We all remember that one gift from Santa that made us a true believer. And even as we grow older, there's one irreplaceable tradition that has remained in our family for generations. Let's not forget that sentimental recipe that holiday dinner just wouldn't be the same without.
Womanista recently chatted all things merry and bright with a few special friends to get us in the holiday spirit! (But who are we kidding? We've been counting down the days until it's finally socially acceptable to decorate while listening to Christmas music in our themed onesie!)
Kimberly Perry, The Band Perry
Favorite Annual Tradition: Perry is ready to beat her brothers, Reid and Neil, at their annual baking competition, and this year cupcakes are the challenge de jour! "[We're] pulling out all the stops," she says with a laugh.
What She is Bringing to Christmas Dinner: Perry's favorite dessert to make is a 4-layer red velvet cake, that takes a whopping three hours to bake. "So I only do it one time a year," she jokes. It's an iconic 50-year-old recipe that her great aunt once talked the chef, from the historic Waldorf Astoria in New York City, into letting her know their secret!
What She Hopes Santa Brings Her: Perry and her husband, professional baseball catcher J.P. Arencibia, have already gifted themselves a joint present for their second year of marriage — two male chocolate lab puppies! Named by Neil, their adorable pups are called "Moose and Bear."
Favorite Annual Tradition: For Musgraves, her fondest tradition back home in Texas is "putting together a riddle and a puzzle" that her "grandpa makes every year." And the bonus? It ultimately leads to a present hunt!
Go-To Hostess Gift: Besides a "good bottle of wine," a lovely candle by Voluspa is Musgraves hostess gift of choice. Her favorite scent by Voluspa is "French Cade Lavender."
Favorite Gift to Give a Girlfriend: For Musgraves, it's all about capturing the moment! "A Fujifilm Instax [Instant Film Camera]," she shared. "They're so cute and make memories tangible."
Guys. I ran into sAanta the other night when I was playing pool and singing karaoke. He must be really overwhelmed this year. He wasn't drinking milk... Lol. But I made sure to tell him I've been a very good girl this year. He already knew that though. (; #hohoho #iloveChristmas
A photo posted by @laurenalaina on
Favorite Annual Tradition: The American Idol singer loves Christmas and gears up for the holiday by hosting her annual caroling night in Nashville. "We knock on people's doors and sing to them," she explained. Alaina later shared on Instagram that the "looks on people's faces" after about 50 of her friends showed up on their doorstep to sing was "priceless."
What She is Bringing to Christmas Dinner: Alaina likes to "make these little sausages wrapped in bacon" which are then covered in "brown sugar." "They’re so bad for you!," she says with a laugh. "I don’t really eat things like that, but I make an exception about once a year around Christmastime. ‘Cause you’ve got to, right?"
What She Hopes Santa Brings Her: As for Alaina, she's hoping her mom (or Santa!) takes the subtle hint, after she sent "about 40 pictures" from the decor section of Target, in high hopes for her new residence. "A very Target Christmas," she jokes.
Favorite Holiday Movie: Nashville star Chris Carmack plays heartthrob Will Lexington on the hit local series and while on hiatus for the holidays, he is looking forward to "at some point" watching an all-time favorite holiday classic, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, with his family back in Savannah, Georgia.
Favorite Christmas Gift He Ever Received: Carmack recalls a memorable gift his grandparents gave him, in addition to his brother, which was suped-up sleds. "They were on skis and they had a steering wheel, and up until that, the only sled we ever received was a plastic Toboggan that we’d drag each other down the hill. Oh they were awesome," he says excitedly. The young daredevils would build 4-to-6-foot jumps to launch each other off of. "We got into all kinds of trouble on those things!"
What He Hopes Santa Brings Him: A self-proclaimed "last minute, terrible gift-giver," Carmack simply hopes to find new books under his tree. "I used to read a lot and since I’ve been on the show and so busy, I have not sat down with a good book in a long time," he admits. "I need some recommendations!"
Favorite Annual Tradition: Ballerini shares a sweet gift tradition that she started with her mom when she was young. "Every time we had a Birthday, or for Christmas, we would do one fun gift — like a lotion, or a candle that we knew we wanted — and then we’d do one called 'Gift of the Heart.' Whether it was writing a song — a gift like The Giving Keys — something that's more heartfelt. So now with my friends and everybody, I like to do something that they just want it (they like it), and then one that it’s something from the heart."
Go-To Hostess Gift: Like Musgraves, Ballerini's first thought is a "good bottle of wine" — "'cause I think everyone likes to gather around food and wine. The holidays are so much fun for big gatherings like that!" However, she adds, "or ONEHOPE Champagne!"
Favorite Winter Beauty Product: In the "colder months," Ballerini ditches her softer-colored lipsticks for a "really deep burgundy." And her beauty weapon of choice? MAC's Lipstick called "Dark Side."
Shannon Hayley of Hayley & Michaels
Favorite Holiday Dessert: "Peppermint Brownies! my family has been making them as long as I can remember and I look forward to them all year! They have learned to save a whole batch just for me."
Go-to Hostess Gift: "Definitely a great bottle of wine!" Sounds like our kind of guest, we Womanistas love a great bottle of vino.
Favorite New Tradition: For motivational speaker Sadie Robertson, of A&E's Duck Dynasty and ABC's Dancing with the Stars, she is truly embracing the giving season. Robertson will be traveling to Guatamala — after having completed mission work in Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Moldova — to do a boot drop with Roma Boots, a rain boot company which she partners with. "We're giving the children boots," she says with a big dimpled grin. "I'm so excited about that. I think it's going to be great!"
Favorite Annual Tradition: Robertson's duck-quacking clan hosts an impressive talent show on Christmas Eve. (Let's not forget, they did release a Christmas album, Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas, a couple years ago.) "It's definitely my favorite time of the year," she shares.
Favorite Gift to Give a Girlfriend: "I like to give funny gifts," she hilariously admits. "So anything I run into that makes me laugh."