollars in singles up for grabs. “I have a big Italian family so we have a lot of food. And we play poker. We all bring $100 in singles and play until somebody wins all the money,” they told Parade.
Kelsea Ballerini: Pajamas All Day
Pajamas might be a holiday tradition in most households, but Ballerini’s family takes it to a new level. She told iHeartRadio that it’s mandatory for her family to wear their pajamas all Christmas day—whether they’re attending church or going to the grocery store. “On Christmas Eve, my mom gives PJs for the family, and then we always have family friends that come over, and we are required to be in these pajamas all day no matter where we go. Grocery store? Pajamas. Church? Pajamas. It doesn’t matter,” she said.
Eva Longoria: Tamales
As a member of a big Mexican family, Longoria spends her holiday making tamales assembly-line-style. “We do tamales, which is very different and unique. That’s always fun because it’s like an assembly line at work,” she told Cafe Mom.