When she takes the CMA Country Christmas stage for the first time this holiday season, Gabby Barrett will enjoy another festive first, too: She's performing her rendition of "The First Noel," the first Christmas song she's ever released.

"It's one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs," the singer explains. "I connected with it from a very early age. So I thought it would be really fun to make my own version of the song."

The connection she feels to the holiday classic, Barrett points out, comes from the special meaning the Christmas holiday has to her because of her faith.

"You know, as Christians, for Christmas, we celebrate Christ's birth, of course," she continues. "But even further, as to why we celebrate him in general, is because of the sacrifice he's provided on behalf of all of us on himself.

"And I think it's really nice to be able to sing a song that really clarifies why we celebrate Christmas in the first place, and why I'm always excited about Christmas," the singer adds. "And so I'm just really excited. I'm very honored that I get to perform it, and I hope everybody enjoys it."

While it's not quite Christmas yet, Barrett admits that she and her husband, fellow American Idol alum Cade Foehner, have been in the holiday spirit for a while already. In fact, Barrett said that back in October, Foehner was already making plans to put their Christmas tree up as soon as the Halloween decorations came down.

"He was just saying, 'November 1 ... all the Christmas stuff is going up,'" Barrett recounts with a laugh. "We're excited for just those small kinda things coming, and to spend the last Christmas together — this is our last one together without a baby, so it'll be very special for us."

Barrett, who is expecting to give birth to a baby girl in early 2021, is already looking forward to Christmases ahead with her daughter. She's even got some family holiday traditions in mind that she wants to pass down to the next generation.

"A tradition that I did when I was younger a lot with my family was, my dad would always pick us up off the floor and [lift us up so we could] put the tree topper on," the singer remembers. "My parents always had this really old, cracked ... it was like an angel that we put on top of the tree. And I think that's a tradition we'll pass down with her, as well. There's something really special about memories and fun ornaments, but the tree topper is, like, the cherry on top. So I think we'll end up lifting her as well and letting her put the tree topper on the tree for our family."

When it comes to New Year's Eve, however, Barrett won't be partaking in traditions like champagne and partying this year. The singer jokes that she's never been a "party gal" to begin with — and even less so in 2020.

"I will be just about ready to give birth to a child," she says, laughing. "So [I'm not planning] anything crazy. When I was younger, we would ... go outside and bang pots around in the neighborhood, do an air horn and fun stuff like that."

Beyond the New Year's celebration, though, she's dreaming a little bigger — especially when it comes to the prospect of getting back on stage and being able to tour, after a year of being off the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I will definitely be out on tour. With somebody really cool," Barrett hints. "And definitely looking into some headlining touring things as well. So, those are things to expect, as well as new music."

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