December 15, 2003 12:00 PM


So, what’s your most jolly holiday memory?

WILL FERRELL: “We usually find a home for a Charlie Brown tree—the neglected, small tree that no one else is going to buy.”

KELLY CLARKSON: “My family pooled their money when I was 13 and got me a keyboard.”

JOHN TRAVOLTA: “The best one was the year [1991] we had every single family member at my house in Maine. There were 60 of us. It was a 24-hour party—we had food around the clock and I gave dance lessons.”

BERNIE MAC: “My mother said we weren’t getting any presents because times was hard. [On Christmas] I woke up my brothers and sisters, but there were no toys—nothing. We went to church. When we got back, toys were everywhere! I got a G.I. Joe, an Oakland Raiders uniform, a drum set. My mother saved up.”

RENE RUSSO: “My niece was adopted from China about eight years ago, and we all got to meet her on Christmas. She got a home and love, and my family got a new member. It was a good gift on both sides.”

KEVIN BACON: “Kyra [Sedgwick] and I got engaged on Christmas Eve in New York. I put the ring in the toe of a stocking.”

RYAN SEACREST: “My birthday is Christmas Eve, so my mother would say, ‘We’ll have your favorite meal.’ When I was 8, I said I wanted fondue. Ever since, we’ve had beef fondue on Christmas.”

CATE BLANCHETT: “Our family Christmas tree was very small and sad, but it seemed 10 feet tall to me.”

HILARY DUFF: “All these people planned to come to our ranch [in Texas] for Christmas, but everybody with the food got snowed in. All my family had were the hors d’oeuvres. So we snacked on them and played stupid games.”

JAMIE FOXX: “Every year, a couple days before Christmas, I throw a big orphans party for all the people who are alone for whatever reason. We have presents, we eat, and we sing. People are so cynical in Hollywood, but I dare someone to come to my party and leave in a bad mood.”

GABRIELLE UNION: “The Easy-Bake Oven was big when I was 7. I loved making brownies in the little tins it came with.”

PAUL WALKER: “My daughter Meadow just turned 5, so Christmas is all about Santa Claus, making a list and watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. It’s cool.”

EVA MENDES: “When I was 8, I heard a loud noise. My mom had dropped a box or something, but my sister rushed me to the window and said, I just saw Rudolph. His nose was very red!’ I was so happy because Rudolph stopped by our house.”

DAVID BLAINE: “Last year I was so down that I decided to spend Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day at NYU Medical Center. I did magic for the kids. They had nothing—not even relatives—and yet they were still smiling. It reminded me to cheer up.”

DIANE SAWYER: “I just love [my family’s] stuffing contests, in which we all get extremely competitive and sulk a lot afterwards if our stuffing doesn’t win.”