The holidays can be a stressful time of year — especially in 2020 — but Rachel Bilson is keeping the Christmas spirit alive in her household by continuing to connect with loved ones through her Amazon devices, as well as engaging in holiday family traditions with her 6-year-old daughter, Briar Rose.
Distractify spoke exclusively with the actress, who was promoting Amazon's latest tech, about how she spends the holidays, creating a sense of "normalcy" for her daughter this season, and how stressful moving Briar's Elf on the Shelf can be.
Check out our Q&A below. (Editor's note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Rachel Bilson talks holiday traditions, Elf on the Shelf, and more.
Distractify: Can you talk about some of your favorite holiday family traditions?
Rachel Bilson: Christmas Eve, we always do a big Italian feast because my mom’s side of the family is Italian so I always look forward to that, and the cookies that we make ... well, that my mom really makes every year. I'm super, super excited for that. Now that I have a kid, Christmas just takes on a whole other meaning and tradition ... and making sure she hears Santa on the roof and all those fun things, I really get excited about.
With the ongoing pandemic, the holidays definitely feel different this season. How are you staying connected with family and making it feel “normal” in this time?
RB: I’m so grateful. Echo Show 8 I have in my kitchen, so if I need to call up my mom and connect with any friends ... Alexa has really come to my rescue as far as how connected I felt this whole time and being a single mom and alone with my daughter, just being able to connect that easily and ask questions that easily. I have a lot of questions and Alexa is always there for me.
Does your daughter also love asking Alexa questions?
RB: Oh, yes. My daughter has many questions that I usually cannot answer and she’s getting the Echo Dot Kids Edition for Christmas, which was actually one of the first things on her Christmas list. I’m very excited for that because she’s going to have her own device to rely on. Her having her own device is going to be very exciting for her this Christmas.
As a mom, are you also into traditions such as Elf on the Shelf?
RB: Elf of the Shelf is huge in our household. She named him North Pole. She wrote Santa a letter to ask if she could touch him this year because her friend was touching him when she was talking to her over video chat. Santa replied and since she’s a very good girl she’s allowed to give North Pole a hug. But there are many mornings where I have to run … and literally throw North Pole to a different spot.
What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season and maybe your least favorite?
RB: I love the festivities, the decorations, the family gatherings, which is a little different this year, but putting up the Christmas tree and the Christmas carols, warm my heart. … I think wrapping the presents is my least favorite. It’s always the eleventh hour on Christmas Eve and it’s Santa’s workshop. It’s very, very tiresome.