Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck and kids spent Christmas as a family

Ben Affleck takes his girlfriend Lindsay Shookus to dinner at Nobu
Another holiday another pr fluff piece about how Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and their kids are spending Christmas together. Now we have Garner’s social media presence to fill in the blanks too. She’s made “bread men” for her kids, she’s revealed that two out of three of them believe in Santa still, and she reading books to the family dog as part of her advocacy for early childhood literacy, which is nice actually. I buy that she’s like this and that her family and kids come first. She’s definitely extra though although she owns that. Meanwhile Affleck was seen stepping out with Lindsay Shookus yesterday, both of them looking matchy and miserable. Here’s People’s blurb about Affleck and Garner’s Christmas and the fact that he’s continuing treatment, I’m also including a little filler from a past story but there’s more:

Affleck, who’s been continuing treatment for alcohol addiction, joined Garner and the kids on Christmas Day, a source tells PEOPLE.

Affleck and Garner have continued to spend time together with their kids, and usually spend holidays as a family.

While he has “had a rough year,” a family source previously said, “at the moment, he is doing great. He seems more honest with himself.”

Affleck has also enjoyed spending time with his girlfriend Lindsay Shookus, 37. The two are now sharing a New York City apartment when the actor is in town.

[From People]

This is what we’ve heard for years during their separation, that they’re still spending time together as a family for their kids. The one thing that’s changed is that Ben has a girlfriend now. (I mean I’m sure he’s had several in the past, but this is the one he’s brought out in public.) Ben took Lindsay to Nobu the day after Christmas and maybe it was the presence of the paparazzi, more than one outlet had these photos, but they did not look happy. They do look like two peas in a pod though. Do you think Lindsay changed her style for Affleck or do you think she’s always dressed like that? On many of their outings, like this one, they look perfectly matched, expressions included.

A lot of women go for these powerful rich men, but imagine having to put up with Ben Affleck’s hot and cold moods and his manipulation. Is all the jewelry worth it? A ride in a private jet might be thrilling and I would do a lot not to have to fly commercial ever again, but I wouldn’t attach myself to someone who would treat me like crap and lie to me. You may think I’m jumping to conclusions about Affleck but we saw him grab Hilarie Burton’s breasts (on camera) and then later characterize it as an accusation of “touching her breast while I gave her a hug.” Do you think he ever owns up to anything ever? Or do you think he gaslights the hell out of a partner the minute she questions him or feels hurt? We know he slept with the nanny.

Jennifer Garner takes her children to church with ex-husband Ben Affleck's mother Christine

Ben Affleck takes his girlfriend Lindsay Shookus to dinner at Nobu

Jennifer Garner stops for a smoothie before hitting the gym

Photos credit: Backgrid and WENN

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59 Responses to “Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck and kids spent Christmas as a family”

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  1. Nikki says:

    Normally I cringe every time I see Jennifer Garner having ANYTHING to do with Ben Affleck: seriously, girl??!! But being together while the kids open presents is acceptable; they’re strictly trying to give some normalcy for the kids. No amount of money could entice me to sleep with Ben Affleck; he’s appalling.

    • Mia4s says:

      I’m just cringing at the PR. Lots of divorced parents spent Christmas together for the kids (celebrity and otherwise) but not many felt the need to put out a press release. And when neither has a project to promote? Sigh…OK.

      She’s gone full mommyblogger which is interesting. I guess she’s accepted she needs to make her own way and can no longer just coast as an A-list wife. She can’t compete for the top roles (or my guess would be even most of the mid-range) in her demographic so this is probably a good move.

      • b says:

        Her last movie didn’t even make $5k at the box office. Using her kids’ private lives for mommy blogging is all she has left before she starts doing Hallmark Channel movies.

      • Jayna says:

        @b, I think she shines more on the small screen, TV, like her previous hit Alias, when younger. I have no doubt she’s been offered some big TV shows on major networks to entice her to come back, but that would require eight or nine months every year of shooting with long days. Many actress moms do it, but she isn’t one I see wanting to do it. She loves picking her children up from school and taking them and being very involved in their daily lives. I get it.

        I think she’s made a decision about how she wants to raise her children and the time she spends with them. She would love a huge movie role that would be a hit, but she’s not really up for those. So a little indie movie here or there, which takes little time away, is more her speed, whether it’s widely seen or not, and here and there a longer shoot. It gives her a chance to work, plus live the life she wants to live right now as a mother. She’s taken a lot of smaller parts in movies over the years during her marriage to Ben and having babies. All you have to do is look at her IMBd. She even prouduced a couple.

