LOS ANGELES—Stars, including Channing Tatum, Sam Smith and the new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, reveal their Christmas thoughts and plans.
Channing Tatum: We wear onesies every Christmas. My wife Jenna (Dewan) started it. My plan is to try to get my dad into a onesie, which hasn’t quite happened yet. He’s like, I’m not wearing a onesie. But this Christmas, we’ll see.
Sometimes we’ll be with Jenna’s family and sometimes we’ll be in our house. But since we’ve had Everly (his daughter with Jenna), everybody comes to our house now because we’re not flying with a 2-year-old. We tell our family, “I want you guys to get on the plane and get out here.”
Sam Smith: Anyone who is British takes Christmas insanely seriously (laughs). I bought a house recently—my first ever house. I bought it purely because it’s going to look great at Christmas (laughs)—it’s like a Beatrix Potter house.
But to me, love is everything. It’s the meaning of life to me. There was a moment early on when I was everywhere, traveling and getting so depressed. I don’t have a boyfriend and I need to have a boyfriend if I am going to write my second album.
I am just being stupid, and it’s right in front of me—who should be inspiring me and it’s my family. That was the relationship that I wasn’t concentrating on. So, when I had my vocal surgery, I just rectified my relationship with my brothers and sisters and now, we’re all good. So, it’s all good for Christmas!
Will Smith: My wife is very serious about Christmas. She plans Christmas for 10 months out (laughs). We give our kids a lot of freedom, but there are those 10 days around Christmas, where everybody does exactly what Mommy does.
So, we have wonderful traditions. There is a sleigh ride that she plans every year where we go out on Christmas eve.
Christian Bale: We celebrate two Christmases. We have Serbian (his wife Sibi is of Serbian heritage) Christmas [on Jan. 7] and I have Dec. 25. Anything we missed on Dec. 25 we have on Jan. 7.
I am working on a film right now that we will be finishing right before Christmas, so that will be a fantastic break, release and relief. I’ll be getting back to my family, then we will figure out what to do.
Sometimes, when you’re traveling a lot, you just really want to be at home and have friends around, so we will see. We are commitment-phobic, so we leave everything to the last second.
I always make my daughter’s great uncle run around in a Santa Claus outfit, but I’m worried he’s going to have a heart attack lately because she catches him (laughs). He has to run harder recently. But he looks better in the Santa outfit. She would rumble me if I was the one running around. She would know clearly it’s daddy.
I am not a panic shopper, but I love shopping at the last minute. In London, I would always be out on Christmas eve shopping around until the last minute, and that’s always fun to me. It’s not the same here (in LA), because it’s not cold. You are not running down Oxford Street with 20,000 people trying to do the same thing.
You see what you can get. You come back with astronaut costumes for your nieces and they’re like, “Why did you get me that?” Because it seemed like a good idea at the time.
What is the worst gift I have ever gotten? It’s not the worst gift that you have ever gotten—it’s the gift that you didn’t get. As a kid, I remember running downstairs, and I would always think I would get a BMX (bike) because I knew some other guys had gotten a BMX. I thought it’s going to be there, but it wasn’t there.
But now, thankfully, I have Serbian Christmas in January, so you can go, “I really wanted a BMX. Can that happen on Jan. 7?” So, it’s a great fallback. And the best gift—nowadays, it really is just being on holiday with the family.
That’s the best thing, when you can just turn off your phone and not look at the computer and, well, you can’t sleep in when you have little kids. But just forget about everything—and that is the best!
Cate Blanchett: I am a panic Christmas shopper. But we are in the process of divesting ourselves. You can consume so much. And that is why Thanksgiving is such a fantastic holiday, which we used to celebrate, because my dad was American. It isn’t about the exchange of gifts; it’s actually about gathering.
We had an enormous family Christmas last year. It was a road trek through Europe with 17 of us. We’re having a very small, contained, almost invisible Christmas this time. But it will be very much led by the children.
I always say to the kids that you should give those presents that you don’t want to give away. Katharine Hepburn’s niece gave me a pair of Hepburn’s gloves, which was an extraordinary gift!
I remember my mother-in-law gave me her engagement ring. She gave it to me after I had been married for 15 years. I was like, she finally trusts me (laughs)!
I gave away a very special piece of jewelry to a friend of mine who was getting married, and I like that tradition. So, rather than going to a store and consuming and buying something else, it’s more about parting with something that you can’t part with.
And for the worst gift, for the first few years of my marriage, my husband gave me a vacuum cleaner (laughs). Then, he gave me a Mixmaster. Then, an iron (laughs). He also gave me a set of golf clubs. I was amazing at golf the first time I played, then I have been crap ever since! I did use the vacuum cleaner once or twice.
Mark Wahlberg: My wife always does all the Christmas shopping, but she always gets me something that I need. We’re going on vacation, so I’m hoping to get some nice swim trunks and stuff like that. Anything golf is always helpful—shoes, gloves, balls—things that I can always use more of.
A bad present is something that I already have or I don’t need, or something that’s just going to be wasted, especially if it’s expensive.
Mary J. Blige: Christmas is about family, great music and good food. And all the lights that you see—it’s a beautiful thing when you come down Fifth Avenue (in New York) and you see all those Christmas decorations. It just takes you up a notch. Then, once you hear the Christmas songs on the radio, you know it’s Christmas. And you see all the cartoons. I love cartoons, by the way, so I can’t wait for the cartoons!
Tom Holland: I actually asked for an electric razor. It’s that time now, and I am grown-up enough. Christmas is all about being with your family, really. We either go to a relative’s house or our relatives come to us. We always have a big dinner.
I work so much. I haven’t been home at all this year, so it’s quite important to make sure I have that family time, which is so important. They also bring me back down to earth, because when you are on the set, you are kind of like the man. When I come home, I am not the man at all (laughs). So it’s nice to have a mellow Christmas with the family.
Steve Carell: We have our traditions locked down at this point as a family. My wife and I are from Massachusetts, so we always go back there. We have a tree, and we all decorate it.
We have a little house back there that is sort of our vacation home, summer home and holiday home. And all members of our family live back there in Massachusetts.
We have Christmas eve at my sister-in-law’s house. On Christmas morning, I wake up and make cinnamon buns for everybody. At this point, the kids don’t believe in Santa. My daughter’s a teenager, so she knows, obviously. My son knows, but he’s still pretending that he doesn’t know, which is a really fun time.
Marion Cotillard: Since I now have a family, Christmas has been totally different—because when I was a kid, I didn’t like Christmas. I don’t know how to explain this, because it was a fight every Christmas. I didn’t want any presents. My mother couldn’t bear to have Christmas when all the kids would open their presents and I wouldn’t have one.
So, each year, it was like she was forcing me to get a present! Today, I am enjoying the magic of it all, totally different obviously, because when I ask my son if he wants a present, he says, “Yes!”
I had this discussion with my mother many years after and she was like, “Why didn’t you want any presents?” I was like, “I couldn’t explain why, but that’s the way it was.” I knew that it was painful for her, so everything came back to its place.
A good present for me to get? It won’t be necessarily something material. The best present I can have every day in my life is the people whom I’d love to be happy. When I buy presents, I am careful. I need to know where it comes from, that the people who made it were treated well, and had the money for the job they gave. So, something material that wouldn’t have this consciousness would be a not-so-good present.
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