It is really hard to raise good people these days — at least that’s what it looks like when I start reading parenting articles. Everyone has grand ideas about what kind of rules and discipline shape kids into levelheaded adults who can navigate the world with a better moral compass than the generation before. With the holidays coming into view, there is already chatter online of how to deal with keeping kids gracious and well, chill when it comes to the avalanche of holiday gifts.
Mila Kunis seems to think so, too. The Bad Moms star and wife of actor Ashton Kutcher recently told Entertainment Tonight that at her house, the kids don’t get presents at Christmas. Kunis said, “So far, our tradition is no presents for the kids,” she says. “We’re instituting it this year, because when the kids are [younger than] one, it doesn’t really matter.”
For Kunis, an American Christmas is loud and colorful … and maybe a little too exciting compared to her upbringing. “I come from communist Russia,” Kunis told ET, adding “where you’re not allowed to be happy, so my holiday traditions are ‘be quiet.’”
But everything changed when her family immigrated to the States. Kunis explained, “Coming to America is when you realize Christmas has a magical quality to it. In Russia, back in the day, it was a very religious holiday, so you don’t celebrate Christmas if you’re not Christian and if you’re not at Mass. So I, being Jewish, was like, ‘Christmas is not for you.’”
Blending old traditions with new has been an interesting experiment for the A Bad Moms Christmas star and her family. Kunis described it this way:
“We come to America and we’re like, ‘Christmas is so inclusive.’ We literally bought a Christmas tree. So as far as tradition goes, my family’s big on any excuse to get the family together and get drunk. Whether it’s Easter, which we’ve now all accepted into our Jewish household, or Christmas, it doesn’t matter. It’s all family time, but having kids, we’re building up our own little versions of tradition.”
So, how are the grandparents taking the news that there are no presents at Christmas for the Kunis-Kutcher children? “We’ve told our parents, ‘We’re begging you — if you have to give her something, pick one gift.'” Kunis told ET, “‘Otherwise, we’d like to take a charitable donation, to the Children’s Hospital or a pet [or] whatever you want.’ That’s our new tradition.”
I hear you, girl. At our house, we tried the “no presents” thing too. It may have worked, too, had it not been for my complete inability to get less excited than my kids about a wrapping paper-covered floor on Christmas morning.