Having released his first Christmas album, Glow, earlier this year, the holidays are top of mind for the Stagecoach 2017 artist Brett Eldredge, who recently shared some of his family’s Christmas traditions with Billboard.
“We go to Christmas Eve services every year back in Paris, Illinois,” he revealed. “It’s the same church, and the same people. We sit in the same spot. It’s the most perfect way to round out the year — to be with the people that I love, and have known me since I was a dorky kid who loved music, just sitting around the Christmas tree.
“Then, I go over to my aunt’s house, and I’ve got so many cousins I can barely count them. My aunts are such amazing cooks, and we eat, drink, open crazy presents and gag gifts, laugh and have fun. It’s the best way to celebrate with family.”
And what are some of his favorite treats to help with the celebration? “My mom makes chocolate brownies that are just incredible,” Brett says. “She also makes a great chocolate cheesecake. My uncle makes Brandy Alexanders, which is ice cream with brandy, so we all just wait for these drinks. There’s one blender, and we’re all just waiting for the next one. There’s not one bad thing. My aunt’s corn casserole is amazing. It’s endless.”
He’s also responsible for starting a Christmas family tradition many years ago. “My cousin and I would go over to the tree house in the backyard. When we were kids, we would put our handprints against the wall. Every year, we would climb up there. I’m 6’5 and we’ll still put our hands up against the handprints and watch them get bigger through the years. They are a lot bigger than they were then, but that’s always an awesome memory.”
And in the spirit of giving, Brett says his favorite gift wasn’t one that he got….but one he gave to his dad. “I remember getting Garth Brooks’ album — I think it was The Hits — for my dad for Christmas,” he recalled. “I was so excited about that. He was such a big fan, and there was no one bigger at that time. I remember buying it at my school’s book sale.
“I love giving gifts, especially gag gifts. I just love seeing the smile on people’s faces. I’m not a very materialistic person. I might love a good guitar or something, but I lose almost everything I get. If I got the most fancy watch, I would probably lose it, so I’m better off not getting that. For me, I just love to give a gift, and put a smile on someone else’s face. Those are the memories that are the most dear to my heart.”