It’s fun to imagine that every celeb’s holiday season is spent jetting off to exotic locales, booking the best hotel suites, and being lavished with extravagant gifts. But most stars are looking forward to the same things we are: quality time with loved ones, goofy holiday traditions, and the chance to unwind and reflect on the year. We investigated how Neil Patrick Harris, Nicole Kidman, Blake Shelton, and more stars are spending the holidays — and these down-to-earth holiday plans are already warming our hearts.
Highlights from this year’s holiday plans? Apparently, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen are hosting Gwen Stefani for an impromptu end-of-year dinner, while Meghan Markle and Prince Harry spend the holidays in Canada — and not with Queen Elizabeth II. Kourtney Kardashian hosted a glam holiday party, while Emma Watson reconnected with Harry Potter co-stars, and Mario Lopez invested in some sweet matching jammies.
Curious about more of these stars’ planned festivities? Read on.
Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris, husband David Burtka, kids Harper and Gideon, and their dogs recorded a sweet holiday message for fans.
Chris Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky celebrated the holiday season in warmer weather, with great friends and family.
Emma Watson had a very Harry Potter holiday, with Harry Potter co-stars Tom Felton, Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch, and Matthew Lewis.
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I’m on the road for the holidays. And making these playlists I was moved at how fast a decade goes by I call it #A2020/B2020 but It is a reflection. Some songs shocked me when I would go to confirm a year the song came out, and something that seemed so recent didn’t even make the cut of time-bookends. other songs I could have sworn came out when the dinosaurs did, and they were only three years old! Time plays funny tricks on us. But I do know this, the decades move faster and faster as you get older. Remember Y2K and how crazy that was supposed to be?! And it was a just a long breath before a 20 year wild ride with highs and lows no one could have predicted. So listen to songs that were popular for a reason. Songs that slipped through the cracks. Songs that will make us move our hips and lips! LINK IN BIO FOR A2020/B2020 playlists on @spotify
Drew Barrymore is traveling for the holidays — and making playlists for her fans while she goes.
Kylie and baby Stormi were twinning yet again this Christmas — can you handle the cuteness?
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West
Most stylish Christmas Eve photo of all time? We think so — even though we learned poor North had a stomach flu for this photoshoot.
Mario Lopez and his family donned matching PJs for the holiday, and kids Gigi and Nico showed off a musical surprise.
Gabrielle Union & Dwyane Wade
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade headed to Hawaii for the holidays — and we’re dying of jealousy.
Hilary Duff is spending the holidays on an activity all moms know well — trying to snap a Christmas Eve photo of the whole fam.
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Christmas came a bit early for this little Bird because we couldn’t keep the @danielhowell & @amazingphil merch from her for one more second.🤣❤️ And honestly, it made her so beyond happy that I was crying last night. Giving things to the people you love is the best. The best. Ever. Just like this kid.❤️🎄❤️
Christmas came early for Busy Philipp’s daughter Birdie this year: “We couldn’t keep the @danielhowell & @amazingphil merch from her for once more second,” wrote Philipps. “And honestly, it made her so beyond happy that I was crying last night.”
Khloé (and all her sisters) got glam this holiday season for Kourtney’s party.
The oldest Kardashian sister brought her kids to Disneyland to celebrate the holiday. Later, she showed off son Reign’s Christmas-themed look — and the family’s new Christmas puppy!
Zooey Deschanel & Jonathan Scott
“When you surround yourself with amazing, creative people…the result is magical,” Property Brothers‘ Jonathan Scott wrote on Instagram alongside a snap of himself and new girlfriend Zooey Deschanel. She shared a photo of herself from 2003’s Elf with the caption, “in the mood for some swirly twirly gumdrops!”
Sofia Vergara seems to have flown somewhere warm for the holidays with her family, and she shared a photo of the whole crew dressed to the nines.
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Was so happy to deliver REAL smiles and REAL snow to the beautiful and bright kids at the @bgcmla of Bell Gardens. The children are the future, and we should never miss an opportunity to make them feel safe, seen, and celebrated. Big thank you to @amazon for making an incredible impression on these kids’ lives and fulfilling their ENTIRE AmazonSmile Charity List. You wanna make a difference in someone’s life too? Go here to see the simple ways you can make a BIG impact: smile.amazon.com ❤💚 #DeliveringSmiles #CozyLittleChristmas
Katy Perry partnered with Amazon for the holidays this year, turning the clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Bell Gardens into a winter wonderland. She also handpicked gifts for the children there.
