Gabrielle Union tries to get her “house of boys” into her Christmas traditions, but the struggle is real.
“One year, I tried to get them to make homemade ornaments,” Union, 44, tells PEOPLE. “That lasted until there was a glitter fight.”
The actress and spokesperson for Tylenol’s #HowWeFamily campaign has also attempted to convince her husband, Chicago Bulls player Dwyane Wade, 34, and his three sons and nephew to sing the original cast album of Dream Girls while they trimmed their tree, but they “don’t have the same love of musical theater as I do,” she says with a laugh. “This year, everyone seems to be really into Bruno Mars. I know he’s not singing about Christmas but that’s probably what we’ll be listening to around the tree.”
There is one tasty tradition, though, that the whole Union-Wade team can get behind.
“My Aunt Katie always sends cookies,” the Being Mary Jane star says. “They are the most magical things ever, so now the boys look forward to getting Aunt Katie cookies, so that’s exciting.”
The holidays may be a challenging time for “blended” families like Union’s, who is stepmom to Wade’s sons Zaire Blessing, 14, Zion Malachi Airamis, 9, Xavier Zechariah, 3, and who also helps raise his teenage nephew, Dahveon. But she sees it as an opportunity to show “how beautiful and valid” the unique configurations of the modern family can be.
“Every family and every incarnation should be celebrated,” she says, adding that “everyone has a seat at the table and everyone is welcome, and everyone is included, opinions and all.”
Hopefully for Union that means a rendition of the Dream Girls soundtrack soon!
For more of Wade and Union’s festive fun (and to get a peek inside their gorgeous new Chicago home!), check out the video above.