Giada De Laurentiis: Jade Still Believes in Santa

12/24/2012 at 09:00 AM ET

Giada De Laurentiis Jade Still Believes in Santa
Courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

The tree’s done. The stockings are hung. Giada De Laurentiis and her family — husband Todd Thompson and their daughter Jade Marie — are officially ready to host the holidays.

“Christmas Eve is the big tradition in an Italian family. It’s when my entire family gets together,” the newest face of Clairol tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“This year, for the first time, it will be held at my house … so Jade and I and my husband are very excited.”

On the menu for the family festivities is “a big fish dinner,” one that no doubt Jade will help her mother to prepare. After all, adds the celebrity chef, she is the unofficial taste tester.

“My daughter loves to cook. We have a lot of laughs together. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and she loves hanging out with me,” De Laurentiis, 42, shares. “The reason she loves it so much is because she can stick her finger in everything and taste it as she goes along.”

Once the big dinner is done with, and the evening starts to wind down, De Laurentiis and Jade will start to prepare for the night’s biggest guest to arrive: Santa Claus. At 4½-years-old, her little girl is still a strong believer in the magic of it all, notes her proud mama.

“She leaves him little treats — for the reindeer and for him too — and she’s very much a believer in Santa,” De Laurentiis says. “I hope she’ll be a believer for a long time, I think it’s really fun for kids to be able to do that.”

Recently, the pair sat down to write out Jade’s wish list, but after much pleading on Jade’s part over the past few weeks, it’s no surprise as to what she hopes to find under the tree this year.

“The one thing she keeps asking me for over and over again is clip-on earrings. She must have seen them on somebody else, but she has asked me for clip-on earrings for the past month,” De Laurentiis notes. “I am on a mission to find clip-on earrings for her because I don’t think she’ll ever forgive me if I don’t.”

But based on her newly transformed play space, the “girly girl’s” specific accessory request should come as no surprise.

“She’s opened up her own little salon in her playroom. She gives free makeovers, she curls people’s hair and gives them little manicures as well,” De Laurentiis says. “I’ve always been a girly girl my whole life — maybe she will, maybe she won’t — but it’s a lot of fun to play with her right now.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Kate Hogan

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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mamaofthreegirls on

We don’t have a television, but I have old Giada episodes I bought on itunes on our laptop. My middle girlie is four also and it is the show she requests most often-at least once a day! Four is such fun-when they can actually learn ways to help and enjoy doing so!

Chelle on

Clip-on earrings? lol She looks just like her mom.

Jen on

Such a pretty little girl!!

Marky on

What a lovely family! Jade looks just like her mom; I love to watch Giada’s show–what yummy, gorgeous, fast food! 4 is such a great age…..

hannahsmom on

I would hope that a 4 year old still believes in Santa!

Danielle on

I was thinking the same exact thing!!!!

amy on

She’s only four and a half..why WOULDN’T she believe in Santa?

Tina on

My niece stopped believing when she was four. She pieced it together and said that the idea of Santa didn’t make sense. Not all kids are like that, but it does happen!

madience on

not sure who she is, but they seem like a down to earth loving family who keeps their beautiful daughter down to earth as well. clip on earrings? Great request from a 4 year old, instead of what some other celebs children may ask for (or even already have).

Angela on

Why is the headline about this 4 year old believing in Santa? Why wouldn’t she “still” believe in Santa at 4 years old?!

Kelly on

She’s only 4 1/2. Of course she still believes in Santa Claus, she still just a child. Talk to us about this again in five years, Giada and until then cover up your boobs and get back in the kitchen.

Kim on

Um, who cares????? Seriously is People that desperate for a news story? Don’t know who they are and don’t care. Next…..

Lynne on

Wow someone didn’t have a very merry Christmas did they Kelly – bitter much? You must have been a pleasant child -not

karaofthecoast on

why wouldn’t a 4 year old still believe in santa?????

unless her parents or relatives have ruined it for her.

