"It makes it easier on the turkeys, too," says the TV host

By Mariah Haas
November 27, 2013 07:00 AM

Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi are both vegan, but that doesn’t stop them from enjoying a Thanksgiving feast.

“It doesn’t make [Thanksgiving] harder at all. It makes it easier on the turkeys, too. They get to live,” DeGeneres, 55, told PEOPLE at the Duracell Power a Smile and Toys for Tots event on Nov. 22.

So what does The Ellen DeGeneres Show host fill her plate with?

“Yams, green beans, stuffing … any kind of vegetables. Stuff like that,” she said.

“I’m a fan of people getting together,” added DeGeneres, who says that the couple will be spending the holiday with friends and plan to be with family for Christmas.

Thanksgiving week is also time for a well-deserved break.

“Usually I have the week off, so [Thanksgiving] is my day just to relax and get ready for our 12 Days of Giveaways because it gets really busy in December.”

The season of giving means a lot to DeGeneres, whose show has raised more than Toys for Tots, which collects new toys to distribute as gifts to needy children.

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With the Power a Smile campaign, Duracell will make a donation to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots foundation for every eligible battery pack purchased.

“Duracell asked me to be a part of this to raise awareness and it made sense to me that a lot of toys come without batteries, and if you don’t have batteries and you have a toy that requires batteries it didn’t really help much to donate that,” DeGeneres said. “We’re trying to encourage people as they’re out shopping – buy a package of Duracell and trigger a donation.”

“I meet families at least once a week on my show that are struggling because of the economy. Because someone’s out of work, they can’t have a Christmas for their kid, and so I see firsthand how many kids out there need this.”