Christie Goodwin, Redferns
"I love the scents of winter!" says Taylor. "For me, it's all about the feeling you get when you smell pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread and spruce. My favorite tradition is the baking and cooking. There's always so much holiday food, hot chocolate, gingerbread and cookie-making happening at my house. And I put mistletoe everywhere!"
It's no wonder spruce conjures fond memories for Taylor, since she grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania. She recalls how much fun it was observing families selecting their trees each year to decorate and seeing the gleeful looks on children's faces.
"The best part was watching all the individual families pick out trees," notes the singer, who also has a December birthday on the 13th of the month. "Every family wanted something different. We had one family that would come, and the dad would always pick out the ugliest tree we had, and his kids would all scream, "NOOOO DAD!!!!" He got the biggest kick out of it."
As the season rolls around, Taylor offers up this tip for ensuring any gatherings you have with loved ones and friends are especially festive: "You make sure it feels warm, whether it's with decorations or just inviting people who know and love each other. The holidays are all about familiarity and warmth."
If you're searching for that perfect gift, there is plenty to choose from in the Taylor Swift Store at participating Walgreens locations. Along with copies of her platinum-selling new album, Red, fans can also find journals and notebooks adorned with pics of the young star, as well as T-shirts, posters, and other Taylor-centric goodies.
Whether you have a Taylor fan to shop for or not, the singer advises using your ears to help select the perfect gift for the big day. "Listen," she notes. "If you start paying attention months in advance, it's easy to know what your loved ones might want."