        She loves being a mother, and it goes by fast. She doesn’t want to miss out on it

      • Jenfan says:

        @jayna I agree. Also, she does not have a partner (or ex-husband) that could really step in and pick up the slack. It’s her or no one. I have actually really been enjoying her Instagram. And there is no pics of her kids on it. Just a few hints at them.

      • b says:

        Except that she’s made movies out of state since her kids were born, she’s been trying to have a film career. She’s been working and having nannies doing things for her kids. She takes jobs where she can get them, whether it takes her away from her kids or not. It’s just that nothing she’s done has worked and she isn’t offered anything good anyway. Mia4s is right, she simply can’t compete anymore. If Alias were to get a reboot requiring 14 hour days she’d hire a few more nannies to do everything, you’d best believe.

      • maybel says:

        Garner has never been known for having much in the way of acting ability. She lucked out 15 years ago getting Alias and hasn’t had much of a film career since. Her career from 2004-2014 was as Ben Affleck’s +1 and Mother to his Kids, and for the last three years, as his ex who is trying to be Co-Parenting Champion of the Year. Even though it’s clearly as much of a sham as their marriage was and it’s all a huge mess behind the scenes.

  2. Birdix says:

    S/O: Garner has recently become a ballet super fan and is promoting dancers, choreographers and teachers on her IG. I love it.

    • Jayna says:

      Jennifer studied ballet for a decade while growing up. She said she had more determination than talent. So she’s always had a love for ballet. It’s nice to see her promoting the dancers and choreographers and teachers on her IG.

  3. Jag says:

    He would have to lavish me with things for my bedroom and home, an awesome gamer computer with all the frills, clothes, and kitchen appliances for days. I don’t think that I’m golddigger enough to date him, though. Even if we both knew that it was an arrangement, I don’t think that I could ever pretend to love someone just for what they could provide for me materially.

  4. Louise says:

    Mark the calendar! Look at Jen’s shoes!

    Honestly, they all probably have enabled him. Jen would have probably stayed with him come hell or high water if the nanny had not gone public. It was her decision to stay with him – kids or not. Lots of women with lesser means divorce their husbands, and that’s fine, that’s HER decision. They all have crap to answer for.

    I think Ben is playing the long game. He wants to see his kids for sure but all this is documented because they are famous and he can say to his kids “I was there” blah blah blah.

    You would be surprised what women will put up with for money, lifestyle and status (and I mean both Lindsay and Jen).

    • Ana says:

      I can’t get past the Seinfeld puffy shirt in those pics to even get to the shoes.

      • Luca76 says:

        I had the exact same reaction it’s totally the Seinfeld puffy shirt.

      • monette says:

        Yep, I didn’t even realize she had on some nice shoes…for a change. All I could think was I had such a lovely outfit for Christmas this year and I’m no celeb.

  5. ELX says:

    He is an alcoholic, with all the traits of an alcoholic. Only lasting sobriety and a real commitment in therapy to deal with his issues and behaviors will change anything about this guy. I get that he felt the need to dry out a bit, but if he’s at Passages Malibu, he is not trying to get sober. I would not want to be in JG’s shoes, that’s a lot to manage, but clearly she’s doing it and he’s not challenging her over the kids, which is the go-to threat when these types don’t get their way. The whole thing is really sad.

    • FHmom says:

      I agree. I think Jen is in a very difficult position. She is really trying to keep her kids’ childhood as normal as possible. I had an uncle who was an alcoholic and a womanizer. After he and wife divorced, she did the best she could to keep their 3 kids close to their father. He did his share by always supporting them financially. In later years, they were actually friendly and my cousins can say they had a good dad. It’s a difficult balancing act, but it’s possible.

    • Nikki says:

      I like your comment, ELX. Made me think a bit more…

  6. Shambles says:

    But which one is Ben and which one is Lindsay?

  7. brenda says:

    Garner’s kids still believe in Santa? I wonder if she’s even told them the truth about where their father is right now. Something tells me those kids live in a dark bubble and it’s going to be ugly when it pops.

