"Even though they are growing up, my kids already have really fond memories of our Christmas traditions," the Sing star tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story
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Movie star, mogul and mom Reese Witherspoon discusses how she balances it all and how she’ll be spending the holidays. Subscribe now to get an inside look at how she does it, only in PEOPLE!

Whether she’s borrowing from her childhood memories or creating new ones with her kids, Reese Witherspoon and her family love their holiday traditions.

“Even though they are growing up, my kids already have really fond memories of our Christmas traditions,” the Sing star tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “Gingerbread houses, and we have to have Advent calendars. These are things where you think, ‘Oh, they’re not noticing …’ but then I forgot the Advent calendars this year, and Deacon was like, ‘Mom! Where are they?!’ I didn’t realize how important they were to him!”

This year Witherspoon and her brood — daughter Ava, 17, son Deacon, 13 (from her first marriage to actor Ryan Phillippe), and son Tennessee, 4 (with her husband of five years, agent Jim Toth) — will spend the holidays traveling to see family in Georgia and Tennessee.

But no matter where she celebrates, Witherspoon’s southern roots are on full display. Her clothing line, inspired by her grandparents, who she writes on Draper James’ website “taught me everything I know about gracious southern living,” features a host of new holiday arrivals and gift ideas. In the photo above, Witherspoon wears Draper James’ Embroidered Preston Top ($185) and the Amaryllis Apron ($48) above, and below, the line’s Winter Deer Skirt ($195).

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Credit: Courtesy Draper James

For more on Witherspoon’s holiday traditions, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.


Even her go-to holiday food, the down-south classic honey-baked ham, and her favorite Yuletide activities, Christmas caroling, trace back to her childhood in the south. “I love Christmas caroling,” she says. “I remember bundling up and walking around the neighborhood. It’s one of my favorite holiday memories from being a kid in Nashville.”

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Credit: Courtesy Draper James

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Now, the actress’ kids are forming holiday favorites of their own. “Ava bakes tons of cookies, Tennessee likes to make waffles with me, and Deacon is such a good helper, he’ll help with anything,” Witherspoon, wearing Draper James’ Wreath Witherspoon Dress ($195) below, says.

A little extra help goes a long way for Witherspoon, who can get pretty busy with raising her kids, promoting her new animated movie Sing and running Draper James, among other things.

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Credit: Courtesy Draper James

Last month, she also announced the launch Hello Sunshine, a new cross-platform brand and consumer-facing content company dedicated to telling female-driven stories. Her production company Pacific Standards is now part of Hello Sunshine. The company will begin to share content in 2017 at Hello-Sunshine.com, as well as across other platforms.

So it’s understandable the actress and producer doesn’t usually have much energy left for New Year’s resolutions.

“I usually have the same ones everyone has. Drink more water, exercise, eat healthier … but I just break all of ’em, so I don’t pressure myself,” she says with a laugh. “I’m like, I’m doing enough! If I do any more, I’m going to fall over!”