Season's greetings and yuletide cheer aren't the only things that spread during the year-end holidays. It's also the season for celebrity break-ups.
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Christina Applegate and Johnathon Schaech. Britney's hanging on to her marriage by a thread. Valerie Bertinelli just filed for divorce from her rocker hubby, Eddie Van Halen, just yesterday (Dec. 6). And that's not all: TMZ has learned that a famous entertainment mogul is also headed for divorce, and papers may be filed as early as this week.
Celebrity breakups over the holidays aren't unique to 2005. Other high-profile marriages that fell apart during the holiday season include:
Princess Diana and Prince Charles announced the end of their 11-year marriage in December 1992.
Nicolas Cage opted for a Thanksgiving breakup with Lisa Marie Presley, filing his divorce papers on Nov. 25, 2002. The couple had been married for just three months.
Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin ended their five-year marriage by separating in December 2000; they filed for divorce a month later. The former couple has been involved in an ongoing 'War-of-the-Roses'-type custody battle over their daughter, Ireland.
Harrison Ford and screenwriter Melissa Mathison announced their separation in November 2000 after 17 years of marriage. Their 2004 divorce settlement -- reportedly netting Mathison anywhere from $85 million to $118 million --- was one of the biggest ever in Hollywood.
Pamela Anderson filed for divorce from Tommy Lee in November 1996. The couple married in 1995 after dating for less than a week; the couple has two children together. They reconciled in 1999, then broke up again.
Holly Hunter, citing irreconcible differences, filed for divorce from cinematographer Janusz Kaminski in December 2001 after six years of marriage.
There was no happy ending for award-winning directors Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze. They called it quits in December 2003 after four years of marriage.
"Sex and the City" actress Kim Cattrall separated from her third husband, jazz musician Mark Levinson, in December 2002 and filed for divorce two months later. The couple was married in 1998 and had written a book together titled "Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm," which was published months before their breakup.
Drew Barrymore and Tom Green called it quits when he filed for divorce in December 2001 after just five months of marriage.
Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra hung it up for good just a few days after their November 1998 wedding. Since then, Rodman discovered that he can be his own bride.
Celebrity divorce lawyer Neil Hersh isn't surprised by the spate of celebrity splits during the holidays. "This is the time of year when a lot of people, including celebrities, reflect on their lives, where they've been and where they're going." Hersh adds, "If a marriage isn't working, it becomes clearer than ever during the holidays." And he offers one final sardonic thought: "It's a way to avoid expensive gifts."