Hoda Kotb opened up about her family’s holiday traditions.
The Today co-host shared that her fiancé, Joel Schiffman, always grills outside in shorts and flip-flops, no matter the weather.
Hoda’s family gathered virtually his year due to the pandemic.
Hoda Kotb is all about the holidays. The Today With Hoda & Jenna co-host recently detailed her family’s go-to traditions, which included some expected activities, like baking cookies, wearing festive pajamas, and making ornaments.
But her fiancé, Joel Schiffman, has one go-to tradition that keeps her laughing every year: He gets the grill going outside in just flip-flops and shorts, no matter the weather.
“One thing will be sure: There will be one man in flip-flops in the snow, and it’ll be Joel,” she said, adding that her fiancé spends all day in the kitchen. “He loves to cook, and I guess he doesn’t really get a chance, but Christmas time, he makes this big roast that is so good.”
And all those tasty flavors and aromas really make the home feel cozy. “There’s something about the house, it’s that smell,” she said. “It’s filled with the smell of delicious cooking, and Joel’s got a bottle of wine.”
They also love to go all out with decorations. “We have our stockings hung by the chimney with care, Joel likes to do that,” Hoda said. “We have a beautiful tree that we decorate.” Their daughters Haley Joy, 3, and Hope Catherine, 1, also make their own ornaments.
But one tradition that Joel does not seems to love? Dressing up in matching pajamas. “We all started the tradition of wearing the same Christmas jammies, which I’m not sure if Joel ever really liked, but he plays along,” Hoda said with a laugh. “And every year they’re different.”
While they usually visit Hoda’s mom, Sameha, and her sister, Hala, in person, this year looked bit different due to the pandemic. “I’m excited that we do get to sit with each other, even though it’s virtually,” she said. “And I just realized how fortunate we should realize we are to have that.”
Hoda added that they also downsized their usual number of gifts this year. “I was telling Haley that we’re going to have three presents from Santa, because I feel like this is a time we should be thinking more about giving … And we’ve been trying to remind ourselves and our kids about that,” she explained. “Christmas isn’t about all of that stuff, it should be more about giving and generosity and kindness.”
“So I feel like this year, all of us, every single one of us, kids included, should be giving stuff away,” she added. “Haley loves to give stuff away, so we’re going to keep that tradition alive.”
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