Carrie, Brad, Keith, Trisha + More Share Christmas Traditions
Many country artists look to their childhood holidays for traditions they want to keep as they begin having families of their own.
Christmas for Carrie Underwood hasn't changed that much since she was a young girl growing up in Checotah, Okla. She still gets together with her family, which includes her parents and two older sisters. "We're not a huge tradition family," explains Carrie. "I hang out with my sisters, my parents and my sister's husbands and kids. We just get together and do our thing. We actually celebrate all of the Christmas activities on Christmas Eve. I don't if a lot of people do that, but we all open presents and stuff like that on Christmas Eve. Santa comes Christmas morning, and we watch football." Carrie can now add a new fiance to the family gatherings, as she and professional hockey player boyfriend, Mike Fisher, got engaged over the weekend.
For Christmas gifts, Brad Paisley usually gets them at the last possible moment, but he says it's just part of his genetic makeup. "I'm pretty last minute. Most guys, I think, are like me. You just don't invest enough, you don't think ahead and plan it," explains Brad. "I really do end up somewhere like the mall or something on the 24th. It's a shame. It's really a waste of what should be a fun day, because here I am scrambling around going, 'Oh, I think they'll like that.' They may have never heard of it, and I don't know what is necessarily, but let's buy it!"
Alan Jackson says he and his family, which includes his wife and three daughters, is fairly traditional. "We don't let anybody open any presents until Christmas, after Santa Claus comes," Alan explains. "We don't let them get up on their own and take off, you know, everybody has to wait and kind of get situated, and maybe have a cup of coffee, and then we start all of the regular Christmas morning activities, opening presents, taking pictures and video." The Georgia native says he also likes to put on Christmas music in the background to get everybody in the mood.
As a kid, Keith Urban headed to the beach for Christmas. Because it's summer Down Under during the holidays, most families hang out in the surf and sun, and the Urbans were no exception. "I have great memories of getting up early and going and jumping on your parents bed and getting them up," recalls Keith. "And then of course you tear open the presents and then it's done and it's like eight in the morning, and you've got all morning now to sort of wish you had more presents growing up ... Mostly we'd go to the beach, because there it's summertime. Load up the station wagon and head off to the beach." Now, Keith and his wife Nicole Kidman can share those kinds of memories with daughter Sunday Rose.
Jason Aldean has a laid-back kind of Christmas, mostly because everyone else does all the work. "Christmas Eve -- that's usually the one big thing," says Jason. "That's when everybody ... gets to where they're gonna be, which is now at our house, and just hangs out and cook a lot of food, which is awesome for me. I get to sit back and eat." Jason explains his favorite thing to eat at Christmas is sausage balls. "That's my favorite food, and [the family] comes over and they cook those up and I'm a happy camper. I'll sit there and watch 'A Christmas Story,' and I'm happy as a lark."
Trisha Yearwood had to adjust to her husband Garth Brooks' traditions when they got married a few years ago. One of those traditions she didn't quite understand at first ... but now, it's part of her traditions, as well. "The first time I went to Oklahoma and the girls and Garth had decorated a tree, I was floored by how many ornaments they put on it. It was just amazing," gushed Mrs. Brooks. "I thought, 'That's a little much!' But I came to quickly love it that there's just this spirit of Christmas." And now, the family that decorates together, stays together. "We go, as a family, to shop and we buy new ornaments every year. I mean we use the old ones too, so we put tons of ornaments all over the tree. Now, we just have another tree so we can put the rest of the ornaments on the second tree."
Dierks Bentley recalls warmer Christmas memories. "I grew up in Arizona, so we didn't have like a white winter kind of deal ... Me and my family and a couple other families would go out to the desert and drink beers and ride four-wheelers and horses and just spend it out in the middle of the desert."
Craig Morgan is actually both a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day kind of guy ... and really, it begins long before then for his family. "It's a tradition within my family that started when I was young that we start early. We start about 10 to 12 days out and every night the kids get to open one present leading up to the last night, Christmas Eve," describes Craig. "[On] Christmas Eve, they get to open everything that's left under the tree. And then Santa Claus comes Christmas Eve and leaves presents, so Christmas Day, they have all this stuff." He sighs, "So, it's a long ordeal."
Josh Turner and members of his family like to fish and camp out over the holidays, and they love to eat ... a lot! "We do a lot of eating," explains the father of two. "We eat a lot of fried turkey and all that kind of stuff and shoot fireworks on Christmas Eve night and stuff like that. We just have our little quirky traditions like every family has."