    • ScotiaGirl says:

      Brenda – Sera and Sam are only 8 and 5 so why is it so hard to believe they still believe in Santa. I say let them believe as long as you can that’s what captures the magic of Christmas. Let them be kids and enjoy. Plenty of time ahead of them to be grown ups and then Christmas is less magical.

    • Shannon says:

      Aren’t they pretty little? My son believed in Santa until he was 9. As far as a ‘bubble,’ I don’t see how maintaining a friendly relationship with their father and not telling them all his dirty little secrets is putting them in a bubble. They’re really too young to deal with hearing about their dad being a womanizing alcoholic. Give them some time and space to grow older and let them make their own decisions. Every kid deserves a chance to have a childhood where they feel loved and protected by both parents – sadly, not every child gets that. But if she’s able to provide that why wouldn’t she?

  8. Original G says:

    This Jenn-good, Ben-bad narrative is getting old. How is this monthly pap message reminding us, constructive for the kids or Ben’s alleged recovery?

  9. yuri says:

    I don’t think it’s right for the tabloids/paps to have someone stationed outside his rehab to monitor his comings and goings. I think that is the People source, not Ben or Jen. The article didn’t reveal any new details and didn’t even mention where he went for Christmas Day. Are Jen and the kids in Montana? Is there proof? It’s not a real inside source, it’s someone watching his rehab and saw him leave and return.

    • The Original G says:

      I agree with this. Frankly I think all the speculation and discussion about his treatment protocols etc are wrong. I also can’t with the regular paps walks with the kids.

  10. Betty says:

    Regardless of what you think of Ben he still seems to put his family first and spends quality time with his kids and that is what counts. I guess Shookus is happy to take the leftovers.

    • brownie says:

      lmao, nah. Considering all of the times when he was in NYC or somewhere else with LS when he could have been with his kids, he’s no father of the year. They get his scraps, a few hours on Christmas Day before he flies back to CA to be with his gf. When has he EVER put the family first? Is that why they’re divorced? Is that why they’re in the situation that they’re in, because he was always putting his family first? What a joke. I don’t even know how anyone arrives at that conclusion anymore.

      • Lady D says:

        Ben is all about the image. If it was better for his career to ignore his children, they would never see him.
        Although, it didn’t seem to hurt Tom Cruise’s career to turn his back on his young daughter.

  11. Jenfan says:

    The people blurb is there because of the photos at Nobu. No one should think he did not spend x-mas with his children. But we don’t really know where Jen and the kids are. She had an Instagram story which showed a pick of a bowl and a note for the reindeers. There was snow in that picture, which would make you think they are in Montana. I guess it’s possible that Ben went to Montana for the day. It’s also possible that picture is not current, and they were home in LA. But when Jen is in LA she always gets papped somewhere and she has not been seen in a week and a half.

    A different narrative than the past two years when the whole extended family and Matt’s family was together at the Yellowstone club.

    I have a feeling Ben needs to be close to his Rehab etc. otherwise I would think he would spend the holiday with his kids and then fly to New York to live with shookus in their lux apt.

    • miranda says:

      Definitely a pattern here. Ben spent time with the kids on 4th of July – then photographed with Lindsay. Jennifer Garner takes them on vacation this summer. Ben spent most of the summer and Labor Day with Lindsay. Ben ate dinner with his kids on Thanksgiving – then photographed with Lindsay. Here we go again. Spent time with the kids on Christmas – photographed with Lindsay. Goodness knows how many times this was repeated before going public with her. His PR makes sure to announce he is with his kids and then he is immediately with his girlfriend. The scenario of amicably co-parenting is pretty ridiculous. Seems like Jennifer Garner is the single parent.

      • The Original G says:

        If she is a “single parent” why the need to regularly publicise and promote all the family holidays to the public?

  12. Caroline says:

    People magazine had to make a point to say that there was no alcohol at his outing with Lindsay.
    I am sort of surprised they did not go to Montana with the kids….even maybe 2 years ago didnt he go with Tom Brady & his family?
    I remember this because they said they were at a bar together eating nachos! I wonder where Lindsay was then?

    • tina says:

      I noticed that too. Also, there doesn’t appear to be a sober companion with them like there was in NYC.

    • brownie says:

      Ben and LS weren’t even together two years ago, who cares where she was then?

      • ScotiaGirl says:

        What planet have you been on? Lindsay has been his mistress for years now. They may have been on and off but it’s been going on for four years or more. This is not the “new” romance they tried to roll out for pr.

