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Reese Witherspoon tell USA Today, all she wants for Christmas is a new chicken coop!

The Oscar-winning actress and star of the upcoming Four Christmases says she’ll stick to family tradition this holiday: a big Southern-style dinner and caroling around the tree. On Christmas Eve, she’ll go to church and watch the annual pageant where her children, Ava, 9, and Deacon, 5, will perform.

But after Santa has arrived and the last bites of Witherspoon’s home-cooked specialties (turnip greens, pecan-coated sweet potatoes and sugar-baked ham) have been eaten, the actress says she’ll retreat to the farm she owns outside Los Angeles.

“We feed the chickens and the pigs — I have two pigs, and boy are they really pigs. They just get down in that mud and roll around,” she says, painting a picture in stark contrast to her neatly pressed Derek Lam dress. “I like getting down in there and working in the garden. Oh, I want someone to build me a good chicken coop … like a man who can just get down there and build it … ooh.”

Witherspoon, 32, teams up with funnyman Vince Vaughn for Christmases, opening Nov. 26. The flick tells the tale of a couple who have managed to avoid spending the holidays with their respective divorced families.

In some ways, the film hits close to home for Witherspoon, whose divorce from actor Ryan Phillippe was finalized in June. Witherspoon is dating actor Jake Gyllenhaal, 27, but says she’s not sure if she’ll get married again. (“I don’t think about it much.”) Witherspoon signed on for the film because she has always been a fan of comedy and an admirer of Vaughn’s — “I am a Vince Vaughn fan; he’s hilarious!” she says.

Production on the film started last winter, and shortly afterward the writers’ strike hit. That meant Witherspoon had to improvise a little, a Vaughn specialty that was somewhat foreign to her.

“He and I would be like ‘OK, I’m going to say this, then you do that’ and then … I’d try not to crack up,” she says.

After completing the film, Witherspoon traveled the world with her children as a global ambassador for the Avon Foundation. During visits to Japan, London and Paris, Witherspoon says she made sure her children learned about what real life is like — the good and the bad.

“I want them to have that experience. I mean, they have me as their mom,” she says, adding that she enrolled them in a school that requires five community service projects a year. “Right now, I’m the cool mom. But looking at my friends who have older kids, I know it won’t always be that way, so I’m enjoying them now while they’ll still have me.”

Up next for Witherspoon is a 3-D animated film, Monsters vs. Aliens, in which she voices the female lead.

“Yeah, it’s girl power,” she says. (The character gets hit by a meteor on her wedding day and grows to 49 feet tall.) “But the boys will like it, too.”

Source: USA Today

– Photoshoots: USA Today (2008)

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