Food & Recipes

13 Celebrities Share Their Favorite Holiday Foods & Traditions

They’re basically here, folks: the holidays. Whether you’re doing last-minute shopping, prepping your holiday grocery run or just waiting for the moment every public space stops blasting "All I Want for Christmas Is You," the holiday season tends to bring up feelings in all of us. That’s because it’s a time ripe for making traditions.

In that spirit, we’ve been asking celebrities for months what their favorite holiday foods and traditions are. To no one's surprise, Christmas cookies were a big hit. And it’s not just that sugar is a glorious ingredient — it’s also that it offers an opportunity to get our hands dirty with the people we love and make something as part of the holidays.

Other favorite treats included pound cake, applesauce and even meatballs. Check out what Carla Hall, Brittany Snow, Dax Shepard and several other celebrities will be eating, as well as their favorite traditions to celebrate.

Dax Shepard's favorite food is a family tradition. "My mother makes these meatballs for me every Christmas, and around Dec. 1, I start thinking about them hourly. In fact, we leave to go see her on the 18th, and that just can't come soon enough."

Allison King, who stars in Thank You For Your Service alongside Miles Teller and Amy Schumer, loves a classic holiday treat: "Homemade Christmas sugar cookies."

Pitch Perfect star Brittany Snow likes to believe there's nutritional value to her Christmas treats. "Probably sweet potatoes or yams and sweet potato mash and all that sort of stuff. It’s my favorite because I think its a vegetable, so that’s why I eat a lot of it even though it’s candy and syrup and maple and there’s marshmallows on top, but I'm like, well, it’s a vegetable so…"

The Top Chef host has a super-specific routine that makes the holiday feel special. "We have a tradition of cooking the turkey the night before on Christmas Eve really, really late while we write our notes to Santa and bake our last Christmas cookies. We put our finishing touches on our gingerbread houses. I put in a big fat turkey. It’s blasted on high heat, and then I lower the heat and I cook it really slowly overnight, and then really early in the morning, like 5 or 6 a.m., I get up to make sure the turkey came out well and my daughter goes under the tree. That way, I’m relaxed, I just make a couple sides, and then by noon, I’m done and I just lay around all day by the fire opening presents, being with family in my pajamas, you know, having eggnog in my onesie... That’s our big tradition. We like to cook the turkey the night before and we decorate the tree a couple weeks before."

Cohost of The Chew Carla Hall looks to her grandmother for holiday treat inspiration. "My grandmother is my inspiration for all holidays because we went to her house for Sunday supper. A lot of our holidays would be at her house, and the family would come and she would make her pound cake, her rolls and everything. So the one thing that everybody looks forward to is my grandmother’s five-flavor pound cake. To dress it up for the holidays, I just take a lemon glaze (which is one of the five flavors), and I put the lemon glaze, which is simply powdered sugar and lemon juice, over the cake, and I let it drip down the sides. I don’t need to cover the entire thing. And then I take some sugared cranberries — these are so simple, you take simple syrup, just sugar and water, but I add a little bit of ginger because I love ginger and cranberries together, and then you dissolve the sugar — you put the cranberries into that simple syrup and you just leave it in the refrigerator overnight for at least eight hours. Then the next day, you drain the cranberries from the simple syrup — you save that liquid because that’s going to be for your mocktails or your cocktails. You roll those cranberries in fine sugar. They are not only just a delicious snack, but they make my cake really festive and beautiful with the white and the red. Then you take a little bit of mint and you decorate it. I love to do things that have two purposes, like making the cranberries and also the simple syrup."

Actor, host and blogger Tiffani Thiessen, who has an upcoming Netflix series called Alexa & Katie premiering in March, likes to switch up her cuisine for Christmas. "On Thanksgiving, I always do the traditional holiday menu. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pies, etc., but on Christmas, most of us are over that with all the leftovers that have been had, so we opt to do something different. We usually make yummy Mexican food. One year, we did homemade tamales. This year, I think we are doing enchiladas."

Executive producer and star of Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movie, Christmas at Holly Lodge, Alison Sweeney has a clear favorite food. "Christmas cookies." Her favorite tradition? "Baking and decorating them for Santa with my kids."

Comedian and author of the book Girl Logic, Iliza is currently on tour but loves the holidays.Her favorite tradition? She told SheKnows via email, "We spend every Thanksgiving at my aunt's house. She's an interior decorator, and she has this very powerful waterfall shower in the guest bathroom. My mother is obsessed with this shower and throughout our time at her house, she always urges me, 'Why don't you go take a shower in the guest bathroom? It feels so good...' And I hate the shower because it's too strong. If you look up while showering, I swear, the water will poke your eyes out. I love the tradition of my mother begging me to use this powerful shower and me telling her, every year over multiple days, that I don't like it. Reading over this answer and thinking how many years this has been going on, I think, honestly, my mother just wants me to take a shower."

The One Life to Live star, who is the lead in the highly anticipated miniseries Ladies of the Lake (available through Amazon), is also a fan of Christmas cookies. "My favorite holiday tradition is making Christmas cookies! It's so fun to decorate them with family and friends and even more fun to eat."

This Is Us star Justin Hartley's favorite tradition is decorating the Christmas tree. "We do this thing where we decorate the Christmas tree together. I’ve always done that with my family, and so we sort of brought Chrishell [Stause, his wife] into the fold, and now we do this… it sounds really goofy, but it’s actually really cool. We get, like, your favorite beverage of choice, and we blast the Christmas music. My buddy got me this really cool turntable this year, so I’ve been getting a lot of Christmas music on vinyl. And we’re going to blast the vinyl Christmas music, some Bing Crosby, and we’re just going to decorate the tree. It takes a few hours, so it’s fun. You talk and stuff and remember things that happened during the holidays and sort of decorate the tree, and you end up with your Christmas tree looking nice, and it’s good. "