Plus, Gwyneth Paltrow, Crystal Bowersox and Tommy Lee dish on what makes the season special to them
Credit: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic, Kyle Rover/Startraks, INF

With Thanksgiving already here, the holiday season is kicking off in earnest and celebrities have shared with PEOPLE what they’re most looking forward to – giving thanks! Cranberries! A sm rg sbord! – in the coming weeks.

Lauren Conrad‘s most cherished holiday tradition
“My favorite holiday tradition is anything to do with food,” the reality star, 24, says. “Anything to do with Thanksgiving, or Christmas treats, pumpkin pie with whipped cream. My holiday ritual is to make it into my ‘eat whatever you want day!’ ”

Gwyneth Paltrow‘s favorite Christmas creation
“Besides the mulled wine, I make a really delicious fresh cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries and orange zest,” Paltrow, 38, says. “It’s one of those meals where it all has to come together – the turkey has to be perfectly roasted, you know what I mean, you have a little bit of everything in one bite.”

Gilles Marini on an American Thanksgiving
“I really love Thanksgiving because I love being with [a] real American family that knows how to celebrate, and the love and the thanks and the kindness,” the French actor, 34, says. “I rarely see that in France. I really love Thanksgiving for that. I usually spend my Thanksgiving with Victor Nelli the executive producer of Ugly Betty.”

Crystal Bowersox on the joy of cooking
“Last year before I came out to Hollywood was my first Thanksgiving that I hosted,” the singer, 25, says. “[I] woke up at 7 a.m., cooked all day, had dinner at 7 p.m. I did the whole thing, did all the fixings and had family and friends over. I love to cook and I think family has become so much more important to me now. Being in the public, you realize who your friends and family are very quickly.”

Malin Akerman on her Swedish Christmas Sm rg sbord
“I’m a huge Christmas fan. It’s my favorite holiday. I’m from Sweden so we do a Swedish Christmas and we celebrate on the 24th in the evening,” the actress, 32, says. “We do dinner and after dinner we open gifts in the evening and it’s so beautiful. But part of our traditional sm rg sbord that I love is always having ham and pickled herring and potatoes. And I’ve just got to say it’s a really great-tasting meal. I know it sounds really gross! I’m a big foodie, so I’m happy that the Swedish sort of Christmas delicacy is fish and ham. It’s really good. And the best thing about Christmas is I pig out! There’s no way that I’m going to watch what I eat. I just can’t. I have to let myself go.”

Tommy Lee on Thanksgiving fun
“I love all [holidays], but probably Thanksgiving dinner the most – I love to cook and I love not going over to somebody else’s house,” the rocker, 48, says. “I love doing it at home, cooking, doing that whole celebration. I love to have everyone over, I really dig that. Usually [I cook] the main stuff. I let other people bring or make the sides.”