How HGTV’s Christina El Moussa takes on the holidays

The host of Flip or Flop talks Christmas decorations, Advent calendars, and her approach to New Year’s resolutions.

Christina El Moussa of HGTV's "Flip or Flop" on March 2016, Miami Beach. Alexander Tamargo | Getty Images

You may be used to seeing Christina El Moussa on your TV screen, but the co-host of HGTV’s Flip or Flop is also just a regular (very busy!) mother of two—six-year-old Taylor and one-year-old Brayden. As she films the seventh season of her hit show and winds down from an eventful 2016, we managed to find a few minutes to sit down and chat about her favorite things this time of year.

While Christina leads a busy life, she still makes family her number one priority. She believes the holidays are an important time for her to show her children the magic of Christmas, teach them that giving to others is important, and offer them one of the best gifts of all: the time and attention of a parent.

C. B-C: Are you excited for Christmas?

C. E-M: I have a minor Christmas obsession! I love everything about the holiday season, especially decorating. I love the whole “white Christmas winter wonderland” theme. I like hanging snowflakes from my ceiling inside, and I’ve been known to go a little over the top with Christmas lights, too.

MORE TO READ: Adorable Christmas home decor by HGTV’s Joanna Gaines

C. B-C: Do you take some time off from filming?

C. E-M: We get a two week break from filming over the holidays so it’s nice to have some down time to spend with family. We have a big traditional Christmas morning usually with both sides of our family all coming over and watching the kids open presents.

C. B-C: Do you have any traditions you do with the kids?

C. E-M: We have an amazing neighborhood for Christmas lights in Brea near our home—people go above and beyond and almost every house in the neighborhood is decorated. My parents took me there when I was a kid so it’s something I started doing again when Taylor was born. The kids and I went over the weekend and Taylor was so excited this year.

MORE TO READ: The best family-friendly Christmas movies on Netflix this December

We also do a lot of holiday movie “date nights” at home. Our favorites are ELF, Home Alone, and A Christmas Story. Also, “ELF on the Shelf” is huge in this house … Taylor runs around the house every morning when she wakes up because she’s looking for the ELF.

This cutie got to go to work with mommy today ❤️ #fliporflop @hgtv

A photo posted by Christina El Moussa (@christinaelmoussa) on

C. B-C: What’s your favorite part of this time of year? You’re so generous, I’m guessing it’s buying things for other people?

C. E-M: Every year we adopt families from our local community either through the church or school. But this year we are doing a toy drive for Orangewood Foundation, which was established in 1981 to build a shelter for abused and neglected children in Orange County. The Foundation continues to support the shelter with volunteers, special activities for the children, and funding for occasional special projects.

Taylor and I are also going to help revamp their kitchen at the home, as well. I like getting Taylor involved. We are very blessed and I think it’s nice to put in perspective for Taylor the importance of giving back and realizing that there are many people less fortunate who need our help and support. It’s one thing to talk about it and it’s another thing to actually do it and show her in person. And when you see the happy faces of the kids and families you have helped it’s worth more than anything money can buy.

MORE TO READ: 12 creative ways to serve others this holiday season

C. B-C: How do you handle all the extra indulgences during the Christmas party season? Do you have an extra glass of wine or chocolate or do you keep to your typical food routine?

C. E-M: With holiday parties, I say everything in moderation. But If I want an extra glass or a dessert I’m going to take it and I won’t worry about it. I pretty much keep on the usual routine at this time of year, which starts with my double espresso with organic cream first thing. I eat overnight oats almost every morning with almond milk, chia seed, berries, and almonds. I eat a Perfect bar and green juice for lunch because we don’t have a long break while filming. If I have a break, I eat a cobb salad. My favorite afternoon snack is a smoothie from one of Cara’s smoothie books. Dinner is often salmon with quinoa and veggies or some kind of chili. My dessert is a glass of wine.

Pumpkin Smoothie
from Cara Busson-Clark’s Smoothie Book Vol 2

INGREDIENTS:
⅓ cup of coconut cream
⅓ cup of pumpkin puree
handful of greens
½ a frozen banana
1 tbsp of walnut pieces
1 tbsp of hemp seed
1 tsp of maca powder
1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp of vanilla
½ cup of almond milk

METHOD:
Mix together in a high power blender.

 

C. B-C: How do you keep the spirit of Advent alive in your house? Does Taylor bring home any fun spiritual things to do through the month? Or any fun concerts or anything at your church?

C. E-M: We love Advent calendars. It’s another tradition I had when I was a kid and my kids love them, too. And nothing like getting in the spirit through Christmas music. It really sets the mood for the holidays. I like the classic Christmas songs like Silent Night, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas and This Christmas. Michael Buble’ album is one of my favorites. And Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey’s Christmas albums always put us in the spirit. Also, Taylor’s school does a great job with providing church events for the whole family. They do a Christmas song performance every year. It’s so cute … she gets really into practicing her songs for the big event, and we love to watch all the kids up on stage singing Christmas songs in their fancy attire.

C. B-C: Do you try and moderate Christmas gifts or try to keep it simple?

C. E-M: No, unless we’re talking about holiday foods, moderation is not my specialty!

C. B-C: How do you stay sane and keep it all together when there is so much to do this month! Got any tips?

C. E-M: A spa day always makes me feel better. My ideal relaxation day is a hard workout at Laguna Beach with a good friend and then heading over to a favorite resort and spa for lunch and a massage!

C. B-C: You share a lot on your social media about healthy food and exercising. Do you have any suggestions for people trying to set and keep new year’s health resolutions?

C. E-M: I think it’s all about small steps and sticking to them. Regarding health and wellness, I think once you start and get focused you feel so much better overall and have so much more energy it becomes highly addictive. Exercise is my one and only addiction.

C. B-C: How do you make sure you stay connected as a family during such a busy time of year?

C. E-M: We do a family trip to somewhere with snow every year and the kids love it. And Disneyland during Christmas time is pretty magical (except for the crowds)! I also go out of my way to have a mommy and daughter “date night”—just Taylor and me. We do whatever she wants for the night and she looks forward to it all week. I’m taking her to the Elf play this year and we’re both really looking forward to that.

Disney days are the best days 💯

A photo posted by Christina El Moussa (@christinaelmoussa) on

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Got a question for Cara related to nutrition, wellness, or staying healthy? Please leave it in the comments below and she may consider addressing it in a future installment of Harmonious Health.

 

Cara Busson-Clark
Cara Busson-Clark
Cara Busson-Clark is a Certified Sports and Clinical Nutritionist and runs Cara Clark Nutrition. Her "non-dieting" approach to health and wellness, attracts a wide range of clients, including Hollywood celebrities. In addition to her passion for helping others live their best lives, her world revolves around her faith and family. She is mother to four daughters, ages one to six and lives in southern California.

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