      • Lady D says:

        They’re on their fourth year, brownie. Ben was boinking her, the nanny, and Jen all at the same time. The only other sleaze-dog I know of who had three on the go at the same time was Ediot Cibrian with Brandi, Leanne and Scheana.

  13. maybel says:

    Tired of them and I can’t take any of them seriously. I wonder at what point we won’t get a press release about who spent which holiday and where. For such allegedly private people we seem to get minute-by-minute updates on their shitty marriage and divorce. Mind you, it isn’t even the legit news, it’s all tabloid fodder. No one wins in a battle for who looks better in US Weekly. I feel sorry for their kids being used this way by their parents. It’s really no one’s business how they spend the holidays but they seem to want to make sure everyone knows about it all.

  14. tarak says:

    I don’t really understand the whole is-the-A-lister-lifestyle-worth-it-to-Lindsay stuff. Ask Jen Garner if it’s worth it. She put up with his hot and cold mood swings and manipulations and humiliations for 10+ years. She would have faded away by now and been a Hollywood afterthought without her marriage to him. Shookus doesn’t even have any kids with him and can still walk away and forget about it all.

    • Sophia's Side eye says:

      So many want to look down on Jen Garner while at the same time go out of their way to not judge LS by the same measure. How is it okay for LS but not Garner? Whatever you want to think, Jen and LS are not much different in that they both are okay sticking it out with an a$$ like Ben. Smh

  15. JoJo says:

    Stories from People, E!, US, etc., all simply to highlight, “Don’t worry people, Ben Affleck still spent the holiday with his “family!” Strange on so many levels. First, yes, one could argue that Jen will always be his “family” because of the kids, but let’s face it, after multiple years separated, the definition of family changes a bit. The kids are his family, yes. But why is the media still clinging to this notion that Ben/Jen will remain a family until the end of time. It’s almost as if it would be blasphemy if they split the holidays with their kids, which MOST divorced people do after several years. I haven’t seen this with any other celebrity divorce, and it baffles me. Does anyone care whether Goop/Chris Martin, JLo/Marc Anthony, Fergie/Josh (list goes on indefinitely …) spend the holidays together as a “family”? Why is Ben/Jen’s split so different? Also, it’s inevitable in any split that one parent ends up spending less time with the kids. It’s never fully equal – that’s just the way things work out when two parents don’t live in the same house. I don’t get the scrutiny with Affleck – does anyone micro-monitor other celeb ex-husbands in this same way?

    • ScotiaGirl says:

      I would say Ben is not allowed to have the kids on his own as he can not be depended upon to be sober so he either visits them whereever they are with Jen or he doesn’t see them at all. Take it or leave it! That’s his own fault there! I would say it’s his camp making sure it is out there that he did not neglect his kids over the holidays and spent time with them. But for all we know it could have just been for a couple of hours while they opened their gifts or less or maybe longer. The point is being made that he made the effort to be with them and didn’t ditch them to be with Lindsay and her child instead of them and then the new photos to show that he is right back to Malibu to get right back to his sober treatments/facility.

      • JoJo says:

        True, although he took them to see Hamilton on Thanksgiving weekend without Jen. Still think this divorce is getting serious special snowflake treatment.

      • Jenfan says:

        There are now numerous stories about him being with them for the weekend holiday. US weekly says he was together with Jen, Kids and family and friends. Could be the same as usual past couple of years. Except now we are seeing him back in LA with Lindsay as soon as x-mas is over instead of staying the week and vacationing with the family. As we were led to believe in prior years. ( we don’t know that he actually stayed longer than a couple of minutes in the past either).
        Given that it seems that last year’s Montana vacation seemed to be the nail in the coffin of their marriage, they are all probably better off with him being in LA.

      • JoJo says:

        @JenFan – Well, we know the “friends” this year couldn’t have been Matt Damon since his father died of Multiple Myeloma on Xmas Eve, which is so sad. Given that they grew up together, I’d expect Ben would attend the services, if there will be any, this week/weekend.

        As for Ben going back to LA, well, sober or not sober, the notion of spending week/two-week-long holidays together until the end of time is a bit unrealistic for most divorced couples, especially as time goes on and they have new partners. So, I personally don’t see anything wrong with him being there just for the weekend. Ideally, he’d get his sobriety under control so he can start seeing his kids for longer periods without Jen being there. If he stays with Lindsay (or someone new), there will come a time when it will be not just unrealistic, but downright rude, to not spend at least part of the holidays with that person.

