Rachel Bilson is looking forward to creating even more holiday memories with her 6-year-old daughter, Briar Rose.
In an exclusive chat with PEOPLE surrounding her partnership with Amazon devices, the former O.C. star says her little girl, whom she shares with ex Hayden Christensen, is anticipating getting to "do all the traditional cookies this year" leading up to Christmas, while Bilson plans to crank up the Christmas music to keep her spirits high: "It’s just so cozy and nostalgic and makes you feel like ‘Oh, things are OK.’”
"We've been bundled up with my mom and my family, so we get to do it together, which I am so grateful for," says Bilson, 39. "It's going to be a lot of fun. We're usually in Canada [with Christensen's family], so this year we'll get to do things with my family here [in California]. So that's a plus."
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And of course, while Bilson is making her own traditions, she's very aware that she's part of many others', thanks to the O.C.'s "Chrismukkah" episodes, which have become a staple in many peoples' holiday viewing.
“It’s so funny — I am a true Christmakkah participant because my dad is Jewish and my mom was raised Catholic, so I had that experience growing up. So I was like ‘Oh, this is what it is!’ They gave it a name and everything," she says. "I feel very lucky to have been apart of it but it is kind of funny that something has stuck for — what has it been, 16 years?”
Any chance of a reunion special with costar Adam Brody? “I don’t know what a Chrismukkah reunion would look like exactly, but I feel like I live it every day," she jokes, before asking her Alexa what the holiday's hats were called. (If you need a reminder, they're yamaclaus.)
Rachel Bilson and Daughter Briar Rose Just Picked Out the Best Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
Though she has plenty of holiday cheer planned at home, the actress does say it can be hard "keeping things positive" amid the ongoing coronavirus global health crisis, especially in trying to make sure Briar doesn't "really realize how different things are."
"We are fortunate enough to be able to stay home and be together and have all of these things, which I don't take for granted, and I am very aware of how lucky we are," Bilson says. But she acknowledges that even with all their blessings, it's still tough; "I think the hardest thing is child’s profound disappointment and them not understanding why they can't see their friends."
"My daughter, at her age, it's sort of hard for her to really grasp," says the mother of one. "[But] she's done really well, and I am super happy with how well-adjusted she is."
And while "it's been challenging" to balance keeping her child safe and happy during these times, Bilson is "also grateful, because it's given me the time to really spend with her on a level that you really normally [wouldn't] – you wouldn't get that kind of time at her age, when she still thinks Mom's cool."
"It's actually pretty nice," adds the former Hart of Dixie star. "So I've also acknowledged how happy I am that I have gotten that time. And who knows if we'll ever get that kind of time again?"
But for those moments when the togetherness can be too much, Bilson tells PEOPLE she's "taking all the wins" that Amazon has to offer in terms of the company's various devices that help keep her daughter (and her mom, she jokes) busy.
"Kids can engage, they can hear stories, play games, play music — it's just a nice way to engage your children and is something extra for when you're home," she adds of the Echo, which offers a kids' version and the Echo Show 8, with HD smart display, among its line. "Basically, it's [a present] for me, let's be honest."
Bilson adds that the devices "are helping people really feel more connected" when they can't be together in person," she says, "and I think that's great for everyone's mental health. Really grateful for these gifts this year."
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