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Christmas pajamas, baking sweet treats and decorating trees with family … oh my! In the spirit of the season, Us Weekly caught up with celebrities including Kelly Ripa, Wells Adams and more who shared their favorite holiday traditions with Us.

Whether it’s jet-setting to a tropical island or staying close to loved ones at home, scroll down to see what makes your favorite star the merriest during the best time of the year.

Gaten Matarazzo

“My family has always done a secret Santa with all of the grandkids. There are 10 of us so it’s always fun getting to see which one of your cousins you’re gonna get. Also it helps not having to get gifts for nine other people,” the Stranger Things actor told Us.

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“We always decorated when we were kids, but we never had nice decorations. We didn’t have the matching lights,” the singer told Us. “I wanted to take that tradition and as I got older decorate my own home and my home is the place we all come together. I have the nice tree and the ornaments that match and the lights and stuff now. I just love the holidays, which is the best.”


Anthony Anderson

“When we have functions, or the holidays come around everyone comes to my house. I will have between 30 and 40 family members for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s me and my cousin. My cousin is a professional chef. He went to culinary school. I didn’t. So he comes by and he’s my sous-chef, his name is Christopher,” the Black-ish star explained to Us. “And he’ll make the sauces because that’s something that I have yet to perfect. He’ll make the sauces and I’ll do all of the other things and he’ll help me along the way.”


Vanessa and Nick Lachey

“One of our favorite family traditions is the day after Thanksgiving, every year, we decorate for Christmas since Nick and I started dating 12 years ago,” Vanessa dished on their long-standing tradition. “It was just me and him putting up the tree and drinking white Russians.” The Top Chef Jr. cohost went on to note that the now family of five’s new favorite thing to do at Christmas time “might be Christmas Eve brunch because it’s [our youngest son] Phoenix’s birthday.”

That night, the couple bond while they wrap Christmas presents every year. “Christmas Eve it’s just me and Nick assembling all the last-minute things. We can’t assemble a lot and leave it in the house because our kids will find it. So we stuff boxes everywhere and we hide them and then Christmas Eve it’s an all-nighter. We’re usually up really late but we have a glass of wine and we have Christmas carols on while assembling things so it’s a great time for us to bond,” she told Us.

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Wendi McLendon-Covey

“What I like to do is decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. And my husband [Greg Covey] knows this so he doesn’t even have to be asked. He just goes to the storage space and gets out all the decorations. And last year — because he is such a prince — he hung the lights without me even being there. Now that is love,” the Goldbergs actress told Us. “He knows he’s going to have to do it sooner or later so he might as well do it. So we do that. And while I decorate the tree I watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”


Lindsey Vonn

“My tradition that I have is my brother Reed usually cooks. He thinks he’s a professional chef, which he definitely is not. But we like to let him believe that! And we always have so much fun in the kitchen,” the Olympic gold medalist told Us.

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Candace Cameron Bure

The Fuller House star told Us, “Christmas morning when my kids were little, it was the same way my parents did for us, where it was, like, if you wake up before us, you can’t come out to the living room. You have to wait until I turn the Christmas music on and you smell the coffee.” 


Jane Seymour

“I invite all the exes and the wives and the ex-wives and the children for Thanksgiving. I’m calling it ‘Family-giving.’ It’s also close friends with their families, who we consider family. It will be wonderful. It will be a huge feast with at least 40 people!” the actress told Us

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Joey Fatone

The former boy bander loves to watch holiday films with his kids on Christmas, and even told Us his favorites. “Oh, the staple, 100 percent across the board is Elf. You’ve got to watch Elf. But The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, obviously the Jim Carrey one, that’s another staple.” 


Kristin Cavallari

When it comes to Christmas in the Very Cavallari star’s household, it’s all about keeping tradition alive. “My dad always made homemade meatballs and sauce on Christmas Eve, so I’ve kept that up with our family,” the E! personality told Us. Her and husband Jay Cutler have also continued to keep their three kids on their toes, just like Cavallari’s parents did when she was growing up. “When I was little, my parents had the elves come a week before Christmas and if we were good, we got a little something in our stocking. If we were bad, we got coal,” The Hills alum shared. 


Josh Radnor

The man formerly known as Ted Mosby likes to spend New Year’s Eve quietly meditating, he told Us. “I’ve been having very low key New Year’s for the last couple of years. I haven’t been to big parties and stuff,” the Liberal Arts actor said. “But I’ve gotten together with some friends, and for the last couple of years, I’ve meditated from 11:45 to 12:15.” Radnor added that it’s fun to close out one year and enter another in a meditative state. 

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Teddi Mellencamp

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star is all about the photo op on Christmas. “Our biggest holiday tradition is I get my whole extended family, we do Christmas PJs. And then I make everybody take photos,” the mom of two told Us. “They’re like, ‘No!’ I make my dad, my sister and my brothers who are like 6 feet-3 inches tall [do it]. I’m like, ‘Yep! Everybody is going to be Snoopy this year!’”


Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos

The TV couple has welcomed a new tradition into their home recently, courtesy of Ripa’s Live With Kelly and Ryan cohost. “Ryan Seacrest‘s mom, Connie, makes these sausage balls Christmas morning,” the Hope & Faith alum told Us. “It’s Bisquick and sausage and cheddar cheese and you bake it in the oven. And now it is the No. 1 most requested thing in our house. It surpassed the cookies. It surpassed everything else.”

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Mindy Kaling

“We always read The Night Before Christmas. Last year my daughter was too little and didn’t care,” the Late Night star told Us. “But this year I think she’ll be able to get it more. And I’ve been talking it up a little bit. So we’ll probably do that. And I always watch You’ve Got Mail on Christmas because it’s one of my favorite movies. She’s a little too little to enjoy that. But I would like, when she gets older, to make her watch that with me.”

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Christina Anstead

“We always host Christmas Eve parties. We have family over, we have dinner, and then Christmas morning the grandparents come over and watch the kids open presents,” the Flip or Flop star told Us. “We have coffee and make pancakes. We keep it pretty simple for Christmas.”

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Vanna White

The Wheel of Fortune hostess revealed what’s most important to her during the holiday season. “It’s family time for me. I always have my family with me and we just have wonderful moments together,” she told Us. “Santa still comes to my children and their adult kids. They’re adults now, so we still have a good time.”

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Elizabeth Chambers

Speaking to Us of her holiday traditions with hubby Armie Hammer, the actress said, “We always cut down a Christmas tree in Colorado at the forest outside of my parents’ house in Denver. We always do that every year after Thanksgiving. It’s good. They want us to do it. It’s good for forestry. It’s not like we’re going poaching Christmas trees. And then we always go to the bakeries right before the holidays because it’s the busiest time, obviously, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And then go to Denver where hopefully we’ll have a white Christmas this year.”

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Ashley Greene

The Twilight actress says she and husband Paul Khoury don’t follow long-standing traditions, but instead are creating them actively. “So, Paul’s parents, my husband’s parents, are going to come out and stay with us this Christmas. My parents are in Australia. They were like, ‘See you later.’ But we’re kind of coming up with stuff. I want to do a baking contest at our house, like a cookie baking contest. So that’s going to be one of the things we will do this year,” she told Us.

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Jonathan Groff

Uncle Jonathan reporting for duty! “My brother has two little girls that are 2 and 4, and so the new tradition is going over to my brother’s house on Christmas morning and watching them open up gifts,” the Mindhunter star said. “And that’s, like, so much more fun than … As we got to be adults and we were exchanging gifts, it felt silly. And now that its about the two little girls, Christmas makes sense again.”

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Steve Harvey

“Every year I have my sons come to the house, just like my father did when he was living with my brothers — we’d come over every Christmas morning,” the Family Feud host told Us. “We have fried oysters, we have [Sister] Schubert’s rolls, and we have eggnog. That’s it. My sons come over every Christmas morning and that happens. That doesn’t seem like a great combination to a lot of people, but it is to me. I like oysters, I like [Sister] Schubert’s rolls, and I like eggnog. Put them on the same plate, I’m happy.”

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Kate Mara

“I spend every Christmas in New York, where I grew up, with my whole family,” the House of Cards alum told Us. “That is something that is important. Wherever we all are in the world, we all fly home. Even with a 6-month old baby, it is totally worth it. Our traditions are … we stay at home in our pajamas and watch a lot of movies. That has never really changed.”

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Jonathan Bennett

The holidays are a big deal in the Mean Girls star’s family … but that doesn’t mean every tradition is followed. “The traditions in my family were a little too crazy because my family was a little too crazy — and that’s why I love being in Hallmark movies,” Bennett told Us, referring to his film Christmas Made to Order. “It gives you this fantasy of what a perfect family is and you get to escape into that.”


Melissa Joan Hart

“My favorite one — which my parents did when we were kids that we now do with our children — which is the morning of Christmas, sitting at the top of the stairs, waiting for mom and dad to go downstairs and check to make sure Santa came and he left,” the Sabrina the Teenage Witch alum told Us. “It goes back to, I think, when my mom fell asleep too early and Santa hadn’t come, we had to go back to bed! It’s the best thing ever. Sitting on top of the stairs, the anticipation, the gathering, that 30 second to a minute is the best anticipation of your entire life. You’ll never get that back. It’s the highlight. They have to wait until mom and dad check. That gives me time to set up the camera, turn on the lights, light the fire.”


Lacey Chabert

The Part of Five alum loves a classic and cozy holiday. “Every Christmas Eve we all get together at my parents’ house for a White Elephant-style party,” she told Us. “You have to wear your pajamas and we exchange these silly gifts and it ends up being this fun fight over the best one.”


Jenna Dewan

The former World of Dance host might not have traditions at the moment, but she has plenty she’d like to establish for her and ex Channing Tatum’s daughter, Everly. “I’ve had a dream since I was a kid of a ton of kids running around, and fun, and family around a Christmas tree, and lots of music and joy and food … and I try to emulate that every year. I’d love [Everly] to emulate the importance of family around the holidays,” she told Us.

