Neil Patrick Harris's Epically Sexy Christmas: Eggnog Baths, Wearable Tinsel, and His #1 Naughty Wish

InStyle December - Neil Patrick Harris Lead
Photo: Martin Schoeller/Art + Commerce

We all know Neil Patrick Harris as an esteemed actor of screen and stage, a loving husband, and the father of adorable twins, but behind closed doors, his Christmas parties are, like Santa, the stuff of legend. Who better, then, to offer tips on how to turn up the heat this holiday? Taking time out from some of his more reputable pursuits—this month he appears in Alexander Payne's Downsizing, and he will soon reprise his role as Count Olaf in Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events—the saucy NPH shares his secrets for getting into the spirit of the season.

Is it possible to have a sexy Christmas with family and friends around?

I think there's room in the holidays to be a little bit sexy. When you have small children, you have to choose your times wisely, but, you know, the kids go to sleep. Stockings have to be filled, if you know what I'm talking about. Can I say that?

VIDEO: Neil Patrick Harris' Sexy Christmas Tips

It's out there now. Are outfits part of the allure?

I don't have many holiday dressing tips because the weather tends to be cold, and ugly sweaters are not the sexiest. Though I've always yearned for a gift of someone just in a bow.

Has that ever made it onto your wish list?

I keep asking Santa to deliver me someone wearing just a bow, but he thinks it's a joke. So does my husband [actor and chef David Burtka]. Maybe I'll surprise him, but where do you put the bow?

InStyle December - Neil Patrick Harris Lead
Martin Schoeller/Art + Commerce

Speaking of Santa, are you going to tell your husband about that little rendezvous that happened upstairs?

So, we're doing the photo shoot, and in walks Santa, and I mean, hello. We had a nice little time. I think I was mostly nice, and maybe a little bit naughty. We'll see what's in my stocking.

What are some of your favorite sexy carols to sing?

What's not sexy about Christmas carols? I mean, let's be honest ... just the stories behind them ... so sexy. "O Holy Night"? "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"? Come on. "We Three Kings"? Nothin' wrong with that. "Silent Night"? I don't think so, not given these circumstances.

InStyle December - Neil Patrick Harris Lead
Martin Schoeller/Art + Commerce

How do you feel about eggnog baths around Christmastime?

Eggnog is ubiquitous during the holidays, and I have probably imbibed enough in my life to fill a bathtub. It'll be fun to dip myself in the creamy deliciousness of eggnog, naked no less. My hope is always that I get kind of a spa treatment at the same time.

Do you recommend them for the folks at home?

I would recommend taking an eggnog bath as often as you can. Eggnog comes around to the supermarkets only once a year, right? And usually in those quart-size containers, so if you can procure enough eggnog to fill a whole bath, that's great. Otherwise you just wind up in a bathtub after drinking eggnog. You don't want to do that—that's a sugary headache disaster. So I recommend the eggnog on the outside, not on the inside.

InStyle December - Neil Patrick Harris Lead 4
Martin Schoeller/Art + Commerce.

Fashion editor: Sam Spector. Grooming for Harris: Susan Reilly Lehane for Schneider Entertainment. Grooming for models: Hair: Ayumi Yamamoto for De Facto. Makeup: Sae-Ryun Song for De Facto. Sittings editors for models: Alexis Parente and Steffi Lee. Set design: Cooper Vasquez for Magnet Agency.

Martin Schoeller/Art + Commerce.

Do you have any entertaining tips and tricks for a sexy holiday?

I do like that there are more events during the holidays. There are parties, and you can decorate cookies. I like to serve ham at our parties; it's a very sexy and underrated protein. Honey-glazed is the way to go.

Is there a full bar at your Christmas parties?

Yes, I do love a good drink at Christmas. A strong punch, for sure. I try to make a mixology-style punch; it really takes the party to a whole other level. We did it last year, and a lot of people ended up spending the night, but I got my pick of the presents, so I was thrilled.

InStyle December - Neil Patrick Harris Lead 5

How do you like to decorate your tree?

The one thing that makes the Christmas tree sexy is tinsel. I could talk about balls for days, and I sometimes do, but tinsel, hello. It's actually quite comfortable, so in addition to decorating the tree, you can also wear it—although it tickles more than I realized.

For more stories like this, pick up the December issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download Nov. 10.

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