Brandy is ready to hit play on the holidays. “Music is a huge part of the holiday season for us,” the singer exclusively told Us Weekly. “Whitney Houston’s The Preacher’s Wife — every song on there has a mood. The Mariah Carey Christmas album is amazing. I love the Boyz II Men holiday album as well. And then my daughter [Sy’Rai] loves the Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande [songs]. We put that all in one playlist and really get it going on there.”
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Brandy, 41, often hosts Christmas for her family — and her mom, Sonja B. Norwood, takes on the cooking duties. “We always decorated when we were kids, but we never had nice decorations. We didn’t have the matching lights,” she recalled, laughing. “All of our ornaments — we didn’t have the matching ornaments and things like that. I wanted to take that tradition and as I got older decorate my own home and my home is the place we all come together. I have the nice tree and the ornaments that match and the lights and stuff now. I just love the holidays, which is the best. And food!”
She added: “I don’t consider myself a great cook, but I have a few things that I can cook. I make really good fried chicken and I make really nice creamed corn and my mom does the rest. She does the stuffing and banana pudding and potato pie. So we get a chance to enjoy her cooking because she only cooks twice a year. And that’s the holiday spirit with my mom — cooking for us twice a year.”
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The Moesha alum, who also plans to put up her tree early this year, considers this year’s theme to be “gratitude” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “I think people will still have the holiday spirit,” she told Us. “[I’m] thankful for everything that my family have.”
To help others during this difficult time, Brandy has partnered with T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods to raise money for Feeding America. Fans can participate by recording their favorite holiday carol and sharing it on Instagram with the hashtag #CareforaCause. The companies will donate $10 for each carol, which is the equivalent of 100 meals for Feeding America. “The three brands will donate up to $1 million to Feeding America and I think that’s so amazing and I’m just so happy to be a part of this. This is the time to do that. 2020 is the time to give,” the actress explained to Us.
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“It’s for a great cause. I’m a give back girl. It just makes me feel so good to be able to help someone have a great holiday … I love this time of the year ever since I was a little girl,” she continued. “I’m a positive person and I think selfless thinking and being kind to others and having a positive inner dialogue — that’s what I chose to do just in my everyday life. And I think you always get better if you have a positive spirit even though so much is going on in our world right now. We all have the choice to be positive and try to look at the brighter side of things.”
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