Magnolia on

What kara? The HUGE lie that every parent tells the child so they can bribe them all year in the off chance the kid might behave better if they think a magic, creepy old man is watching them all year round? And if they don’t pull through with good behavior, they still get all their presents anyway right? Sorry, glad I don’t teach my kid that crud… They’ll be WAY more well adjusted!!

Shonda on

LOVE them:-)

Susan on

I’m 44 and still believe in Santa. We all need to keep the magic in our hearts. I believe in Jesus, I don’t see him either but it doesn’t make him any less real.

KatenCa on

What is so unusual about a 4 1/2 yr old believing in Santa? My niece is 8 and she still believes and I thihk I did too until I was around 9 or 10. I just don’t get why she even mentions it. I would feel bad if a 4 1/2 yr old didn’t believe in Santa. I know some Jewish children don’t but otherwise, most small children have wonderfiul imaginations and believing in Santa is a part of being a child.

CS on

Odd title. Why wouldn’t a young child believe in Santa? Title makes it sound unusual. Interns only ones working at People today.

L ANN on

The little girl is darling.

I just can’t watch her Mother….her mouth terribly bothers me. I love her smile with her mouth shut.

bfd on

Why wouldn’t she still believe in Santa. She’s only 4.

tammy on

By 3 years old I figured out Santa was not real. Not every child is gullible. Some children are inquisitive and start being logical/rational at an earlier age. No need to put down children who don’t believe or stop believing.

Anonymous on

I would hope that a 4 yr old would still believe in Santa! Is that unusual?

Anonymous on

Omg! boring!!!

Karen on

What a stoooooopid title People! I had to click on the story and make sure this child wasn’t 15 or something!

Cora on

It’s pretty ridiculous that the title of this article is “my child still believes in Santa.” What kind of parent would spoil Santa for a 4yo. C’mon People, these articles are getting to be lame.


Thank goodness this story didn’t mention her cooking for William and Kate when they were in the U.S. I get it that it was exciting but it’s always mentioned which gets nauseating!!!!!!

FussyMadam on

Giada is very average cook. This is where The Food Network lost a lot of real foodies with Giada, Paula Dean, and that gay basher Guy Fiewhatever. These three rely SOLEY on personality and not on cooking skills. You learn noting new when watching them except maybe a recipe which you could find online. Giada is also known for her HUGE ego.

Tee on

Are we seeing the same child? I look at her and think she looks just like her Daddy, same eyes, forehead. It always makes me greatful when peole of the media show/share their babies and kids as they grow, it’s very nice of them.

Alayna on

Well of course she does, she’s only 4.

A few weeks ago I was talking to some 5 year olds and some of them were telling me that they wrote letters to Santa and a few were like “There’s no Santa, my mom told me he’s fake” And the others were like “No, he’s real” and it was going back and forth…and then they asked me…And I was like “Of course he’s real” Let it last as long as possible, right?

Shery on

Why would you even put that as a headline? What if a young child read that? How sad that would be. It’s almost as bad as putting it on the front page of a newspaper.

Upyurs on

Cute family! Plenty of 4yr olds dont believe in Santa. Usually the kids in daycare or with older siblings or cousins

suanne on


Actually, Giada is the only one of those Food Network people you mentioned to be qualified as a true chef. She graduated from the prestigious, very famous Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, so I’d say she does know a thing or two about cooking. I’m not a huge, huge fan of hers, but I think she does know what she’s doing and her recipes are pretty good for the most part.

jager on

shame on people magazine for even putting a headline like this on the website for my kids to look at over my shoulder!! think twice next time!!!

Jenn on

I sure would hope a 4 1/2 year old would stil believe in Santa. I know many children that are in their teens that still believe (or at least that’s what they tell their parents)! She is a beautiful child and looks just like her mother! I love watching Giada’s show and more often then not attempt to make at least 1 of the things she makes.

