Jennifer Garner talks holiday entertaining with Shine

As the crazy holiday countdown begins, Jennifer Garner and Frigidaire are teaming up to talk turkey, traditions, and giving back to children in need this holiday season. Here's what Jennifer had to say about the holidays in her house.

Shine: How has entertaining changed since you've had kids? What's your favorite holiday entertaining tip or trick?

Jennifer Garner: I remember my parents doing a lot more potluck. That still happens every now and then and I love that vibe, but I like to entertain now with one course. Keep it simple, have people over for an appetizer before they all go and do their various things or have a dessert party or brunch. I love to have families over for a casual breakfast on Sunday mornings. Then everybody can go about their day, but we've gotten a chance to visit and hopefully the kids all play together.

Shine: Who does the cooking in your house for the holidays?

JG: I do! Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year. I absolutely take over.

Shine: What's your favorite holiday dish?

JG: I have a few that I absolutely always go back to. My grandmother made a sweet potato pudding with marshmallows on top. My family can't do without it. And leftovers aren't complete without it either so we make a huge vat of it. I also always make a cranberry glazed turkey.

Shine: Have you passed on any rituals from your own childhood?

JG: My kids are pretty little, but I would guess the sweet potato pudding.

Shine: So many people dread the holidays, because of the high expectations and all of the work involved. How do you keep things in perspective during this time?

JG: It's not about everything being perfect. Last year I caught the flu right before Thanksgiving and we ordered everything in from the grocery store and we still had a great Thanksgiving together. Or I love when you have a bunch of friends come together and we all cook different things and you just see how they all meld together.

Shine: What are your best gifts ever given or received?

JG: Of course, it's always the thoughtful ones instead of the fancy ones that mean the most. It would be something that took me off guard or something that I didn't know I needed, but I ended up using every day.

Shine: How do you stay fit and healthy during the craziness of the holidays with parties, etc.?

JG: You just have to do something for yourself before the day starts. That's the only way I get to do it. If I wait until even 9 a.m., the chance is gone. As long as I am up and have it done before the household gets rolling, I'm good.

Shine: What does that usually involve for you?

JG: For me it could be anything-going for a walk, walking on the treadmill, going on a hike. If I am inside and the kids are sleeping and I can't go anywhere I can do yoga at home, Pilates, some videos. It doesn't have to be some huge production.

Shine: Tell us about the initiative you are taking on with Frigidaire this holiday season? How can our readers get involved?

JG: Frigidaire is a great American company because it puts its money where its mouth is. It absolutely supports Save the Children in trying to help kids grow up with a fair and healthy start. Frigidaire has a $500,000 commitment to Save the Children and is also committed to raising awareness for the cause.

You can check out Jennifer's entertainment tips on holiday entertaining and help Save the Children by visiting For every visit, Frigidaire will donate a turkey and $1 to Save the Children to help support families in need.

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