10 Celebrities Reveal Their Favorite Holiday Traditions
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Starting in just a few short weeks, the winter holiday season kicks off with Thanksgiving, and we couldn't be more excited (yes, we've already tuned our radio stations to 'round-the-clock Christmas music and stocked up on Hanukkah gelt).
It's a nostalgic time of year, where childhood memories and family traditions make their way back into our lives for a short time until the next holiday season rolls around. In all our excitement, we found ourselves wondering how our favorite stars spend their holidays (we think about celebrities a lot around here). They look forward to stuffing their faces, opening presents, and taking some time off just like the rest of us, believe it or not.
So, from Turkey Day to Hanukkah to Christmas, we've rounded up a solid list of the ways celebrities spend their holidays. Read on to see how the stars celebrate—you may even share some of the same traditions!
When it comes to traditions, many favorites revolve around food, and it's the same for the JoBros. "Every year we eat tamales on Christmas morning and it's pretty awesome," said Jonas. "My mom started it and it's special because Kevin, Joe and I have grown up doing it. It's very like us to have tamales on Christmas."
What is Hanukkah without a menorah? Here we see Zooey Deschanel take part in the tradition of lighting a menorah during her celebrations.
JESSICA ALBA and CASH WARREN
"We have a big family-and-friend sit-down dinner," the actress and mom told InStyleback in 2015. "Cash, me, and my parents throw down in the kitchen, and my dad makes the most yummy tender turkeys. He makes a spicy version—seasoned with fresh jalapeños—and a classic version with all the fixings. We love Christmas caroling with an improv version of '12 Days of Christmas' that’s always pretty epic. We also do our version of a White Elephant that’s an ornament exchange for all of the adults."
SHIRI APPLEBY and JON SHOOK
For chef Jon Shook, who's married to actress Shiri Appleby, potato latkes are his Hanukkah go-to. "Growing up in a Jewish household, they always kind of resonated with me," he told InStyle when we chatted at L.A.'s recent Food & Wine Festival. "I have kids, so it's a fun thing to do with them. We grate the potatoes and I make sure they don't grate their fingers off."
THE OBAMA FAMILY
One of the Obama family's more well-known Christmas traditions is spending the holiday in Hawaii each year, but there is one thing they do that isn't talked about as much. A few years ago, Michelle Obama revealed a tradition from her upbringing that made it into her own family's Christmas celebrations, and it's very sweet. "Our extended family was so large, people couldn't really afford to buy gifts for everyone," explained Michelle. "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."
"I've hula-hooped, done a dog trick with Bo and read poems," she said "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." We would seriously love to see the former POTUS put on a singing performance!
"Annual festivities," captioned the rap star in an Instagram posted back in 2014. It looks like this tradition involves Hanukkah gelt, dreidels, and drinks with friends.
We admire any Thanksgiving tradition that involves being active, because most of us embrace this holiday as a time for being lazy—and eating a lot. "Many years ago, my dad started this tradition where we all do this run in the local park," she said. "It's a three-mile run called the 'Turkey Trot.' There's even a prize, which I haven't won yet. But it's really fun."
"I heat my pool and we swim at Christmas," says Menounos. "We send pictures [to family and friends] back East and everyone hates us for some weird reason." Sounds like a good time—we'd be jealous, too!
THE ROYAL FAMILY
The Royal Family may have more Christmas traditions than anyone we've ever heard of. From afternoon tea parties to black-tie dinners, their annual festivities take place over a span of many days. Like many families, they attend church services and exchange presents—including gag gifts! And the Queen herself signs 800 cards that are sent out to not only friends and family but politicians and heads of state, too. She has to start working on them during the summer!