When Chip Gaines was a little boy, he counted down the days until Christmas. But it wasn’t just because the Fixer Upper alum wanted to rip open presents. Every year, Chip’s father, Bob, would cover a doorway of their home with a sheet of butcher paper, draw a holiday scene — and then make his kids wait.
“No one was allowed to go in the family room or peek behind the paper until Christmas morning,” Chip, 44, revealed in the new Magnolia Journal. Finally, on December 25, “my dad would make an inspired speech like a coach would to his team, and then — bam! — we’d tear through the paper, just like the home team at the homecoming football game.”
Now, the former HGTV personality and his wife, Joanna Gaines, have their own special traditions with kids Drake, 13, Ella, 12, Duke, 10, Emmie Kay, 8, and 5-month-old Crew. Every season, the couple, who have been married 15 years, “opt for the most ridiculously large and fragrant” Christmas tree they can find and decorate it with well-loved ornaments.
The smells in the Gaines’ Waco, Texas, farmhouse kitchen are the same every year— as Joanna, 40, has no desire to try new trends or recipes.
“I instead, all I want is to gather the same ingredients for the same beloved cinnamon rolls that I’ve baked on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember,” the designer wrote in Magnolia Journal. She also looks forward to Chip and Drake hanging an antique sign that reads “Christmas Trees for Sale.”
The Magnolia Market cofounders can’t wait to celebrate the holidays with baby Crew. “We get to experience our family traditions through his delighted smiles, with his bright eyes serving as a sort of mirror,” Joanna explained. “I hope he’ll see that we’re not looking for new and improved, but rather that we’re taking the best parts of every Christmas past and unpacking them for Christmas present.”
For more on how the Gaines will be celebrating Christmas, check out the video above — and in the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now!
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