“I haven’t been able to think much about Christmas. I need to shop, now that you say that,” the singer joked to Country Now and other outlets, when asked what the holiday season has in store for him. “Thank you for reminding me.”
Like many of his fans, Wallen says his Christmas is likely to look at least somewhat different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially since his family gatherings are typically a pretty large affair. “I don’t know how everything’s gonna look this year, obviously,” he notes.
“We usually have three different Christmases that we go to: I go to my mama’s side of the family on Christmas Eve night,” he explains of the kind of merry-making a typical year would entail. “Probably around 40 people usually come. It’s a decently large side of the family.”
That’s also the side of the family with the musical genes. Wallen goes on to say that aside from his dad, who provided some important musical influences for the singer at a young age, he inherited his talent from the maternal side of his family. “There might be three or four people with a guitar that can actually sing and play, so that’s kinda fun,” he says of potential Christmas Eve jam sessions with family members.
Then, the next morning, after the kids open up their Christmas presents, it’s over the hills and through the snow to his mamaw’s house in Sneedville. “She lives on a farm. Her husband now is a cattle farmer. So we go over there and it’s really nice, close to the river,” Wallen remembers. “I usually go and try to get my truck stuck somewhere out there — hopefully not actually stuck! — but it’s nice to get out there and get away. I don’t normally have cell phone service, so that’s nice.”
Wallen’s third Christmas celebration is also his smallest: Just the singer and his immediate family on the evening of Christmas Day, at his parents’ house outside of Knoxville. “We save that one for last,” he says. “We usually come back and everybody else kinda does their own thing on Christmas night there.”
As for what he’s looking forward to the most about the festivities? Wallen says that nothing beats his grandmother’s cooking.
“She’s the best cook in the family, so that’s something we always look forward to,” he explains. “For some reason, my mamaw knows how to make corn better than anybody in the world. I really like her sweet corn. I think I’m looking forward to that the most.”