Niecy Nash has the receipts. The Soul Man star, whose Hollywood career spans over 21 years, has mastered many things – acting, spot on comedic timing, TV hosting, and during the holidays, she has also perfected the art of bringing her family together for a joyous celebration.
If you follow along with her Instagram feed, you already know that the home she shares with her husband of five years, engineer Jay Tucker, and their four children, most of whom are all grown up now, is filled with laughter and love.
We asked Nash to share her secrets to holiday bliss, and she has some really good ones. Get ready to take notes on how to win the holidays, Niecy-style.
DECIDE YOU WANT PEACE
“You would be surprised what a good time you can have when you decide it's what you want,” says Nash. “Thoughts become ideas. Ideas become action. Action becomes reality.”
WHO SAYS YOU HAVE TO COOK?!
“If you're not really a person that cooks, don't put that pressure on yourself,” says Nash. “Don't do it. Because there are so many places you could order from that cater and you can get great food from, that I don't even stress myself out and even pretend like I'm going to get in that kitchen. It's just stressful, and because I don't want the holidays to be stressful, I order.”
MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR
“Some people have in laws; I used to have outlaws,” says Nash. “If you have family members who are prone to create drama, don't follow their lead. If the conversation starts going south, you can leave the room or change the subject. If the event is at the trouble starter’s house, you can decide to leave early, before the foolishness starts. If the celebration is at your house, you set the tone and invite your unruly guest to think differently. Don't entertain any conversation that makes you feel uncomfortable.”
DONT STRESS OUT ABOUT GIFT GIVING
“Deciding who to give what can make you crazy,” says Nash. “If all else fails, try unconventional gift giving too. Think about what is needed—babysitting, cooking, help moving, etc. Sometimes the best gift is to be available.”
EMBRACE HOLIDAY TRADITIONS
“Go caroling, host late night wrapping parties,” says Nash. “Find the thing that makes you happy and do that.”
CREATE YOUR OWN FAMILY TRADITIONS TOO
“Sometimes you might marry somebody who used to do something different from what you do, and you find your way,” says Nash. “Every year we host a Christmas day pajama brunch. Pajamas are mandatory. I don't care what you like to sleep in—wear it if you want to come eat over here. My mom and I make bacon, eggs, fried chicken, smothered potatoes, grits, and pancakes. Then everybody else brings everything else. There are a lot of transplants in LA. I'm from here, but a lot of my friends are not. It started because certain people couldn't make it home. We've always had a big Christmas breakfast, so I'm like, ‘Well come to my house, but you have to wear your pajamas.’”
REST IN GRATITUDE
“There will be many things that you want that you don't get, many things that don't go your way,” says Nash. “But if you focus on being grateful for what you do have your holidays will be sweeter.”
BE OF SERVICE
“The holidays are a perfect time to pay it forward,” says Nash. “Help the homeless. Serve at a shelter. Give presents to a needy family. The holidays are a great time to teach your children how to give back.”