We all have memories of a favorite Christmas present. Brett Eldredge is no different. One of his favorite Yuletide childhood memories is about a present he gave, rather than one he received.
“I remember getting Garth Brooks’ cd -- I think it was The Hits -- for my dad for Christmas,” he recalls. “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.” Eldredge likes to give surprises even more than getting them. “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.”
Brett believes his new holiday cd, Glow, will help some fans make new memories of their own this year. “With everything I’ve ever recorded in my career, you have to believe it yourself before everyone else does.... I went and recorded this cd in New York City. I’ve never had anything quite this magical.”
While he feels Glow is magical, he's especcially interested to hear what his fans think. “I felt like it was something really special, but I wouldn’t know for sure until it hit the fans. It came out Halloween week, and I wondered ‘How is this going to work out?’ It went bananas. We opened up at No. 2 [on Top Country Albums], and the reviews started to come in, and I had no idea it would blow up like this. It’s become something special with other people, and that’s what I want to do -- touch people with music. I’m so pumped that people are feeling that.”
With the release of Glow, the Eldredge family has a new additoin to their Christmas celebration. “There’s a lot of traditions within my family. We go to Christmas Eve services every year back in Paris, Illinois. 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 his family's dinner table is filled with an endless spread of good food for the season?
“My mom makes chocolate brownies that are just incredible. 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 says of the yearly spread.
Not all of Brett's memories are traditional to most of us, as he explains: “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.”
Some traditions Brett holds dear, however, are very traditional indeed. As with many in the Land of Lincoln, Brett's family were diehard Cubs fans. It may not have been Christmas, but November 9th 2016 was a day that Brett and his family will never forget.
“I grew up in a family where we were hardcore Cubs fans. My grandfather hardly ever missed a game, and it was passed down to my father and then to me and my brother. I literally have pictures of myself as a baby in a Cubs jersey, so to have it as part of a culture and a family, it’s deeper than being a sport. It comes down to family roots and values, and the belief in something that people said would never happen. So this year, I got to take my dad and my brother to game seven and witness history being made. So it was a magical experience -- and then some.”
What are some fo the traditons and fond memories you have of the Christmas season? Tell us below in the comments. We may pick one to feature in an upcoming article.
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