Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ask a Celeb: Rachel McAdams, Sarah McLachlan, Phil Collins on Christmas Traditions

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Ask a Celeb: Rachel McAdams, Sarah McLachlan, Phil Collins on Christmas Traditions

Article excerpt

Ask a celeb: Singers, actors talk Christmas

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TORONTO - Even the busiest celebrities usually get a chance to wind down for the holidays.

Christmas marks one of the few times when the music and film industries shut down to mark a special occasion.

The Canadian Press asked performers to talk about what the holiday season means to them and which traditions they like most or have decided to forego:

Rachel McAdams's family recently scrapped one of their longest-running pastimes: the Christmas stocking.

"My mom didn't want to stop doing them," she says.

"But we were like, 'You know, we've all got razor blades, socks and underwear already.'"

The "Doctor Strange" actress says her mom would individually wrap each item in the stockings, which was "stressful" to watch. She prefers the newer tradition they've adopted: renting out an ice rink just outside Toronto.

"My dad plays hockey and I (used to) figure skate," she says.

"My goddaughter comes and her family, so that's something we've started to do more."

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Sarah McLachlan loves the holidays for its energy and unpredictability, but she also enjoys keeping at least one event on the calendar.

Every year she holds an open house for family and friends on Christmas Eve.

"It's pot luck -- very casual and relaxed," she says.

McLachlan says it's a rare opportunity to reconnect her loved ones.

"I'm travelling a lot, my friends are (too), we have kids. So it's nice to take the time -- press the pause button -- and get everybody together," she says.

"Cellphones are away, nobody has a TV on and we're just catching up."

The "Building a Mystery" singer, who just released her second album of Christmas songs, says the atmosphere often inspires her to jump on the piano to lead a few carols.

"I tend to do the easier ones," she says. "That's when I pull out 'Frosty the Snowman' and 'Jingle Bells.'"

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"Alias Grace" actress Sarah Gadon made a pact with her parents to stop buying Christmas presents and create gifts from scratch instead.

"It was the best thing we ever did," she says. "Everyone comes together and makes something for the family and it's really special."

Gadon sometimes uses it as an excuse to get creative in the kitchen. …

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