Skip to main contentSkip to footer
Digital Cover celebrities

Exclusive: Jamie Oliver reveals his perfect Christmas with wife Jools and their 'bizarre' family tradition

The celebrity chef has given fans an intimate insight into his family Christmases

Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
Share this:

Jamie Oliver and his family often help us get into the festive spirit, inviting us into their homes as the beloved celebrity chef shares his wonderful recipes in preparation for a unique Christmas like no other. But what exactly does the Oliver household's Chrimbo look like? Here the doting father and husband divulges what brings the family together and why the festive season may end in tears. 

"Christmas is my favourite, because it's the perfect time to get friends and family around the table and treat them to a beautiful dinner," he said in a new and exclusive interview with HELLO!. "Plus, it's when most people that usually don't cook, do!" 

Jamie Oliver has opened up about this family Christmas traditions© Steve Ryan
Jamie Oliver has opened up about this family Christmas traditions

Jamie, who shares five children with his wife Jools, also spilt the beans on how his partner takes pity on the "unwanted" Christmas trees. 

"Our family tradition of buying a Christmas tree is a little bizarre," he shared. "We go to the same vendor every year in our hometown in Essex and Jools talks to the trees – she takes pity on the ones that aren't pretty, the ones no one wants. 

"So every year we come home with the most unusual-looking tree, but Jools will decorate it until it looks incredible." 

The couple, who are high school sweethearts, have been married since 2000. They have since gone on to welcome five children: Poppy Honey, 21, Daisy Boo, 20, Petal Blossom, 14, Buddy Bear, 13, and seven-year-old River Rocket.

Christmas is a family affair for the Olivers© Steve Ryan
Christmas is a family affair for the Olivers

Despite Jools picking the alternative tree option, decorating the whole house is a family effort. However, like any other family, tensions can rise! "At our house, Christmas looks like everyone else's," added Jamie. "While decorating, it's usually my job to do the lights, and I never really get them to work. 

"We get into arguments and someone always starts crying, but in the end we collectively light the lights and everyone is happy. Then we take a picture for Instagram and people write, 'Gosh, what a lovely, happy family.' Haha!" 

'The way to Jools' heart is quite simple - chocolate!'

Jamie then added: "In our house, we really go to town with Christmas trees. We end up with about five every year - two or three in the living room and a few in the rooms of the kids who still live at home." 

The celebrity chef has created a special dish for his wife Jools© Steve Ryan
The celebrity chef has created a special dish for his wife Jools

Over the years, the 48-year-old has always offered his favourite dishes to prepare for the special day. From roasties and gravy to Christmas pudding and much more, searches for his "easy" recipes multiply during this time of the year. And rather than switching things up, the father-of-five likes to keep his own menu traditional. 

"I wouldn't say I have a go-to festive menu," he said. "There are certainly some big hitters that always appear on the table, but it's nice to mix things up with the sides and puds. 

Jamie Oliver's book 5 Ingredients Mediterranean© Jamie Oliver
Jamie's book 5 Ingredients Mediterranean is out now

"Our dinner usually looks something like the pictures you see in my Christmas book – it's almost a diary of my family Christmases past and all the stuff we've evolved and loved over the years." 

WATCH: Inside Jamie Oliver's family life

Asked whether his children help with the cooking on Christmas Day, Jamie replied: "Do they heck! It's me who cooks Christmas dinner, and often without any help. Occasionally they might, but usually not!" 

The star continued: "If you're anything like me, you're a Christmas traditionalist and your holy grail is great turkey, next-level gravy and amazing roast potatoes. Everything else is peripheral."

Best Christmas hampers 2023 - at a glance

When it comes to gift giving, there's only one way to keep his wife happy. Jamie divulged: "The way to Jools' heart is quite simple - chocolate! In my latest cookbook 5 Ingredients Mediterranean, I developed Jools' chocolate pots (page 268) in her honour, so I'll definitely be making a batch of those for my lovely wife."

Jools' chocolate dreams© Jamie Oliver Enterprises Ltd.
Jools' chocolate dreams

Fancy making Jools' chocolate pots, head here to see the full recipe.

5 Ingredients Mediterranean by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Michael Joseph © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2023, 5 Ingredients Mediterranean). Recipe photography: © David Loftus, 2023

More Celebrity News

See more