Today host Hoda Kotb got down with her co-workers this holiday season, sharing snaps from the annual Today Show party. “@savannahguthrie made it to the @todayshow Christmas party and then everything was right,” she wrote.
Celine Dion is going all out on her Christmas tree this year — and wearing a jaw-dropping outfit while doing it.
Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria is celebrating the holidays with a tree filled with puppies: “Christmas is officially 6 days away… have you finished all of your Christmas shopping?!” And now that the holidays have taken off, she’s happily sipping a drink on the beach — the perfect way to spend the holidays.
Candace Cameron Bure
Full House alum Candace Cameron Bure announced that she’ll be taking a social media break over the holiday season, reminding her fans that it’s important to take time to be in the moment during this time of year.
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Who’s birthday, little ol me?😘 First of all, thanks to everyone for their messages and well wishes on my big day today! I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to receive so much love from you all! I also want to say how tremendously grateful I am for all my blessings today. To be 44 and pregnant is already such a miracle and a god send, but on top of it, to have been woken up to a donut bouquet (there should literally be no other kind😆🍩) and balloons from my amazing children was the most incredible feeling in the world! Even despite me wanting to throw up after eating so many donuts at 7am!😂My heart is so full today!!! I send you all so much love!!❤️❤️❤️
Milla Jovovich is counting her blessings during the holidays this year: “To be 44 and pregnant is already such a miracle and a god send, but on top of it, to have been woken up to a donut bouquet (there should be literally no other kind) and balloons from my amazing children was the most incredible feeling in the world!” she wrote on Instagram.
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It’s our annual dress-up party, and of course I had to go as one of my personal heroes Billie Jean King. And of course, my husband is one of my other heroes, John McEnroe. I appreciate heart and determination in every facet of ones life. Serena is my modern day, of course. Booking tennis lessons as we speak.
Pink is engaging in a few fun holiday traditions: an annual dress-up party, where she dressed as Billie Jean King, working on her winter knitting project, and baking snowman-themed goodies.
Kate Hudson posted a photo of the whole family in serious Christmas gear (as in, red and green head to toe). “We take Christmas MERRY seriously….” she wrote on Instagram. She also shared a few snaps from her daughter Rani’s holiday party look.
Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka
Neil Patrick Harris presents the Candlelight Processional at Epcot Center every year, and husband David Burtka couldn’t be prouder to share this holiday tradition with him.
Meghan Markle & Prince Harry
But don’t worry; they’ll be back in the royal spotlight soon. https://t.co/H0oYjDZMSe
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) December 16, 2019
This year, the Sussex royals are breaking tradition and scandalizing everybody with their choice of holiday plans — but then again, it seems like every plan they make elicits that reaction. According to a statement from Buckingham Palace, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, “having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham,” will now “spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the duchess’ mother, Doria.”
A source told Us Weekly that the birth of baby Archie is the reason for this change of plans: “As it’s Archie’s first Christmas, they want it to be super special,” the source claimed. ‘It’ll be just Doria and the three of them. The drama surrounding the couple has caused a huge amount of stress. They’re making their family their No. 1 priority right now.”
Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos
Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos will be spending the holidays at home this year — and they’re really, really hoping their kids will join them. Talking to Us Weekly, Ripa reflected on how her kids are growing older: older siblings Michael (age 22) and Lola (age 18) are in college, while Joaquin (age 16) is nearing the end of high school.
“As the kids are getting older,” Ripa told the magazine, “we know that these holidays are going to be almost coming up on the last we can all kind of dictate where they spend their holidays and [will] have to share that with their new families…In the blink of an eye, your kids grow up and suddenly you are begging them to spend time with you!”
Chrissy Teigen & John Legend
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Little Miles’ hand 😭 making cookies with my babiesss. Easiest way when you have 2 min attention span (me AND the kids) is just pre-made dough, cookie cutters and some sprinkles or icing. We used #cravingscollection from @target, the baking sheet is amazinggg and non-stick. Link in bio!
