At the Food Network star's Oklahoma ranch, the work never stops—except on holidays.

By Shay Spence
November 28, 2017 03:27 PM
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Credit: Perry Hagopian

When Ree Drummond isn’t running the massive business empire she’s created, the Food Network star is busy raising her family on their Oklahoma ranch where the work never stops—except on holidays.

For our Holiday Entertaining issue, on newsstands now, PEOPLE caught up with the Come and Get It! author to get all the details on how she and her family celebrate the festive season.

How does the Drummond family spend Christmas?
We have Christmas Eve dinner at [my husband] Ladd‘s parents’ house in town—beef, mashed potatoes, burgundy mushrooms, the works!—then we go to Christmas Eve service and come back to open presents with Ladd’s brother and his family. Everyone used to get everyone a gift, but now we draw names on Thanksgiving, and everyone just gets one. It’s so much fun to see how much thought goes into that one gift. Christmas morning, Ladd, the kids, and I wake up, open presents, and have biscuits and gravy. Christmas is low-key and relaxing.

What’s the ranch like during the holidays?
It’s very relaxed. Christmas and Thanksgiving are the two days of the year where we know the spurs are going to stay off the boots because the family doesn’t have to work. It’s such a nice—and rare—treat!

How do you decorate?
Very low-key! I love nutcrackers, as I was a ballerina growing up. I love candles; the lighting is spiritual. And a real Christmas tree—I couldn’t live without the scent in my house.

Do you like to entertain during the holidays?
With the exception of an occasional cocktail party with friends, my holiday entertaining mostly centers around smaller get-togethers with family. I love casual holiday cocktail parties for good friends in Pawhuska—that’s my kind of entertaining.

What’s your signature holiday dish?
Cinnamon rolls, without a doubt. I’m a cinnamon roll evangelist. As for meals, I love prime rib. I hardly ever make it outside the month of December anymore, so whenever I make it, it smells like the holidays to me.

WATCH: How Ree Drummond Went from Ranch Housewife to Culinary Superstar

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
Charlie, my beloved, late basset hound. I actually “gave” him to Ladd and the kids for Christmas, but he wound up being the dog of my dreams. Endless memories!

Favorite Christmas song? Movie?
For songs, it’s “O Holy Night,” and of course, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by the incomparable Johnny Mathis. Oh, and anything by Randy Travis. Trust me. Favorite Christmas movie…gosh, that’s hard. It would have to be Elf at the moment. Because smiling’s my favorite.

Any special family tradition?
We all get matching pajamas late on Christmas Eve. The dogs get them too!