Tarek El Moussa is going all out for his first Christmas as a single dad.
“It was super exciting decorating this year because it’s a fresh start in our new home as a family since the divorce,” El Moussa tells PEOPLE. “When it came to décor, I used some old favorites but also added a lot of new things inside.”
When it came to his holiday vision, the famous house flipper said he wanted, “Christmas with a modern touch,” choosing primarily gray, blue and metallic pieces to ornament his house, including “different lights, silver ornaments, and hanging items throughout the house.”
“I make sure each holiday has a special theme included in our home, and I love to go big or go home,” El Moussa says.
Of course, his children also had a say in the decorating process.
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“Taylor loves all of the bling,” he says. “Both kids really love the look. It’s the theme my daughter wanted.”
As for the Christmas tree, which is the centerpiece of their decor, El Moussa says they went and picked out a real evergreen and decorated it together.
“It’s something we do together as a family to create memories,” he says.
This year, El Moussa will be spending Christmas day with his kids, adding that they’ll get together with the rest of his family for the holiday festivities. On the 26th, he says, he is taking his entire family skiing in Vail, Colorado to “keep the fun going.”
El Moussa is committed to enjoying his first holiday season since his and Christina’s split and following a tumultuous few years. The pair publicly separated in December 2016, and finalized their divorce in January 2018. They’ve been amicably jointly raising the kids and continue to film Flip or Flop together.
“You can’t truly enjoy the holidays unless you live in it,” says El Moussa. “No matter how stressed or busy you are, at the end of the day, coming home to my family surrounded by cozy holiday décor gets me right back in the holiday spirit.”