Give Kristen Bell all the acting awards — but also, can we give her a trophy for Best Supporting Mom-Friend? Because even if she’s not, you know, exactly our friend in real life, it seems like pretty much everything she does is designed to make our busy mom-lives easier. Playing Anna in Frozen? She keeps our kids entertained! As a star of The Good Place (and so many others — hello, Bad Moms!!) she entertains us. And as a co-founder of both Hello Bello, the all-natural baby products company she started with husband Dax Shepard, and Happy Dance, a line of premium CBD skincare products, she makes a diaper that can contain a blowout and a bath bomb for when we need a break from it all. Sounds like a good, supportive friend to us.
As a busy working mom herself, Bell — actress, entrepreneur, and parent to daughters Lincoln, 8, and Delta, 6 — knows the struggle. It’s one reason why her latest endeavor is a partnership with Shipt, designed to — what else? — make the busy holiday season a bit easier. Same-day shopping and delivery? Yes, please.
Bell spoke to SheKnows and shared how she makes the season magical for her kids, as well as her list of holiday must-haves (all available to shop via Shipt, of course), which includes everything from matching family PJs and Spanx to tea, Coolhaus ice cream, and Hearth & Hand by Magnolia’s sugared birch candle. Keep reading!
SheKnows: You’ve talked openly in the past about how you and Dax told your kids the truth about Santa. Can you share how you keep the magic of the holidays alive in other ways?
Kristen Bell: What I’ll say is, I don’t have to try to keep the magic of the holidays alive in any way. The holidays are magic. My kids have proven to me that whether or not they believe that Santa physically breaks into the house at night or he’s just this idea from a storybook we talk about, it doesn’t dull the sparkle or magic of the holiday at all. Christmas, or the holidays in general, are about so much more than gifts.
We told our kids the truth about Santa because they asked, and we made a commitment to always tell them the truth. And it hasn’t made any magic go away. It’s just made it a lot easier because we don’t have to try and keep up with this fear of like, ‘Oh, I don’t know what time he’ll be here,’ or ‘He must not have been hungry to eat that cookie.’
SK: What are some favorite holiday traditions you can share?
KB: We cook together — and that’s interesting to do with tiny hands that don’t have great motor skills, but all I have to do now is take a deep breath before we begin making banana muffins or casserole or whatever it is and go, ‘Yeah, it’s gonna look like there was a paintball fight in here and that is OK.’ We build a lot of Legos together. My kids are very, very, very into Legos, so any new Lego set that they get, their faces [are] in it for days. And they don’t follow the directions they just rebuild, which is actually really fun because we can all get involved and come up with little stories about the characters. And we also really love to match around the holidays, like having family pajamas or family sweaters.
SK: Aside from Santa, is there anything holiday-related that you’ve given up? Something that you decided just doesn’t work for your family?
KB: The stress of it all — that we gave up, for sure. When I first had children, my desire to make everything so perfect for everyone made me feel incredibly stressed. And I really had to come to terms with the fact that if I wanted to have a happy holiday and really wanted the people around me to be happy, I had to let go of trying to make everything perfect and trying to do everything by myself. Once I let that go, when they were about 2 and 3, it got so much better and so much more fun, and I’m very glad I released all of that.
I fell in love with Shipt because when I’m trying to prepare for hosting, but I also don’t want to take on the stress of a host, I have to trust the person that is helping me. And I’ve used a lot of delivery services before, but none of them have had like the personalization that this one has had, where it really feels like you know who is shopping for you. I’m doing three-fourths of my Christmas shopping this year on delivery from Shipt because they can get all the Legos, they can get all the jammies, like everything that our family uses. And now, that I have a personal shopper, they fully know our family. So that is an element of what has made it easier for me to give up the stress during the holidays — because I’m not doing all of it anymore.
SK: Aside from delivery, do you have any holiday hacks that can help fellow frazzled parents during this busy time?
KB: Well, this is a silly one, but do [things] in advance. Do not be afraid to order a prepared meal. Do not be afraid to wrap up a toy from your neighbor’s house and give it to your child. I [also] take a lot of the things that they like and ask for all year, like Goldfish or a pack of gummies, and I wrap those up under the tree. And my kids love it, and that’s a present I didn’t have to put any effort into, and it also cost me $5.
SK: That’s genius!
This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
Before you go, check out some of our favorite holiday toys for kids: