Artists Celebrate the Holiday Season
What's your favorite Christmas memory? I have a whole passel of first cousins on my dad’s side of the family. At the family Christmas gathering, we’d always put together a play of some sort. Often it was just the Christmas story acted out with caroling. One year we put on “The Three Billy Goats Gruff."
What’s your idea of a good Christmas Dinner? A potluck of all our favorite family dishes. Just don’t try the pickled herring in cream sauce after the cherry jello salad…
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? Christmas With The Rat Pack
Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? We always watch “Donovan’s Reef” with my in-laws during the holidays.
What's been your favorite album of 2020? Chicago Barn Dance by Special Consensus
What are your hopes for 2021? Like everyone else out there, I’m hoping that COVID will be contained and we can all get back to normal life.
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? I’m not a big drinker. I do love hot licorice milk, which I first tasted while on tour in Holland. I have to order the licorice powder from a Dutch import store. It’s sooooo good!
What's your favorite Christmas memory? My favorite Christmas memories were when my dad use to be a professional Santa. He did that for 20 years or so. I used to go with him sometimes to the house parties and sing for the families. It was so fun and I really loved it. Plus, opening all the gifts on Christmas morning was always so much fun.
What’s your idea of a good Christmas Dinner? My mom makes the best sweet potato casserole and green beans. She has been making that every year. It never gets old! Yum!
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? Anything by Nat King Cole or Judy Garland is a favorite in my book.
Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? We go see the Dancing Lights of Christmas every year in Nashville. I also love the movies Home Alone, Elf and Christmas Vacation.
What's been your favorite album of 2020? I really like the new Taylor Swift album, “Folklore." I’m digging her acoustic, stripped down and authentic vibe.
What are your hopes for 2021? Keep making and putting out more music. A new EP for sure - maybe a Christmas EP, too. Just keep writing and producing music to the best of my abilities.
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? I love craft beer. Vanilla Java Porter is the best. I also love some red wine blend.
What's your favorite Christmas memory? Christmas is my favorite time of year by far, so I have many happy memories. However, if I could only pick one, it’d be when I was about 9 years old and my grandfather was still alive/my family was very united. (We still are but back then it felt like everyone was way closer to each other, maybe it was because I was a kid and when you’re that young everything just seems easier and purer.) We all got along so well! My cousins and I would always prepare a little Christmas show for the family and it was really exciting.
What’s your idea of a good Christmas Dinner? Simple: Just having the people closest to you around the table sharing stories, drinking a nice bottle of wine, enjoying a home-cooked meal, and listening to Christmas songs! That's enough for me. And of course, we can’t forget all the presents under the tree.
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? Although I love American Christmas carols, I’d say I love Colombian ones even more. Aside from singing them, I'd say we love dancing to them even more! We have this genre called “Musica Dicembrina”; It’s technically not Christmas music but we only listen to it in December during every gathering; It’s very traditional and fun. So I’d say rather that my favorite album I’d tell you my favorite Colombian/Christmas band would probably be “Los Cantores del Chipuco” or “Los 50 de Joselito". You’re not a real Colombian if you don’t know these two.
Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? Absolutely! There are two movies that ALWAYS get me in the Christmas spirit; “Home Alone” and "The Polar Express”. The music in both is incredible and their story even better.
What's been your favorite album of 2020? Future Nostalgia by DUA LIPA. She is such an amazing singer and entertainer - I really love every single song from that album.
What are your hopes for 2021? Keep releasing more music, finish a script that I’ve been working on, and keep going on crazy adventures. I love hiking so I want to keep climbing more challenging mountains next year. I’m closing 2020 climbing Mt. Whitney for the second time.
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? I’m a wine lover so I’ll take any opportunity at a party to indulge in some good rosé. But also during these sort of festivities, I enjoy Champagne and some gin and tonic.
CODY CLAYTON EAGLE
What's your favorite Christmas memory? It’s hard to decide since every Christmas is special because I’m with the people I love.
What’s your idea of a good Christmas Dinner? For me it’s not about the dinner, it about the people who are around the table that make it special.