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Soleil Moon Frye

“We all come together on Christmas Eve and we do extended family and our family of friends all come over and we cook like crazy for days and days and days,” the former Punky Brewster star told Us. “Then Christmas Eve, we do our annual Christmas Eve gathering where everyone comes over and we sing ‘The 12 [Days] of Christmas’ and that’s such a blast. Everybody is singing, and then we do our Secret Santa exchange and it’s incredible, and we all are laughing like crazy and sometimes people are stealing gifts from each other and it’s wild. It’s crazy.”


Lesley Ann Warren

The Victor/Victoria star has traditions that date back nearly three decades! “I have a tree that I call my nutcracker tree because it’s big and it’s filled with children’s toys and beautiful ornaments that I’ve collected for 30 years,” she told Us


Nigel Lythgoe

“My favorite holiday tradition is going to my friend’s house. He’s a songwriter,” the So You Think You Can Dance judge told Us. “He and his wife put on a Christmas Eve party and we go there, we sing carols, we sing old ’60s songs and we have a jolly good time. And I’m looking forward to that and then going away.”

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Kathy Hilton

“Decorating, holiday parties and, you know, lunches,” Hilton told Us of her favorite family traditions. “Shopping together and decorating!”

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Kyle Richards

“I think mainly just baking and cooking, like, traditional things,” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star gushed to Us. “I love doing that with my kids and the family, whether it’s, like, pumpkin bread or Christmas cookies, we do it all! We just love that.”

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Kyle MacLachlan

“We have a tradition where we split our holidays. So Thanksgiving we spend in Miami. We were just there, visiting with [my wife Desiree Grubeher’s] father who is still alive,” the Twin Peaks actor told Us. “And then we do a Christmas visit up to see my family, everybody’s in the Seattle area. I go to visit my brothers and we laugh till our stomachs ache on jokes that my wife doesn’t think are very funny but of course we think are hilarious.”

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Erika Jayne

“You know, I like to spend it with my family and friends,” the singer told Us. “We’re getting ready to go back out on the road, so it’s kind of like, you know, performing before the holidays seems to be a tradition these last few years.” 

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Brooke Shields

“The whole Thanksgiving with my step-mom and all my sisters,” the That 70’s Show alum told Us of getting her favorite celebrations started early. “And then everybody from Thanksgiving comes to my house mid-December for a Christmas dinner. I move furniture and I feed all of them and we all spend time at my house and we all make toasts and this year we picked each other out of a hat so instead of getting presents for everybody we each got one person. It was actually a good thing so that’s my favorite, mid-December we get to all be together.”

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Kristin Cavallari

The Laguna Beach alum dished on carrying on a tradition from her childhood. “Growing up, we always did that the elves would come a week before Christmas every day before Christmas and if you were good, they’d leave a little something in your stocking and if you were bad, you got coal,” she gushed. “So I’ve kept up that tradition with my kids and it’s honestly just as a parent, it’s a good way to keep your kids in line and have them be on their best behavior, so yeah. That’s something fun that we always do. And then I usually —  my dad has a killer recipe for homemade meatballs and sauce and stuff — so I’ve been doing that on Christmas Eve.”

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Ali Wentworth

“The best one is it’s a cliche, but it’s stockings,” the Go Ask Ali author revealed of her simple pleasure. “I have a 16-year-old and they still want to open stockings.”

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Tatyana Ali

The Fresh Prince alum revealed that one of her fondest traditions is one that was created by her mom years ago when they moved west for her role on the hit series. “We do matching pajamas on Christmas Eve,” Ali told Us. “And whoever happens to be there on Christmas Eve also gets a pair of matching pajamas. It doesn’t matter your age. It’s kind of mandatory. And it’s fun. It’s fun.”

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Christy Carlson Romano

“People like to get artificial trees but I am from the east coast and so I really love to make the tradition of every year getting a real tree. And I kind of can’t be broken away from getting the real tree even though it’s a huge inconvenience and there’s always the water that leaks and you have to bag it up and put it through the house and you have a million pine needles,” the Even Stevens alum joked to Us of her messy tradition. “But there’s just something so magical about the smell of a real tree and something that’s such a throwback to my childhood so I have to get the real tree every year.”

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Kurt Russell

With one of the most famous families in Hollywood, there’s no doubt Kurt Russell will be surrounded by love during the holidays. “Well, Christmas is the biggest one and we always, we always trim the tree on Christmas Eve during the day and into the night,” the Christmas Chronicles actor, who has been with Goldie Hawn since the late ’70s, told Us. “And we have a big meal and then the kids put their pajamas on and they hang up their stockings and we got the fire going and then when it gets dark we always choose someone to read T’was the Night Before Christmas and generally after that the kids start getting nervous because we’ve been tracking Santa Claus, generally that time he’s starting to work his way into the end of the Rockies perhaps. And then all of a sudden you might hear sleigh bells and if you hear sleigh bells, the pandemonium sets in.”

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JC Chasez

“Always family,” the former boybander said. “My grandfather always reads from the Bible on Christmas Eve, and we all do a bit of caroling as well together as a family.”

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