Kathie Lee Gifford Says Her Family Was Spread Out Over Thanksgiving: 'Everybody's Got Big Lives'

With her children in different parts of the country, the former Today show star hosted a party for friends. "Everybody descends on the party house, and that's my house!" she tells PEOPLE

Kathie Lee Gifford
Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Kathie Lee Gifford has finally adjusted to life as an empty nester — and now she's ready to party.

With her son Cody, 31, and daughter Cassidy, 28, both newly married, Gifford, 68, said her family was spread out over the Thanksgiving holiday.

"We're all over the world right now! Cassidy's in Hawaii. Cody's in Nevada. I'm in Tennessee," Gifford told PEOPLE just ahead of the holiday. "Everybody's got big lives, and my family's growing of course, with my son and daughter getting married, and their families. But it's a really good time for us. And so we all try to share the joy."

But that doesn't mean mom didn't get to have any fun hosting a Thanksgiving dinner party for her friends in her adopted hometown of Nashville with "a lot of guitars blaring and a lot of pianos played."

"I have two pianos. I got a feeling that both of them will be going. Four guitars and good food," she said. "I think the festivities will go on until late — I don't have to get up so early anymore, so it'll go late into the night!"

And although she only planned on a seated dinner for eight people, Gifford said she was ready to field walk-in guests. "Everybody descends on you afterward, when they've all done their duty and gone to their familial obligations, they descend on the party house, and that's my house," she said.

After the holiday weekend, Gifford will be getting down to business, promoting a new collaboration with ViciNFT, a company that designs, builds and manages digital assets and non-fungible tokens.

"I don't pretend to understand the NFT business at all. I just got a smartphone a couple of years ago. You know what I'm saying?" Gifford said. "But I've nailed that baby! So all I know is, this is about memories and the preservation of them. And I do understand the power of that. Blockchain allows these memories that we have to be preserved. And not just preserved forever, but authenticated. In this world where there's so much abundance of something and you can multiply it over and over and over again, there's still only one original."

Gifford said she was drawn to the company's commitment to give back. (In a pledge to remain carbon-neutral, the company has a mandatory charity component equal to 25 percent of auction proceeds.)

"I'm very moved by that and excited about it. And in fact, we're going to go a little step further and donate 100 percent of whatever we raise in our first auction to my foundation, Rock, Road and Rabbi, and to the Association to Benefit Children," a charity, she first became involved in with her late husband, football and broadcasting legend, Frank Gifford, who died in 2015. "This is in memory of Frank, whose good works continue even to this day."

Working closely with her son Cody, who introduced her to the company's executives, Gifford will do her first auction in the coming weeks, commemorating her receipt of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this past year.

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Cody Gifford, Kathie Lee Gifford
Cody Gifford, Kathie Lee Gifford. Greg Doherty/WireImage

"I'm just so grateful that my children have grown up to be the fine, giving, generous human beings that they are. God makes children with open hearts. They come into this world needing to be taught, and it's so important what we put into them," she said.

"And at this point in their lives now, to see what is coming out of them, because of all the years that Frank and I poured into our children, I'm just grateful that they're living their very best lives," the mother of two added.

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