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? You can’t go wrong with a classic Christmas song
Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? My all time favorite is definitely Frosty The Snowman.
What's been your favorite album of 2020? My favorite has been Wild World by Kip Moore
What are your hopes for 2021? Bringing back live music!
Instagram - @codyclaytoneagle
PAIGE KING JOHNSON
What's your favorite Christmas memory? When I was 10 years old, my Papa gave me my first guitar for Christmas. I was so surprised and so grateful for it, and it has taken me far more places than I could have ever imagined in that moment.
What’s your idea of a good Christmas dinner? My family has had many different traditions over the years as far as Christmas dinner is concerned. We always have the traditional Christmas lunch at my grandparent's house (almost identical to Thanksgiving lunch), but my immediate family has done everything from breakfast for dinner to finger foods to leftovers and everything in between. Just as long as there's good dessert, I'm fine with it!
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? I don't know that I have a particular favorite Christmas album. I love getting to listen to all the different renditions of Christmas staples sung by different artists across genres. It's so cool to hear their different spins on such classic songs.
Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? My home church in North Carolina always has a candlelight communion service on Christmas Eve that my family attends. It's one of my favorite traditions that we've done since I was born. I love the beauty in the church with all the decorations and only light from the lit candles, with everyone singing "O Holy Night" - it gives me chills each year.
What's been your favorite album of 2020? That's a hard one too! So much new music has come out of quarantine that I've been playing catch up on all the albums. I have to say I probably anticipated the new Lori McKenna album the most.
What are your hopes for 2021? I hope that I, and all other musicians who have been home bound for so long, can finally get back out on the road to play shows for people again. Touring is my favorite part of this career, and I miss getting to meet new people and hug their necks after shows. I'm also desperate for a good road trip in general!
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? I love a good apple cider, so any kind of spiked cider is delicious! It can be served hot or cold, and just add a little bit of Fireball to have a good seasonal tasting cocktail!
What's your favorite Christmas memory? When I was little, one Christmas morning I woke up and my mom told me she put reindeer treats outside the night before and that all of the reindeers came by and knocked the patio furniture over and left 'reindeer droppings' (chocolate). I am still amused to this day that she did all of that work making the outside furniture a mess so I would believe her.
What’s your idea of a good Christmas dinner? Christmas dinner for my family is usually similar to Thanksgiving. We usually make a ham, Thanksgiving sides, and of course, a dessert. Usually chocolate pie or cheesecake accompanied by a good wine.
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? There is a country compilation Christmas album I have on CD that I would always listen to. I also love Michael Buble's Christmas albums and 'A Very Special Christmas', which is a 1987 album with some great pop artists at the time.
Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? There are two movies I watch with my family during Christmas Eve- 'Holiday in Handcuffs', a silly Christmas movie with Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez, and then of course, 'It's a Wonderful Life' on the night of Christmas Eve.
What's been your favorite album of 2020? The Chicks came out with a great album this year, but I think my absolute favorite album of the year has been 'Heart Theory' by Lindsay Ell.
What are your hopes for 2021? I hope by early next year, we can start overcoming this pandemic. I hope to be able to play more shows and release more music as well as start traveling more again.
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? I always love a whiskey ginger during winter, but I try to come up with a new holiday drink to make every year. Last year, I made some yummy spiked hot chocolate.
What's your favorite Christmas memory? I got my first guitar for my 12th Christmas. Beginning of the end.
What’s your idea of a good Christmas dinner? I liked Prime rib personally with all the trimmings of a winter meal mash potatoes, Mac n cheese, stuffing, cranberry sauce, I like a big Greek salad to offset all the starches.
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? Very Special Christmas Vol 1
Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie. We watch it every year.
What's been your favorite album of 2020? Will Hoge’s Tiny Little Movies. I’ve also enjoyed Jason Isbell and Margo Price's latest music.
What are your hopes for 2021? TO BRING BACK LIVE MUSIC!!!!!!!
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? Well I don’t tend to drink Mixed drinks. I’m more of a straight up Don Julio 1942 guy. But if I am gonna make a mixed drink I keep it simple, Ice, Titos vodka, olive juice, shake strain pour into a chilled glass and add a dab of Tobacco sauce. The Bloody Dirty.
What's your favorite Christmas memory? My favorite Christmas memory is definitely baking and building gingerbread houses with my family. My brother, sister and I always had so much fun in the kitchen learning to make Christmas cookies and all kinds of yummy themed treats. And I loved working together, while listening to Christmas music and just having so much fun!!
What’s your idea of a good Christmas Dinner? A big table surrounded by all of my family members, is already the recipe for a perfect Christmas dinner in my books. But we always work together to make lots of yummy dishes too. I always have just as much fun making the meal, as I do eating it! Some of my favs are mashed potatoes, and this amazing rutabaga dish that’s been passed down the family for generations. Christmas crackers on the table are my favorite!! I love wearing the crown and sharing the jokes that come inside with each other. Sometimes I think I’ll always be a kid at heart.
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? Oh my gosh yes! My favourite album to throw on at Christmas (or any time after November 1st really) is Brett Eldredge’s Glow Album. I just love it so much! This year, I’ve also been listening a lot to Maddie & Tae’s new Christmas album. I’ve been singing their ‘We Need Christmas’ song a ton! Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? I am a big sucker for the Hallmark Christmas movies. I try to watch as many as I can. My mom and I love to curl up by the fireplace and watch them together, whenever we can. This year, unfortunately it’s the first year in my life where I’m unable to go home for Christmas, but my boyfriend and I have been starting all kinds of new Christmas traditions, and watching all the famous Christmas movies has definitely been a part of that! When I was little, I learned French in school, and there’s this one French Christmas song for kids that we still play every year on Christmas morning, and I simply can’t picture Christmas without it! What's been your favorite album of 2020? This is one of the hardest questions in the world because I love music so much, and there’s so many artists I’ve listened to on repeat this year! One album I’ve spent most of the year listening to is Tenille Arts’s ‘Love, Heartbreak, & Everything in Between’. She’s a fellow Canadian, and so damn talented. And I felt particularly drawn to some of the songs I heard her perform live, and tell the stories behind. I deeply relate to a lot of the things she writes about. What are your hopes for 2021? In 2021, my main focus will be taking the momentum I gained this year, in my first year of releasing music, and roll with it BIG time! Being new in Nashville, this year I spent really getting my bearings. Moving forwards, I’ve got so many creative musical projects planned, and I’m ready to take my music career to the next level! I’ll be recording my first music video, releasing at least 3 more singles, and starting to write and record my first EP. I look forward to connecting and writing with so many amazing songwriters in town. And hopefully the state of the world allows for LOTS of performing out, and getting to share my music with the world. Other than that, at the end of any year, I always think about the bucket list items I’d like to cross off my list in the following year, and also about all of the amazing memories I’d like to create with the people I love most! The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? That’s a great question! It’s quite ironic, because I was just out buying the ingredients today, to make some special Christmas cocktails for my friends! This year I’ll be making a Peppermint White Chocolate Christmas Martini! Recipe: - 2oz Vanilla Vodka - 2oz White Chocolate Liqueur - 1/2 oz Creme de Menthe - 1 oz White Creme de Cacao - 1 oz half-and-half
- White Chocolate Syrup
- Candy Cane Bits to Garnish the Rim! Start by prepping your glass! Pour some white chocolate syrup onto a small plate and dip the rim of your glass into it. Spread your crushed up candy cane bits onto another small plate, and then dip your glass. You’ve now got your glass rim prepped and ready to go! Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, vodka, white chocolate liqueur, creme de menthe, white creme de cocao, and half-and-half. Shake, baby shake, and then strain into the glass you just prepared!
And voila! A totally delicious Christmas cocktail that will leave you feeling slightly buzzed & totally nostalgic!
What's your favorite Christmas memory? So, I have a younger sister, Abbie, who is 7 years younger than me. One of the best parts of that was that we got to hold onto the “Christmas magic” for just a little bit longer because of her. When she was between 7-10 (I honestly can’t remember, I just knew I was in high school), she was starting to get a little skeptical of the existence of Santa Claus. But, it was just so much fun to keep it going, so the whole family worked really hard to keep her believing. That year, my oldest sister and I made our Christmas lists and gave them to our mom to “mail them to the North Pole” but Abbie insisted on putting it in the mailbox herself without showing my mom what was on the list. Christmas day came around and we all opened our “Santa gifts” and Abbie just started laughing as she opened her Nintendo DS, which is what she told my parents she wanted. We all looked at her and were like “what’s so funny Abbie?” and she just puts on this smug-ass grin, shrugs and says “I asked Santa for a skateboard.”
What’s your idea of a good Christmas Dinner? Something my mom doesn’t have to spend all day in the kitchen making. We’ve had the Cornish hens & the glazed salmon & more turkey than I can even mentally digest, so I don’t feel like I’d be missing out in that area. I get that home-cooked meals are great, but if it’s just going to stress my family out and make Christmas more about “stuff” and less about family, hell, I’ll take a strong drink & Chinese food.
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? This might lose me some fans...but I hate Christmas music. Like, loathe it. Vehemently. I just can’t get behind a genre of music that is cheesy 99% of the time and can only be listened to for 1/12 of the year. That being said, every year my mom plays the Jewel Christmas album while she decorates the tree, and to me it’s definitely tied to a lot of great memories, for better or for worse. So I’ll say that one. Her rendition of “Rudolf the red nosed reindeer” gets a pass from me.
Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? Every year since I can remember, my whole family has read “The Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve from this God-knows-how-old cloth book. Think of a picture book, but made out of blankets. We take turns reading each part, and as we’ve gotten older and more “mature”, we’ve started inserting funny ad-libs and some more adult content into the read. And at the end, without fail, we all yell out “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” No matter how “modern” our family gets, we have always come together for that little moment.
What's been your favorite album of 2020? OOF that’s hard. If I had to narrow it down, I would say from a quantitative approach (ie. how much I’ve listened to it) it would have to be Quinn XCII’s most recent album. My favorite songs of the year were on it, and honestly I wouldn't have gotten through 2020 without the serotonin boost. My Spotify Wrapped had him as my top artist, and his song “Little Things” was my top song of the year by a MILE.
What are your hopes for 2021? I have so many songs planned, and I am so excited to put them out. It’s my favorite body of work thus far and I just cannot contain how much I want people to hear it. I’m also anxious to get back on stage, which will hopefully happen sooner than later.
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family.
What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? I’m a simple boy with simple pleasures. We might as well call this a family tradition as well, because on Christmas day I become the family bartender - and the only thing on the menu is “Whiskey Gingers.” That’s Jack Daniels whiskey & Seagram’s ginger ale. Nothing special, but I make a darn good one. Sometimes we’ll throw in a cinnamon stick to make it a tad more festive, but regardless, that’s my Christmas drink.
What’s your favorite Christmas memory? Growing up in the country we didn’t have cable TV and we only had three channels. I remember so patiently waiting for that wonderful night when Rudolph the red nose reindeer was going to come on CBS.
What’s your idea of a good Christmas Dinner? A great Christmas dinner would be anybody that I love still here with me to celebrate this wonderful holiday. All year long we get so wrapped up in this hustle bustle of what we call life. Christmas marks a time to where we can slow down, spend quality time and appreciate one another.
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? I do love the classics, if I had to pick one it would be Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”
Do you have a favorite movie for the holiday season? Favorite holiday movie without any doubt is “Christmas Vacation” I mean honestly, what hard-working dad could not relate to Clark W Griswold? He was the ultimate family man wanting nothing best for his tribe, and how many of us have a cousin Eddie? Heck how many of us are cousin Eddie??? Lol
What’s been your favorite album of 2020? “Nothing To Lose” is my favorite album for this year obviously. No seriously, Morgan Wallen has had an absolute phenomenal year musically. I first heard him in 2018 when he released “If I Know Me” and really loved the tone in his voice. This year he’s released some fabulous singles and he’s one of my favorite newer artist.
