If there’s one thing John Wayne loved, it was Christmas!

In an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, the late star’s family opened up about the iconic actor’s passion for the holidays.

“He loved Christmas. We had a huge living room, and by the time Christmas came around, you couldn’t walk through it because there were so many gifts under the tree,” his daughter Marisa, 50, told Closer.

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John and Marisa in 1977.

Buying presents for his family meant a lot to the Duke. “He did his own shopping,” John’s daughter-in-law Gretchen, 81, revealed. “He’d go out to Sears and call us and say, ‘Is there something the kids want?’ He bought his granddaughters their first strings of pearls.”

MORE: John Wayne’s Two Daughters Remember the Late Actor

He took tree decorating very seriously, too! “You had to do the tinsel one [strand] at a time — you couldn’t just throw tinsel on the tree,” Marisa also shared. “And you had to do the snow just right!”

John’s eldest daughter, Aissa, gushed that above everything else, family came first for her father during the holiday season. “He was really a loving dad and granddad,” she said. “It was cute seeing him with the grandkids — he would get all ‘goo-goo’ and ‘gaga.’ He was just a jolly guy.”

For the full story on John, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly on newsstands now!

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