Drew Barrymore‘s daughters won’t be unwrapping presents under the tree come Christmas morning. ET’s Nischelle Turner spoke with the 47-year-old host of The Drew Barrymore Show, and she revealed why she doesn’t buy Christmas gifts for Frankie, 8, and Olive, 10, the girls she shares with her ex, Will Kopelman.
“I always take them on a trip every Christmas. I don’t get them presents, which I think at their ages they don’t love, but I say, ‘I think we’ll remember the place and the photos and the experience and that’s what I want to give you,'” she explained. “They get plenty of things throughout the year, so I’m not like some weird, strict, cold mom who’s like, ‘You don’t get any gifts!’ I just feel like a better gift would be a life memory. I’d rather invest [in that than in] a doll house or something. It all evens out and it’s fine.”
Barrymore did give her daughters Christmas presents one year when they couldn’t travel due to the pandemic, but came to realize, “I’m fine to skip this. This sucks.” Especially because, with her trip-as-a-gift plan, Frankie and Olive “don’t complain about not liking what they get.”
“I’m glad I do what I do,” she said of her Christmas tradition.
While Barrymore is happy with her gift-giving plan, she makes it a point to not get so stuck in a holiday routine that it becomes stressful.
“[I try] to remember that one holiday won’t be probably the same as one 10 years from now, that your life can dramatically change, and new people and new traditions can come into it,” she said. “I like looking at the holidays through a comedic, realistic lens of, we’re gonna have a lot of different holiday stories. What one do you want to keep going and build as a tradition? Rather than, ‘This is my tradition and I’m stuck in it.'”
Amid the holidays, Barrymore has started dating again, a development that she said “feels good.”
“I kind of shuttered down for a while. I take breaks and then I’m like, ‘You know what? I’m ready to try this again,'” she said. “… I’m just sort of open to the idea again, because I hibernate like a bear in my dating life. I will turn off the app. I will not have it in my world… You have on and off seasons. I feel like I’m having an on season.”
For Barrymore, the most important quality someone can have is good behavior.
“As I’m getting older, behavior is sort of everything to me. It’s like my north star,” she said. “Even with dating I’m like, ‘How do they behave?’ When somebody’s like, ‘He’s so hot.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, but does he behave well? ‘Cause that will make him 10 times hotter or not.'”
Someone has apparently fit that bill, as Barrymore revealed that she’s gone on multiple dates with one suitor, whom she feels “hopeful and optimistic” about.
“There’s been a second and a third [date] with someone, which is a big deal,” Barrymore said. “I feel like usually it’s one and done, because I see their behavior and I’m like, ‘This is a nonnegotiable. This is not a match.'”
Even when it’s not a match, Barrymore doesn’t dread going on bad dates. In fact, she thinks they’re “awesome.”
“They’re funny. Don’t let them get you down. Don’t take it as a sign that dating is hard or not functional. That is one person. They don’t reflect other people,” she advised. “It makes for a great essay or girlfriend fodder over cocktails or whatever you’re into. Always stay hopeful. Never become cynical and jaded really about anything, but especially dating.”
Barrymore also suggested that fellow single people take time to “celebrate” when they’re partner-less.
“Somebody is gonna come in there and sweep you off your feet and then that time will be gone and you’ll be living with somebody else,” she said. “You need to enjoy the [single] time before that happens.”
Aside from her personal life, Barrymore is busy with her talk show, which is currently the fastest-growing show on daytime TV.
“It feels really good,” Barrymore told ET of the accomplishment. “There’s a backstory here of launching in a pandemic, having low numbers, transitioning into becoming someone who works in this world, who has been in this world my whole life as a guest, but not on the other side of it. There were so many growing pains and learning curves. It was so humbling.”
“But I knew that we cared about this so much, that we just wanted to get better and grow,” she continued. “…This is not a sort of overnight turn, it’s a few years of struggle in the making. To be here now it’s so much better because we have a backstory that’s uncomfortable… This is really good news and we’re very grateful.”
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