18 Celebrity Holiday Traditions

The holidays are a whirlwind of family, food, and fun. Everyone has their own unique way of celebrating...and celebrities are no exception! Our favorite stars shared the fascinating, playful, and wacky ways they add some cheer to the holiday season:

1. xmas slide 01 mariah carey

Mariah Carey: 

“Every year, we do what we call the ‘Charlie Brown Christmas tree,’ where we string up those big red and green bulbs and hang tons of ornaments -- mostly ornaments my fans have sent me over the years. They did pictures of, like, me and the dog, just really cute stuff. A couple of years ago, one of my friends gave us the idea of taking Polaroids of each other and then decorating them and putting those on the tree. That was really fun; I think we might do it again this year. It’s a wonderful time for us all to bond and really get into the spirit.”

2. xmas slide 02 christina milian

Christina Milian: 

“My mom watched a Charlie Brown Christmas’ with me, and I will watch it with my daughter.  Charlie Brown’s tree was so sparse. It couldn’t hold a candle to the Milian tress, which were always big and filled with decorations. They get bigger and bigger every year.”

3. xmas slide 03 selena gomez

Selena Gomez: 

“Going back to home in Texas and sitting on the couch with my family, and just eating lots of homemade food!” 

4. xmas slide 04 eddie cibrian

Eddie Cibrian: 

“We eat black beans and rice with friend bananas for Christmas Eve!” 

5. xmas slide 05 camila

Camila Alves: 

In Brazil, we celebrate Christmas at midnight on the 24th. Here, they celebrate the 25th during the day. So I can’t just do the 25th, I have to do something the 24th at midnight, and it’s funny because the whole American side of the family is like, ‘Really, midnight? You want to have us do a dinner at midnight?’ And I’m like, ‘Yes, that’s how I grew up celebrating!’ So we’re keeping that so we do something on the 24th at midnight and we’ll do something on the 25th. They don’t get to open gifts until the 25th, so I kept that as the American tradition, but we’ll definitely do a Latin version of the midnight Christmas.”

6. xmas slide 06 demi lovato

Demi Lovato

“I celebrate the holidays by taking some time off with my family and eating amazing holiday food. The best holiday gift I’ve ever received was...just...my great-grandparents! They’re still alive, and as cliche as it sounds, having them in my life for so long and having them around at Christmastime is the best holiday gift I could ask for.”

7. xmas slide 07 zoe saldana

Zoe Saldana:

“It doesn’t matter where we meet around the world as long as we are together. Whether we are eating turkey, a grilled cheese sandwich or rice and beans. Our tradition is to be together.”

8. xmas slide 08 ryan lochte

Ryan Lochte: 

“One of my favorite Latino foods that my grandma or my mom make is breaded steak with some black beans and rice. I could that pretty much any day! Whenever they se me, they make it for me, because they know it’s my favorite food. But, we always have it for holidays -- Christmas, Thanksgiving, every time we see each other they’re making breaded steak!”

9. xmas slide 09 salma hayek

Salma Hayek: 

Just the thought that Santa was coming all the way from the North Pole to Coatzacoalcos (in her home country of Mexico) to bring me my gifts, and the anticipation of waiting the next morning, you know? I love Christmas and I loved it as a child. I had lost a little bit of flavor of it and now that I have a child [Valentina] -- she brought it all back to me. I enjoy it just as much now.”

10. xmas slide 10 julissa bermudez

Julissa Bermudez: 

“Every year my family gathers at Tio Victor’s house on Noche Buena and we crack open his mamajuana [a traditional Dominican drink made with bark and herbs soaked in alcohol]. He ferments it all year. It’s one of the few times I get wasted around my parents. We take shots and say what we’re thankful for. After a few drinks, my mom turns into a dance machine, and it’s so funny to see my dad trying to keep up with her.”

11. xmas slide 11 mario lopez

Mario Lopez: 

“Just spending time with the family! That’s the most important thing. Plus, a  lot of Mexican food and a lot of Italian food, and we’re good to go.”

12. xmas slide 12 enrique iglesias

Enrique Iglesias:

“You know, to my mom it’s so important. On the 24th, we eat dinner right before midnight on the 25th. That right there is crucial for her.”

13. xmas slide 13 scottyu mcreery

Scotty McCreery: 

“[Christmas] was always a big time for us! For my family, it was always spent like ‘the reason for the season’ -- celebrating Christ’s birth. But in the morning, me and my sister would wake up too early and my parents would like, “Nope! Nobody can go downstairs until the whole family’s there.’ So we could have to wait, but we always had a good time.”

The half-Puerto Rican country crooner also told People about his favorites Christmas foods: his Grandma Paquita’s flan and his Grandma Janet’s broccoli cheddar cornbread! 

14. xmas slide 14 sabrina soto

Sabrina Soto

“We start off Christmas Eve with a Secret Santa exchange. This is followed by a cook-off between my mom, my sister and me; the winner from the year before chooses the dish that we must all cook, and the whole family judges. My sister took the prize last year with the most amazing cupcakes, but I had my time to shine: I made the best turkey in ’08! We top off the night with a sing-along and salsa dancing -- we grab guitars and conga drums and make our own music.” 

15. xmas slide 15 miguelito


“We celebrate a Puerto Rican holiday: The Day of the Three Kings! On January 6th, they come and give gifts to all the kids. It’s something we celebrate every year.”

16. xmas slide 16 michelle bernstein

Michelle Bernstein:

“For Hanukkah, my mother and I fry delicious artichokes and make doughnuts with delectable fillings. We love playing traditional Jewish games. For Christmas, we usually visit my husband’s family in Mexico, but if we can’t make it out of town, I make pernil, chiles en nogada or mole on Christmas Eve to celebrate his heritage.”

17. xmas slide 17 gaby moreno

Gaby Moreno:

“I like to spend Christmas in Guatemala with my family. We alternate between my mother’s, sister’s, and abuela’s houses for Christmas Eve dinner. Then, at midnight, we all go out to the street and burn all kinds of fireworks. The sparklers are my favorite, because they are easy to use and not so dangerous! But my dad, brother and cousins shoot the rockets. The sky glows with fireworks as everyone shoots them off.”

18. xmas slide 18 cristela alonzo

Cristela Alonzo:

“Every Christmas, my family watches National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or Scrooged. I like that they aren’t sappy. My sister and I also make a trip to Walgreens. My mom used to love going there on holidays, because it’s one of the few places that’s open. After her passing, my sister and I continued the tradition; it feels like she’s still with us. My sister has taken over the Christmas Eve cooking because she thinks I can’t cook, but the truth is I just pretend I can’t cook so that I can watch her do everything!”