WiddoMouse on

Is this supposed to be a shocker? Between the ages of 3 and 6 all children believe in Santa. Age 4 is the first year that they can verbally articulate their feelings. By age 6 they start having doubts about Santa based on comments made by their little school friends. Three cheers for all 4 year olds. They are the perfect Christmas fit. I would love to have a 4 year old in the house every Christmas. They are also at the perfect age to understand the story of the birth of the Christ Child.

cassie on


cassie on

Well Jen I would have to agree that she is such a pretty girl!!!!!!!

Kel on

Slow news day? Of course a 4 year old believes in Santa! I thought maybe she was 10 or 11, that’s why I opened the story, because I have a 10 year old that still believes but is starting to ask questions….. stupid story, sorry.

Cora on

All of these complaints from Moms about this headline and yet it still has not changed. People, I’ve been a reader for longer than I’m willing to admit, but lately even the magazine is a huge letdown! I’m so glad my kids are too little to read because if they just-so-happened to see this, you would be hearing from me on more than just a comment page. Have some journalistic responsibility!! And geez Louise, pick more important things to write about.

GWA on

Someone said for Giada to cover up her boobs….really? I am not seeing any “boobish” action with the pic. AND….WHY all the “snarky” comments? I happen to think Giada is a great tv personality/cook and her family is lovely. AND….just for the record: I am almost 50 years old and I STILL believe in Santa. AND YES, Santa DID visit me this year…thank you VERY much.

m1nt1e on

I belived in santa until I was told otherwise by a teacher at 9 years old…my mom was not a happy camper lol!

itznia on

She better you idiot – she is only 4 1/2 years old!!

Amanda on

She’s only 4 1/2! I still beleived in Santa until I was 8 or 9.

Janet on

Of course Jade still believes in Santa – she’s only 4 1/2 years old. I have enjoyed Giada’s shows for years and Jade is growing up to look just like her Mom – beautiful.

Peque on

Great! Jade is still a baby. I beleived until I was almost 11 years old. That’s the magic or Christmas!

Sarah on

Magnolia, Wow! It’s people like you that spoil the FUN for everyone else! GIVE ME A BREAK! I love how you label all parents except you and calling Santa creepy? What is wrong with you?

Magnolia on

Wrong? I don’t lie to children, nor do I bribe them to behave and I’m the one considered wrong!! A childs full, entire personality is formed by the age of 5 and I just don’t feel comfortable with the thought that the first formative years of my childs life I will have already lied and manipulated them! I don’t feel bad about feeling that way at all!!

Magnolia on

Joanie, I am INCREDIBLY human, imperfect and very deficient in MANY ways, don’t get me wrong!! I don’t want to add to problems of life by lying to children… Just seems really wrong!

Carrie M on

What an attractive family! Buon Natale Giada!!

Sharon on

Please understand that Jews do not celebrate Christmas and Santa Claus, who is part of it, is not instilled in our children. We have our own traditions and customs, none of which transfer over to Christian holidays. Hope that clears up the confusion.

elysummers on

I still believe in Santa and Im 55. It is a wonderful state of mind, a wonderful attitude to try to carry throughout the year.

fanofboardwalkempire on

What a beautiful little girl! wishing the family a lovely holiday!

_Kristine on

Not every child believes in Santa until 8 or 9. I was 5 when my mom said “Santa’s watching, you need to behave!” I told her “Mommy, it’s sad, but Santa’s not real.” All she could say was “Well, don’t tell your brother.”

My 5 year old still believes. But I can see him starting to have doubts as he’s in school and many kids have older siblings who can undoubtedly pull the “Santa’s for babies, he’s not real” card.

Anonymous on

Like Giada but non-story

tm on

Magnolia …. too bad you’re such a nasty, negative person. With a mother like you your kids will grow up to be so maladjusted they’ll be in therepy for 40 years. I’m 65 and still believe in Santa … my kids all believed in Santa and they are very well adjusted. So go pound snow …. Grinch!!!