What are your hopes for 2021? I am really praying 2021 will be a whole lot better for everyone getting through COVID-19 issues. I have so many friends and family that have been affected and I’m truly hoping something will be done with a vaccine. I just miss performing live with our musical family and I know so many people that work in the entertainment industry that have been struggling so much with the shut downs.
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? Katie makes this holiday sangria which has always been a crowd favorite.
1 bottle fruity red wine
2 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup Triple Sec
1/4 cup simple syrup (equal amounts sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves, cooled)
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 large orange, halved and thinly sliced
1 green apple, cored, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup red grapes, sliced in 1/2
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours before serving. Serve over ice.
What's your favorite Christmas memory? Spending Christmas overseas for the first time in 2018! We were in The Netherlands. It was amazing.
What’s your idea of a good Christmas Dinner? My mom makes her African dish, cassava leaves every Christmas as a special treat, it's my favorite!
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? I love Kelly Clarkson's "Wrapped in Red" record--ever since it came out, I've listened to it every year around the holidays.
Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? I watch "Christmas with the Kranks" every single year--I'm obsessed! My family makes fun of me for basically having it memorized. It's one of the feel good, cheesy, family movies. I love it.
What's been your favorite album of 2020? I loved Lindsay Ell's "heart theory", it captured the stages of falling in love, breaking up and moving on in a beautiful way.
What are your hopes for 2021? I plan to release more music, and I hope I have the opportunity to perform those songs live for listeners.
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? I'm not a big drinker--so sparkling apple cider is a big staple at my house.
TERA LYNNE FISTER
What is your favorite Christmas memory? I think I have two favorite Christmas memories. One from when I was little and somehow my mother managed to get “reindeer hoof prints” in the snow on our roof outside her bedroom window. I was old enough to know better but they were DAMN GOOD TRACKS and really sent my mind reeling. My second memory is a little bitter sweet. The last Christmas we had mom around. She passed away the March after, but the fact that she even made it to Christmas, looking back, really was impressive. She got me a tie-dye hoodie that has become one of my favorite staples in my closet. I remember my dad got her a really nice pair of leather gloves because the chemo had wrecked her nerves and the cold was BRUTAL on her. But she was happy, and we were happy, and it was a good day. The cancer took a back seat in all of our minds and I think we all just took a big breath. But I think we all also knew it was probably the last one so I feel like we all cherished it. Every second. In the moment.
What’s your idea of a good Christmas dinner? To be honest, I don’t feel like we have a staple “Christmas meal." We are usually early risers so if anything it would be the breakfast! Mom always made pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, cinnamon rolls. All the breakfast things. I can’t really say I have a dinner that sticks out to me.
Do you have a favorite Christmas album? My favorite Christmas album technically is the soundtrack from White Christmas but after that it is Mariah Carey's. DUH! Lol
Do you have any favorite traditions or favorite movies for the holiday season? We ALWAYS put on the 24 hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” on the TV. Of course we also watch the original Grinch, Frosty The Snowman, and Rudolph with my nieces and nephews. The claymation ones!
What’s been your favorite album of 2020? My favorite album of 2020, is actually from 2017 because I am behind!! But I really fell in love wit Tyler Childers this year. His album “Purgatory” has been on repeat for several months. I cannot get enough of his song “Lady May.”
What are your hopes for 2021? My hopes for 2021 are for me to keep on my path of self love. Making sure that I take care of me so I can show up for everyone else when needed. When I am healthy, my career is healthy, my relationships are healthy, and my standards are high. I hope the people of the world continue to push towards being good to one another. To loving and accepting one another. I hope by loving each other we begin to take better care of this magical earth we seem to have taken for granted. I hope I continue to make music the touches souls. and I hope that music reaches even more ears. Amen.
The holiday season brings the best parties and time together with friends and family. What is your signature cocktail recipe that you will be drinking/serving? A signature cocktail recipe for me would be either tequila or a nice glass of Cab. Unfortunately I am not well versed in mixed drinks!! You’ll have to share some recipes with me!