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American Idol's Kris Allen: Christmas Eve Game Night

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Kris Allen won over fans and trumped Adam Lambert to take the American Idol title with his sweet, guy-next-door personality. But all gloves come off when his family comes together for its annual board game battle on Dec. 24—a tradition, Kris says, the Allens have honored in their Arkansas home “every Christmas Eve since I was born.” His mom, Kim, is in charge of picking a different game each year, and while Apples to Apples and Sequences have become family faves, “sometimes my mom takes chances, and the game doesn’t work out,” says the 24-year-old singer. In that case they break out Monopoly—and the broker to beat is Katy, Kris’s high school sweetheart whom he married last September. “I’m savvy,” Katy, 23, says. When trading properties, “I make people think they’re getting a good deal.” Adds Kris: “My brother Dan and dad [Neil] fall for it every time.” Aside from plotting real-estate takeovers, the holidays will be a rare period when the couple can finally spend quality time together. “It’s been pretty crazy,” says Kris, who released his debut album in November. “So this season we’ll just try to take it all in.”

Start your own traditions!

Buy new PJs each season. Holiday Sleep Set, $19.50; 1-800-OLD-NAVY for stores

Bake a treat in a festive shape every year. Gift Cakelette Pan, $38;

Add a new holiday album to your collection. Sugarland’s Gold and Green, $10.49;