Magnolia on

I apologize for sounding mean, tm, it comes out all wrong and very forceful. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that if you tell your kids about Santa there might be a seed of manipulation planted! They don’t have to believe you about God, or morality, or really anything parents have to say if we start their life by lying to them! And if you don’t think you’re lying to them, then you’re lying to yourself too!

Magnolia on

And, as a thought, I’ve been to therapy… EVERYBODY should go!

Charli on

That’s a beautiful family and an adorable little girl. Jade looks just like her mom.

Juliet on

She’s 4 1/2 and still believes in Santa? Newsflash: most 4 yr olds believe in Santa.

Anonymous on

Giada has a beautiful family! Her hubby is handsome and her daughter is adorable. I really like her show. I hope she has another child or possibly adopt.

Bob on

I would hope a 4 year old would still believe in Santa. Why burst the bubble so young? But later on, when she does start questioning, don’t lie to her.

nancy on

To Magnolia: Geez, what a downer you are. Sounds like you don’t have warm Christmas memories. My girls thought of Santa as a fun, loving wonder – not a creepy old guy watching them all the time. Nor did we ever lord it over their heads that Santa was keeping an eye on them. And their gifts from Santa were NOT bribes for good behavior. I think for most Santa believers, it is a lovely time in their young lives to have a happy and wondrous experience – with no strings attached. Happy holidays to you (even if you sound a bit Grinch-like).

Magnolia on

Thank you for the well wishes and the kind point of view nancy! ❤

Lori on

That is one stunning Family

Anonymous on

My daughter is 11 and my son is 9, they both still believe it Santa, heck so do I!!

_Kristine on

So Magnolia, you don’t lie to your children at all? If they ask if they look pretty or handsome, and they don’t, you say “No, you don’t”? If they’re faced with something that makes them nervous (for my son with speech issues it’s sharing time in school), and they say something like “Kids will laugh at me”, do you reassure them that yes, indeed, kids WILL laugh at them, instead of telling them “nobody will laugh”?

The world is full of little lies to help society move along smoothly. To say you don’t lie at all to children is making them face a very harsh reality, IMO.

Magnolia on

Kristine, Santa is no “little lie”… And no, if a child needs encouragement I find the positive in that child and accentuate that. I am human, imperfect, and yes lies happen, but I don’t sit down and construct a man who sits and watches to make sure they’re acting good all year and then gives them gifts one night a year. I give gifts freely, try not to lie, reinforce positive… I don’t always succeed, but I make a great effort… There is no second chance with kids!

Magnolia on

Besides, telling him nobody will laugh does him no favors… He needs encouraging, being built up, knowing momma is always there even if kids laugh, kids will always laugh, even when you’re an adult!!

Megan on

They look like a legitimately happy family.

Katie on

shes like 2 years old! that would be so sad if she didnt believe in santa…

kim on

most. beautiful. little. girl. ever!!!

Anonymous on

She’s 4 1/2! Do they plan on squashing her dreams at 6? My niece is 11 and after the hard questions and the serious talk – I think she still chooses to believe – and I’m happy about it. I hope her siblings believe well into their double digits, too.

Anonymous on

My lil lady bug is 7 and she believes in Santa!

Anonymous on

Most 4 1/2 year old kids do believe in Santa…

Terry on

For those who question the existance of Santa, I hope you learn the easy way that you should believe. Ask anyone who has survived any major life trauma and they’ll assure you that Santa is everywhere at all times bringing gifts the whole year through. Here’s to BELIEVING!

Terry on

How about having a story about how Santa has helpers like the Celebes and their kids donating to toys for tots or any other quality organization dedicated to Santa’s cause? Less hype suggesting there is no Santa would be appreciated by we elves who try harder every year to keep the big Guy in good spirits.