Tracee Ellis Ross, who stars in the new Christmas movie 'Candy Cane Lane,' jokes that the adults in the family are like "chopped liver" when it comes to gifts
What does one get “The Boss” herself — aka Ms. Diana Ross — for the holidays?
According to her daughter Tracee Ellis Ross, the legendary singer and actress, 79, loves the gift of time.
“All my mom wants is to be around the kids, the grandkids,” the Candy Cane Lane actress, 51, tells PEOPLE. “That’s the thing.”
“Oh my mom loves anything,” she continues. “I swear to God, you could look at my mom and be like, ‘I made you this hug from the deepest part of my soul,’ and she would be like, ‘It’s beautiful.’ ”
Ross says her siblings’ children take center stage when the holiday season rolls around.
“For my family, the kids are the priority,” says Ross, who has eight nieces and nephews from her four siblings, sisters Rhonda Ross Kendrick and Chudney Ross and brothers Evan Ross and Ross Naess. “So I mean, it might as well be FAO Schwarz for Christmas morning. It's insane.”
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“The kids wake up when it's still dark, and nobody can go downstairs and you start hearing all the feet going around. But gift-giving, I feel like the adults have just become chopped liver. It's like, ‘Come on, it's too many of us,’ ” adds the Emmy-nominated actress, who also has three step-siblings.
And while she may take a back seat to the kids when it comes to gifts, Ross is very much a participant in the family’s annual matching-outfit photo. Though she’s not the sartorial mastermind.
“I handle food, Chudney and my mom handle the theme,” says Ross, who doesn’t know what this year’s theme will be.
In the past, the Ross family has donned Victorian period clothes — “My mom brought us to a costume house to do the family picture. And we went to a costume house and we were all dressed in Victorian garb,” she explains — striped pajamas, onesies and even the matriarch’s clothes.
“We just went up into the storage. We all went up into my mom's coats and just did all of her coats. Everyone. The kids were wearing giant coats. It's amazing,” says Ross.
The family-friendly film tells the story of a competitive suburban dad, Chris Carver (Murphy), who is so eager to win his neighborhood’s holiday decorating competition he makes a deal with a mischievous elf (Jillian Bell). Ross stars as Chris’s wife Carol, who is instrumental in helping him get out of the mess he made.
“I read the script and I was like, ‘This is charming. This is very charming and really cute and I love the people,” she says. “And there was magic, the element of magic. There's special effects. And Eddie Murphy was in it. Eddie Murphy was in it, and Eddie Murphy was in it. And then because Eddie Murphy was in it, I was like, ‘This might be fun.’ ”
Ross says the two hit it off on day one: “The first day of work, he said, ‘Hello,’ and he said my full name, ‘Tracee Ellis Ross.’ And that was it.”
Candy Cane Lane is on Prime Video Friday.
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