OSCAR-winner Marcia Gay Harden's Christmases are based around fighting and tree decorations.

The actress' Christmas memories have always featured family feuds and a huge tree - and she's continuing the tradition now she's a mum.

She explains, "I love Christmas so much. We have the absolute best Christmases. It seems like every Christmas someone gets in a fight. I come from five kids and with all of us and the kids and the small space, it's a pre-requisite.

"And the tree is always like 16 feet and we decorate every spare inch of it. I have a lot of Mardi Gras beads from when I was in New Orleans doing MILLERS CROSSING.

"So the custom is our house is we put the tree up and then the first thing that happens is the star goes up and then we start flinging the Mardi Gras beads all over the tree so they just hang. They're beautiful and bejewelled. Then we put all the ornaments up so it's this really beautiful tree and the kids love flinging the beads at the tree and they didn't have to flash anyone to get them!"

23/12/2003 20:45