Actress Essence Atkins is preparing for an extra special gift this winter - she's expecting a baby on Christmas Day.

The star, 39, and her husband Jaime Mendez will become first-time parents in December.
 
They tell People.com, "Our gratitude is overwhelming to have found each other and adding a baby to our happy home is truly a dream come true. We are both elated and humbled by this amazing gift."
 
Atkins met businessman Mendez via an online dating site and they wed in 2008.