With her smash-hit (and, now, sadly finished) home improvement show “Fixer Upper”, her popular lifestyle brand Magnolia, her enviable marriage to husband Chip, and her adorable and highly-Instagrammable family, Joanna Gaines has basically cornered the “domestic goddess” market. So, it comes as no surprise that the holiday traditions she’s put in place for her brood are as charming as everything else she does. People Magazine recently published an overview of Gaines’ favorite holiday activities, and we’re thrilled to report that they’re all easy to replicate at home.
1. Start Christmas morning off right with a classic holiday breakfast.
In a recent essay for Magnolia Journal, Gaines explains that she likes to prepare the same breakfast for her family every Christmas morning. “I’m not looking for ways to reinvent this season. Instead, all I want is to gather the same ingredients for the same beloved cinnamon rolls that I’ve baked on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember,” Gaines says.
Any breakfast recipe that your whole family enjoys can work here, but if you want to make Gaines’ Christmas-morning spread part of your own holiday tradition, go for some homemade cinnamon rolls. Gaines keeps her own recipe top-secret, but here’s another great version to try.
2. Choose tree ornaments that have a special meaning to you and your family.
While we’ve all marveled at the very manicured holiday trees in shop windows and on social media, Gaines believes that the prettiest ornaments on her own tree are the Popsicle-stick craft projects by her children and the ones with honest personal meaning, like the ornament featuring 8-year-old Emmie’s first lost tooth.
“I want to decorate our tree with our same ornaments that we ooh and ahh over each year. Our tree could never be complete without the kids’ handmade offerings. And while the Popsicle-stick picture frames have cracked over the years, and the photos within them have faded—it only makes me love them all the more,” Gaines writes in Magnolia Journal.
So go ahead and put that goofy promotional ornament you won at your office holiday party on your tree; if it makes you smile and inspires happy memories, it deserves a prime spot.
3. If you do want to try different tree-decorating schemes, go ahead and put up more than one pine.
In a piece for the Magnolia blog, Gaines tells readers that she likes to set up two different Christmas trees in her home. The first, which she puts in her dining room, gets a classy and streamlined decor scheme, with only white lights and silver ornaments. The second, which Gaines calls “the family tree”, goes in the den (or in the master bedroom), and she, Chip, and the kids deck it out with their homemade ornaments. While the Gaines' opt for two full-sized trees, you can easily try the dual-pine idea with tabletop trees or small artificial ones.
4. Don’t hesitate to get an early jump on the holiday season.
It’s very common to heave a frustrated sigh when Christmas items appear on store shelves in October. But according to Gaines, the holidays can’t come early enough.
“Gaines outlines that her family looks forward to Christmas all year. (She, herself already got a little festive before Halloween by burning a Christmas candle and playing some holiday tunes). ‘We count down the days, just to experience it nearly exactly as we always have,” she writes. “It is so comfortable, familiar and perfectly nostalgic that, frankly, we have no desire to improve upon it at all’,” People reports.
So if you want to start blasting “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and pouring a frosty glass of eggnog well before December rolls around, go for it!