Celebrity Christmas Memories

Nicolas Cage, Teri Hatcher, Kelsey Grammer, Brittany Snow, Marg Helgenberger share their holiday traditions and memories


Each holiday season creates great memories, and several celebrities were happy to share some of their stories in hopes of spreading Yuletide cheer.

Nicolas Cage, star of the latest blockbuster National Treasure: Book of Secrets, says this year he’s going to try something new that he hopes will become a tradition in his family.

 “I’m going to have a Dickens Christmas. I’m going to take everyone to England. I’ve never done that. I’m going to just walk around Bath and see how they celebrate the holidays, because I’ve always fantasized about that,” Cage reports.

His favorite Christmas memory from his childhood is a wonderful story Cage tells that stirs the imagination. “My father was in Italy, on sabbatical, and I had a little toy car that was being driven by Pinocchio. For whatever the reason, Pinocchio’s head fell off the day before Christmas. I played a little too roughly. My father picked up the head and he went into the garden and he planted it. I thought, ‘Why are you doing that?’ The next morning was the enormous thing that had grown in the garden. I ripped it open and it was a giant wooden Pinocchio. I was scratching my head trying to figure out how that grew. And then I started planting everything. I planted all my Hot Wheels. I had a little G.I. Joe slipper. I thought if I planted that, it would grow  really big and I could put my sleeping bag in it. So he really got me thinking in an imaginative way at a young age.”

Teri Hatcher is the lovely star from Desperate Housewives, who sometimes appears to be domestically challenged. But in real life she’s a dynamo in the kitchen, especially during the holidays. “Homemade gifts are always the best. So what I love to do is make gingerbread houses, and my little girl helps me. We give them away as gifts to family and friends. And for ourselves, we create a little Christmas town.”

Brittany Snow

Kelsey Grammer, who has the Fox TV sitcom Back to You, is best known for is work on Cheers and Frasier. This time of year he says he carries on his family traditions as a way to remember and honor his grandfather. “My granddad did the decorating and handed out the presents and spreading good cheer. After he died when I was 12, I took on the mantle of carrying on with the decorating and handing out the presents. Now with my family, we open a few presents on Christmas Eve, but in the old days, we didn’t touch a thing until Christmas day.”

Brittany Snow, the cute little blonde from Hairspray getting lots of Oscar-buzz, says she’s from Florida, and is not a fan of cold weather. So Snow reveals that when she’s at home in the Orlando area for the holidays, “I love to go to the beach and make sand angels.”

Marg Helgenberger, star of the CBS hit drama CSI, says, “My tradition is doing my holiday shopping on the fly. Whenever I have a chance throughout the year, I pick up my gifts for everyone. Gift by gift, I find them, sometimes in the most unusual places. But when I see something perfect for a family member or friend, I get it, even it it’s July. By the end of the year, all my shopping is done, and I’m not stressed out.”

That’s the way to have a Merry Christmas.

Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.