Cindy Crawford Still Believes in Santa Claus


For Cindy Crawford, turning 50 seemed like the right time to publish what would turn out to be her first and final book. A coffee table book might have seemed like the way to go, considering there’s no shortage of iconic images of Crawford taken by fashion’s most renowned photographers, but Rizzoli’s Becoming by Cindy Crawford is not that at all. Her journey from the cornfields of Illinois to top modeldom would make for a juicy autobiography, but she wasn’t interested in that route either. Of course, most women would be curious to know her age-defying secrets, but she wanted to offer her fans something more substantial than beauty guidance. “I knew that I didn’t want to do that, but it seemed to be what was available,” Crawford told us during a long distance phone call. “In order for me to do this, it had to be the right idea and something that I could get excited about. We had this idea of 50 essays and 50 images to celebrate 50, but the images were so fun, we ended up doing more than that.”

Instead, Crawford gives an account of her modeling career that’s so well articulated it serves as a powerful reminder to anyone in this industry—or in any industry—to always be paying attention to who and what’s going on around you. She took away more than just memories from each legendary photographer, not only by absorbing their every instruction, but by learning what was special about each one. Even though she was technically “the talent” on set, she was able to recognize the talent in others. Having worked with some of the aforementioned legends ourselves, we too were in need of that reminder to remember how lucky we are, how far we’ve come, and to never let any of that be jading. For these reasons, Becoming is our most recommended holiday read—even if it’s a little bit heavy to tote around during your travels. It’s also our top gift for the devout fashion lover in your life, whether she’s just starting out or coming full circle like Cindy now is.

In the spirit of the season, we wanted to know how Cindy herself likes to spend the holidays and what’s on her gift-giving list—assuming that her family and friends already have a copy of her book!

“It’s the time of year when you look back on your giving and you see if you have forgotten about any of your favorite charities. I do that on December 1st—I look back at my giving throughout the year. One of the main places where I like to give to is my brother’s hospital in Madison [Wisconsin] called the American Children’s Hospital. I have a direct connection there. I have taken my kids there. I get to meet with the families and kids who are being treated instead of just giving a check. That’s a big part of giving back. My kids are involved in a program called Best Buddies. Right now, we’re picking out “Toys for Tots.” The place where we buy our tree is hosting a fundraiser for our school. One of the guys that works there helps veterans by making all terrain wheelchairs. They [Presley and Kaia Gerber] decided to buy one of those wheelchairs this year.

My family didn’t have any money when I was a kid. We stayed home and we drove to our grandmother’s house for Christmas dinner. That was what you did. There was always snow. I moved to New York and married Rande and now we live in L.A. Once we lived in L.A. it really changed. It’s a weird place to celebrate Christmas because it never really feels like Christmas. On my first Christmas there, I remember that we took a Jacuzzi and it felt so strange.

My husband is Jewish, so he has a different connection to Christmas. When the kids started school, there were fewer opportunities to travel, so we’d always go away during Christmas. Now we have a tradition of starting the whole Christmas thing early because we know we’re leaving. As soon as the Thanksgiving turkey is gone, we get a Christmas tree and we do our gifting before we go away. I would say, ‘We called Santa and he’s coming early!’ Our gifts come out in the middle of the night. Rande started the tradition of putting gout beer for Santa. I put out carrots for the reindeers. Obviously, our kids have evolved, but I still say that I believe in Santa because that’s the magic of Christmas.

We still do stockings on Christmas day and our family will meet us. We try to have some version of a traditional meal although turkey in a bikini feels weird! I always make a recipe called “Monkey Bread” and I try to bring it wherever we are. Our tradition is to always be together.” — Cindy Crawford


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