      • Jenfan says:

        @jojo Matt’s father actually died December 14th, but the info was not publicized until 12/23. As for Ben going to the services you would think so – but I think that was around the time it was revealed that he was back in rehab. Either way given the timing, Matt very well could Have been back in Montana over the holidays. We do t know how many people their holidays include, Jen has said she spends it with her family – so sounds like they are all hosted in Yellowstone by her – and they Matt and Casey also have placed there and they probably have their extended family with them as well. (Rich people lives).

        As far as it being normal for them not to keep vacationing together for weeks – I’m totally with you on that one. I thought it was really strange that they were doing it these past two years – which is part of the reason I really believed they were trying to work it through – which I guess TMZ confirmed at the end.

      • JoJo says:

        Agh! You’re right – I hadn’t paid too much attention to the news of when Matt’s Dad actually died – just saw the headlines last week.

        As for Ben/Jen trying to work it through, I think Ben thought working it through is what he “should” do, but it seemed destined to fail. Doesn’t seem like he was ever fully invested in it. If he was, I have no doubt Jen would still be there trying. While Ben was “trying”, my guess is that Lindsay was there in the background, probably on and off, most of that time.

      • tarak says:

        Ben and Casey were photographed (the pics posted on IG) in the Boston airport last week. They were presumably there for Matt’s father’s services. They were photographed waiting for their plane back to LA. It looks like Casey’s gf was with them but her back was to the camera so it’s hard to tell. LS may have been in Boston too but since she was headed to NYC would not have been with them when the pics were taken.

    • Miranda says:

      Page 6 is reporting that he will be moving to his apartment with Lindsay in NYC when he completes his latest treatment and rehab stint. I am sure his PR does not want it to appear like he is leaving his kids. He has received some pretty harsh press this year – this is one message they can control. As far as taking his daughters to Hamilton, I believe he had a nanny with him. Just like for his birthday dinner.

      • LearningtheSystem says:

        Since he’s being papped with LS out and about, it appears his last “stint” is over. Also, Page 6 article talks about him gearing up to film The Batman movie — I don’t think many of us believe that’s actually going to happen, so ….

      • tarak says:

        He can easily fly under the radar when he wants to. To my knowledge there have been no pics of him or LS at their new apartment since she moved in a month ago. He can basically move to NYC and return quietly to LA every so often so the paps can get their shots of him with the kids. He has nothing to promote and nothing to film. Simple.

    • tarak says:

      Actually DM has new pics of Coparenting Super stars Goop and Chris Martin in the paper today, vacationing together in Antigua. They also did an article on divorced couple Drew Barrymore and her ex spending the holidays with their kids. You always see what you want to see, and read way too much into everything. Furthermore, as long as BS articles about them get clicks, the articles will get printed. Haggard fraus on the internet are still half-hoping that they reconcile so tabloids use clickbait-y headlines to pull them in. It’s actually not rocket science. They’ve been doing it for years now and you seem to fall for it each and every time.

  16. kellybean says:

    Anyone have an ID for those sunglasses Jen is wearing in the pic with the off-white blouse and skirt? I love them.

  17. Pandy says:

    They look miserable because it was a booze free lunch! Guess Linds is going to have to cut out her alcohol if she wants to hang with Big Boy Ben?

    • LearningtheSystem says:

      I kinda think as the dust settles, they’ll go back to whatever they want to do. I think part of her appeal is she doesn’t tell him no, and he-IMO-likely stopped because of press and custody issues. If she started telling him no, he shouldn’t, she’ll just be “controlling” him, like his wife did, right?

  18. Loca says:

    Never saw Ben show Jennifer affection or a closeness. He has his arm around Lindsay. I don’t believe every year they will celebrate as a family eventually down the line things will change. They can each coordinate schedules with the kids.

  19. iris says:

    x17’s Youtube site has a video of BA and LS making out.

    • jccw says:

      That’s a pretty long embrace, cameramen having a problem with the focus? Guess they want to make sure everyone knows that they’re still together. I think it’s a bit of a retaliation to Garner for not letting Shook come to the Christmas gathering. Petty yes, but with this group, entirely possible. The write up now says he was drinking a non alcoholic Bitburger. Probably not a wise choice with his history.