Joanna Gaines Revealed Holidays Leave Her With 1 Craving: ‘I Know This Is How My Most Cherished Memories Have Been Made’

Joanna Gaines opened up about holiday cravings and shared what practice she gets a hankering for around the holidays. Hint: it’s not food-related. But if you’re curious, she prefers her mother’s full holiday meal.

This desire for Joanna is different. It has more to do with making the most of her time and what she wraps herself in “like a favorite sweater” when she knows she’s in a moment she’ll want to remember.

Chip and Joanna Gaines in Studio 1A on Thursday July 15, 2021
Chip and Joanna Gaines | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Joanna Gaines craves ‘the practice of active stillness’ around the holidays

Joanna revealed that working on her first solo memoir helped her learn to savor her sweetest moments a little more when they happen. Whether that’s time with her children or her husband Chip’s sense of humor, she found how to hold onto more of what she wants to keep by being present.

“Presence,” Joanna wrote in an essay on the Magnolia blog. “It’s equal parts tangible and intangible, sometimes dissipating as fast as it forms. But it’s this time of year when I crave the practice of active stillness the most.”

Joanna added that she craves it because she knows it’s how her “most cherished memories have been made.”

“When I’ve worn presence like a favorite sweater … certain details are almost permanently part of me,” she shared. And those details ground her yearly, “upholding the promise of being in a moment that future moments will recall.”

“More and more, nostalgia and Christmas are wrapped together in my mind,” she noted. “I tend to anticipate reliving the moments and traditions that define this season for our family more than anything new.”

Joanna Gaines has a craving for holiday memories

The kinds of memories Joanna hopes to capture in her stillness mostly revolve around her family of five kids and life’s little moments.

And she listed some examples: “The taste of my grandad’s favorite recipe. The sound of silence broken by crackles coming from the fireplace. The heat of hot cocoa in my hands. The resemblance in my children’s faces as their heavy eyes reach for just one more look at our light-studded tree before nodding off to sleep.”

She added, “The details are what I’ve learned to pull close for those times when I sense the urge to sink back into them. Later, after days or months or years have passed. Just to breathe them in again. To feel them once more.”

Joanna Gaines works against parts of herself to find stillness

Joanna Gaines (R)  and Sam Ponder converse during Joanna Gaines's "The Stories We Tell" Book Launch Luncheon at La Mercerie Cafe on November 07, 2022, in New York City.
Joanna Gaines (R) and Sam Ponder | Craig Barritt/Getty Images for HarperCollins
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Joanna Gaines Revealed She’s Learned to Let Herself ‘Sink Into’ Chip’s Sense of Humor’

As a reformed perfectionist, Joanna confessed she sometimes works against her drive to be productive and her go-getter instincts to practice stillness more. This is especially true around the holidays.

“I know details are easy to lose sight of beneath stacks of shopping lists, wrapping paper rolls, and a tangle of cords that never seems to have what I need,” she explained. “Presence is too easily replaced by productivity, the constant taskmaster who beats in my heart like ticks on a clock.”

Joanna said she’s “never been this far ahead before,” but hopes “it yields, by looking ahead, by getting things done, is simply more space.”

“So that it’s easier, later, to hold on to those details I’ve awaited,” she offered. “The ones I want to actually feel.”