(NEW YORK) — The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for Empire actress Taraji P. Henson.

Ahead of the Christmas holiday, Henson tells ABC Audio she’s excited about taking a break from her rigorous schedule and finally spending time with her loved ones.

“I love family time,” Henson says. “I’m a huge, family-oriented person. Grew up with a lot of cousins sleeping on a pallet.”

For the busy actress, who is gearing up for the second half of the final season of Empire, getting a moment to herself, or even her family, isn’t always easy.

“I’m so busy throughout the year that that’s really the only time of the year I get to really spend time with my family,” she explains. “And that’s very important to me. So I really look forward to the holiday season.”

Of course, there’s also another aspect of the holiday season that Taraji just adores.

“And I get to play Santa Claus!” she jokes.

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