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Marcia Cross's Holiday Chill

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Some of Insider’s favorite celebs are crisscrossing the globe for the holidays. Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross will jet from Los Angeles to the cold Northeast to see her family in Massachusetts where she plans to “sit around and open presents and eat,” she tells us. Texan Hilary Duff plans to spend her first-ever Christmas in Los Angeles, as does Bostonian Mark Wahlberg and his 15-month-old daughter, Ella: “It’s very weird with the pink houses and the palm trees and 80-degree weather. But my family’s coming in from Boston, so it’ll be nice.” The O.C.‘s Benjamin McKenzie will head to Vienna and Budapest on a family vacation. Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani, who spent time with his family in London last year, will trade-off and go see her family in Anaheim, Calif. Vanessa Carlton plans to go horseback riding in Arizona. Ashlee Simpson and her parents will head to Hawaii – “No cameras,” she insists – while Usher heads off to St. Barts in the Caribbean: “It’s cold. I gotta go somewhere warm.” Party-hopper of the year Paris Hilton will celebrate Christmas with her family in Aspen before hitting Florida for double-duty on New Year’s Eve: She’ll open the new club Paris in Orlando, then jet to South Beach to count down to midnight at the Shelborne Beach Resort. Other members of the nightclub elite who have RSVP’d to ring in the new year there include Vin Diesel, Lindsay Lohan, Gisele Bundchen and Owen Wilson.

Sugar and Spice
Golden Globe nominee Nicollette Sheridan says housewives everywhere tell her they want to emulate her sexy, scheming Desperate Housewives character Edie Britt. “At first I found it a little disconcerting, but after asking them why I realized it’s because Edie has so much fun,” says Sheridan. “They think a little spice in their life would be a lot of fun.” In fact, Sheridan defends Edie who, among other things, takes obvious pleasure in flaunting her goods in front of neighbor Mike Delfino (James Denton) and seeing her romantic rival, Susan (Teri Hatcher), humiliated. “If you look at the show, the four women are all lying in one way or another, and Edie is not. She’s very up front – she’s out there – but she’s honest.” Still, Sheridan hints to Insider that there may be something up her character’s skimpy sleeve: “She doesn’t have any nasty little secrets that we know of – yet.”

No Man of Steel
Topher Grace, the charmingly scrawny star of That ’70s Show, laughs off tabloid rumors that he was ever approached to play Superman in a new version of the comic-book hero’s movie. “No. I never got that call. No. It was Jimmy Olsen,” he jokes, referring to the over-eager newspaper photographer who works with Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent. But Grace, who stars in the upcoming In Good Company with Dennis Quaid and Scarlett Johansson, says he did hear the rumors that he was being sought for the Man of Steel role. “I bumped into Mischa Barton and I said, ‘Hey, are we in Superman’? She said, ‘No. We’re not.’ ” As for the sitcom that made him a star, Grace says he’s grateful for its longevity but is definitive about his decision to move on from That ’70s Show. “This may or may not be our last season. This is my last season.”

Free Association
Don Cheadle, who stars in Ocean’s 12 and Hotel Rwanda, which just received three Golden Globe nominations (best picture, drama; best original song; and best performance for Cheadle), talks to PEOPLE about his buddy George Clooney’s ruptured disk, Julia Roberts’s babies, his favorite CD of 2004 and more.
George Clooney’s back trouble: “I haven’t talked to him. He left me a message. I don’t know his condition.”
Julia Robert’s twins: “No, those are not my kids. I wish she would stop saying that! I think she should have gone with ‘Don’ and ‘Dawn.'”
All I want for Christmas is …: “If you can wrap quiet, that’s what I want.”
My favorite movie of the year is …: “I really liked Sideways. I thought it was so good.”
My favorite CD of the year is …:The Grind Date by De La Soul. It’s getting heavy rotation.”