updated 12/07/2010 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 12/08/2010 AT 7:00 AM ET
Denise Richards is counting her blessings this holiday season – and that begins with her girls knowing exactly what they want for Christmas.
“Have you heard of American Girl? That’s all they want. They actually went through the catalog, and that’s all that’s on their lists,” the actress, 39, tells PEOPLE of daughters Sam, 6, and Lola, 5.
Attending this week’s Alice & Olivia’s toy drive in West Hollywood, Richards added that she and the girls went with an artificial Christmas tree this year – for the best possible reasons.