We’ve only heard bits and pieces of this couple’s holiday plans — but those bits and pieces are making Beef Wellington and having Gwen Stefani over for mac n’ cheese, so we’ll take it. Talking to E! News, Voice coaches John Legend and Gwen Stefani shared that they’d just made some holiday plans together: “I get to go eat at your house!” Stefani exclaimed.
Legend confirmed that it’s not on Christmas, but “right before Christmas, after the finale.” And as for the menu? “We talked about our mac n’ cheese recipes,” Legend said, gesturing at Stefani. “Maybe I’ll make that.”
The Christmas menu itself, however, has long been set. “We settled on Beef Wellington as our meat of choice at Christmastime,” Legend confirmed. “We’ve done it the last couple years and I think we’re going to stick with it again.”
Former Bachelorette (and newly crowned Dancing with the Stars champ) Hannah Brown tells E! News she’s going home for the holidays this year. “I’m just excited to go back home,” the ex-pageant queen gushed. “We always have a pickle, where you have to find the pickle on the tree. My mom’s really into Christmas ornaments and our tree’s lavish and beautiful. You find the pickle on Christmas day, it’s a whole thing.”
And that’s not the Browns’ only holiday tradition: “We still have Santa,” Brown confessed. “Santa still comes to my house, you know, if you believe, you will receive. Waking up on Christmas morning and seeing what Santa brought, we still do that… and it’s so fun.”
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) December 13, 2019
An inside source told E! News that Angelina Jolie ex Brad Pitt plans to spend the holidays in Los Angeles, spending quality time with his kids. “Brad will spend part of the holidays with the kids in L.A. He will see them for his birthday and for Christmas Eve. It’s the same arrangement they have had recently,” the source claimed. “The kids will come over to Brad’s house and spend the day with him. They have some traditions where they eat and exchange gifts. They play music and just hang out.”
Pitt’s ultimate goal? To make the holidays memorable for his kids, and share meaningful time together as a family: “Brad always wants to make it special for them and loves to see the excitement in their eyes. He tries to get them thoughtful gifts and something for them to experience,” the source added. “The most important thing is just being together and being a family. He’s excited to see them and have them be with him at home. That’s really the only thing he wants.”
Alec & Hilaria Baldwin
Alec and Hilaria Baldwin shared with Extra what they’re planning for the holidays at Santaland this year, and it sounds like they’re really looking forward to their Christmas traditions. “We constantly dress like Santa all the time,” Hilaria said. “[In NYC,] they were asking if we were taking part in SantaCon.”
Alec and Hilaria share four kids together: 6-year-old Carmen, 4-year-old Rafael, 3-year-old Leonardo, and 1-year-old Romeo. “They are very good, though we have to take those threats out once in a while to be very honest,” Hilaria said of her kids this time of year. But Christmas itself is “magical, it’s amazing. There is so much magic for them.”
“We come to Macy’s to see Santa Claus,” Alec explained. “We’re going to take the holidays to just enjoy our family.”
Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton
Blake Shelton is staying close to home for the holidays — Gwen Stefani’s home, that is. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stefani will be keeping her family in town for end-of-year festivities. “We’re going to do Christmas here in the wintry hills of Los Angeles,” Shelton told Entertainment Tonight. “I have not been handed the schedule yet. I just know that I am going to be a part of whatever is happening.”
After Christmas day, the couple will be heading back to Shelton’s ranch in Oklahoma, where they previously spent Thanksgiving. But it seems like Shelton is just focusing on getting through the holidays first.
“It’s chaos, let’s just face it,” he told E! News. “They have that moment where they run through the wrapping paper wall that she sets up every year — that’s about the only thing that I think consistently happens. One year, there’ll be a fight over a toy that the other ones didn’t get, the next year they’ll all get along.”
As for what’s on the menu this year: Stefani revealed her and Shelton’s quirky Christmas tradition that dictates the Christmas meal.
“Me and Blake have a tradition of always trying to do something new we’ve never done,” Stefani explains to E! News. “We did the Timpano dome last year, which is basically kind of like a lasagna dome wrapped in this bread thing and then you cut into it. You can put anything in it. It was incredible and really fun.”
Apparently, Shelton’s a bit more of a stickler than Stefani: “I wanted to do it again,” she confessed. “He was like, ‘no, our tradition is not a tradition!'”