Celebrities aren’t always just like us. Take Chrissy Teigen and John Legend as an example: The happy couple tells me they don’t get stressed during the holidays and that their entire family gets along swimmingly. “I thrive in the chaos of a crazy house,” Teigen says over Zoom. “We don’t have those, ‘Ugh, I have to see this person or have to see that person.’ We really genuinely love being together.” I reply with, “Wow, that’s so sweet!” as memories of holidays spent fighting with my family over politics flood my brain.
When you think about who Teigen and Legend are as celebrities, this unexpected mindset surrounding the holidays makes a lot of sense. As the author of two cookbooks — not to mention her on-and-off TV hosting gigs — Teigen’s amassed a reputation for entertaining and crafting deliciously hearty recipes. Then there’s Legend: an award-winning singer-songwriter-producer with an irresistible charm. When the pair combine forces to tackle everything that happens between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, it’s hard to imagine anyone leaving their house in a tiff.
On the celebrity couple’s holiday menu are some pretty scrumptious dishes, too, which is another reason things are so civilized at their home (just my guess). Teigen and Legend are currently working with Chex Cereal, and turn to the staple snack brand for gifting. “We do love our Chex Party Mix,” says Legend. “We love to put it in mason jars and send them out as little gifts to let people know we’re thinking about them.” Another go-to? Teigen’s beef Wellington, which is on deck for Christmas Day.
To see if I could glean any insight from the famous duo about successfully hosting and having an as-chill-as-possible holiday season, I picked their brains for every tip and hack they know. Keep reading for what Teigen and Legend had to say.
What’s your absolute favorite holiday memory?
John Legend: My favorite has always been the fact that I proposed to Chrissy in the Maldives during the holidays [in 2011]. That was pretty amazing.
Chrissy Teigen: I forgot about that.
Legend: It was wild because we were on the trip together, just the two of us. And I had to hide the ring from her the whole trip. We got stopped by security at the airport in Sri Lanka, and they were literally rifling through my entire bag and there was a nondescript box in there with the ring — I was trying to pass it off as some random box in my backpack. I was just hoping the security guard would not open it up before I gave it to Chrissy. We got lucky that he didn’t. Then I proposed to her on the beach.
What’s your least favorite holiday memory?
Teigen: Oh gosh. We used to be New Year’s Eve fighters.
Legend: We would just get drunk on New Year’s Eve and fight.
Teigen: We would get in the dumbest fights. But those don’t happen anymore.
Legend: Now we barely even go out for New Year’s Eve.
Teigen: I really love the holidays. I genuinely love our family. I love John’s family. I love bringing our families together. Our kids genuinely love their cousins and aunties and uncles and grandmas and grandpas.
You guys are really lucky that you don’t have to deal with family drama.
Teigen: Oh, I know. For the most part, I’ve always gotten along with other family members.
Legend: Yeah, we don’t have in-law issues.
Teigen: Other people’s parents love me more than my own. I was always so much better when I went to other people’s houses. I was like, “Mrs. Smith, can I help you clean up?” I never do that at my house.
Since you guys love entertaining and do it all the time, do you have any hosting hacks or tips that you could share?
Teigen: Do everything you can early, for sure. Another great hack is to, at least for the holidays, preserve your oven space. Get into the new things like air fryers and instant pots and have no shame using what can really expedite your cooking.
Legend: Make your desserts early.
Teigen: Yeah. Your pies can be made the day before or a few days before. A lot of casseroles are always better reheated anyway.
Are there any self-care practices you turn to when you start to feel overwhelmed during this time of year?
Teigen: No. [Bring on] more kids and more everything. I don’t like it when it’s quiet. Honestly, if I get a massage, I’m listening to a murder podcast. I don’t love relaxing, really. I mean, I love cozying up with, like, a good Bravo show or something, but even then I want to be with my family and I want to be cooking while I watch it.
Legend: I think the most fun thing about it is being together. That’s the therapeutic aspect of the holidays.
Teigen: Actual therapy is the only self-care I need, personally. A few hours of my week is devoted to that. That’s what I appreciate, love, need.
As far as gifting goes, what’s your advice for a present to give a family member you aren’t the fondest of?
Teigen: I love a donation made in someone’s name. So if you have opposing views on something, donating to the cause that you like is great. They can’t even be mad.
Legend: I’m so into this. I wish we had a family member we were feuding with.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.