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A Very Jonas Christmas
On the Tour Bus, in a Hotel Room, Or—Best of All—at Home, Holiday Traditions Are a Big Deal to the Jonas Brothers and Their Family
They may be rock stars and teen heartthrobs, but the Jonas Brothers are not too cool for Christmas. "We're huuuge Christmas fans," says Kevin, 21. The whole family has spent much of the last year on tour. "We had a tiny tree on our bus," says Joe. "We celebrated Christmas at the Trump hotel in New York," recalls Nick, 16. Adds Kevin, "It was like Home Alone." (The tour, including its improvised holiday, was documented for a new book Burning Up: On Tour with the Jonas Brothers, Disney-Hyperion, November 2008.)
This year they will celebrate in their new Dallas area homestead. With its rustic Tudor style, "our home in Texas is very holiday-friendly," says Nick. "It's just waiting to be 'Christmas-ed,' if you will."
Christmas-fication is no slapdash effort in the Jonas house. Mom Denise unpacks their Christmas dishes on Thanksgiving and doesn't store them until New Year's Day. Cookie making alone is "a five-day event," says Kevin. Denise is known for her bread that looks like candy canes, and wreath cookies made from cereal, marshmallows, green food dye and cinnamon candies. "They're amazing," raves Joe. "All of us help make those," says Nick.
Decorating the tree is also an involved affair. "It's a huge ordeal in our family to wrap the Christmas lights around the tree properly. My dad is kind of, you know, very, very particular," says Kevin, choosing his words carefully. His father, Kevin Sr., adds, "You have to string every limb." Then Denise jumps in, joking, "I wish he paid as much attention to light bulbs in our home."
When it's time to decorate the tree, Dad admits, "the boys groan" because they know he will recount a story with each ornament. The most significant to Kevin Sr., who was ordained as a Christian minister before becoming his sons' co-manager, is a metal spike ornament. "It's to remind the boys that Christmas is about giving and what we sacrifice is very little compared, not only to the Lord's sacrifice, but to so many people's around the world."
As young kids, however, they had their own priorities. One year, Kevin recalls, "Joe got really upset because he thought Mom forgot to leave the cookies out for Santa. Or was it carrots?" Joe interjects: "That was for the reindeer, dude." Now the brothers say they look forward to giving even more than receiving. "It's a good feeling to be able to get things for Mom and Dad, because there was a time when a card was all we could afford," Nick says.
And yet, some of the family's fondest holiday memories date back to a time before the brothers' stardom and the rewards it has brought them. "When we were first married," says Denise, "our families lived in different parts of the country, so we decided to establish some traditions and do them ourselves. On Christmas Eve we try to do some caroling around the piano. Christmas day I make something they all love, a sweet potato casserole from a dear friend's mother in Georgia."
"It's the best ever," says Kevin, who clearly loves every moment of the season. "Getting together, dressing up, being festive, dancing to Christmas music—it's the best. Talking about it, I'm getting super excited!"
Want more Jonas brothers? Get video of their shoot at people.com/holiday
- With reporting by Eunice Oh.
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