Reba McEntire, Brett Eldredge + More Reveal Their Favorite Childhood Christmas Gifts
It's pretty easy to get country stars like Reba McEntire, Brett Eldredge, Chris Young and Dan + Shay in the Christmas spirit. All four will star in Monday night's CMA Country Christmas special on ABC (8PM ET), and all were willing to reminisce about Christmases past.
McEntire is hosting the yearly gathering of country stars to sing Christmas carols, but she's no stranger to the event, as she performed in 2010 as well. Look for her to sing "Holly Jolly Christmas" and a medley of "O, Come All Ye Faithful," "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" in addition to collaborations with Little Big Town and Kelsea Ballerini.
Prior to the show's recording on Nov. 14 the legend told Taste of Country and other media about celebrating Christmas as a little girl growing up in Oklahoma. Her mother would always give her and sister Susie the same gift, including one she'll never forget.
"It was a train case, you know like a makeup case or overnight case," McEntire recalls. "Mine was blue, Susie's was white. Mama has it underneath her vanity at her house in Stringtown. Loved it."
Eldredge is becoming this generation's Bing Crosby, with his Glow album taking a place on any must-have Christmas album list. The singer shared that he's thinking of doing a full Christmas tour in 2018, but for now fans will have to settle for a few select shows and two songs ("Winter Wonderland" and "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas") at the CMA Country Christmas broadcast.
"For one I would be up way before anybody else," he says. "I'd blare the Christmas music and sit there, wait around by the tree. I'd wake my parents up like four times. I was big into paint ball as a kid. I got like a jersey, paintball gun and a mask and then I went out and played paintball in like 20 degree weather which hurts really bad."
"The Long Way" singer's love of Christmas has grown as the years have passed. You'll find his house decked out this year, although by his own admission is mother is the lead interior designer in his house. "We decorate the tree and last year we got to listen to my own Christmas album because we always talked about how one day we're going to listen to my Christmas album together after all these years of listening to these classics that inspired me to make that album."
See Photos from the CMA Country Christmas Special
Decorating is something Young gets into as well, although his house isn't the festive one on the block. He saves that for his parents, admitting he goes way above and beyond their expectations.
"It ends up looking like the Griswold family Christmas party in my parents' yard every year," he says, referring to the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. "Every year for three years there's been more than a 7-foot inflatable, at minimum. Not just one. I'm saying the biggest one that I can find."
Finally, Dan + Shay remember their favorite Christmas gifts as kids. As luck would have it, they both named the same gift. "Getting a Nintendo 64 was my best gift," Shay Mooney says. "My parents told me it was sold out, and I think his (Dan Smyers) parents did the same thing ... and then low and behold they're like, 'There's one more gift ... and there it was.'"
Mooney is celebrating his first Christmas with his baby boy Asher — he and his wife decided they'd pick up a new Christmas ornament each year as a tradition. Dan + Shay's third trip to the CMA Country Christmas special will include a performance of "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
Listen to the Ultimate Country Christmas Playlist