On a mission to reveal St. Nick’s true identity, a young Brad Paisley thought he’d outsmart the big guy by rigging a recording device by the family Christmas tree. “It was about third or fourth grade I was starting to get the hint that maybe there wasn’t a , which there is, by the way,” Paisley says. “But I wanted to prove it once and for all, so I [took] a tape recorder, pressed record, stuck it behind the Christmas tree and left it on, hoping that I would hear whomever was going to place the presents. [But] I forgot to plug it in.” That or Santa pulled the plug on Paisley’s plan.
Kristian Bush – Sugarland
As a struggling musician, Sugarland‘s tapped into his talents to come up with creative, one-of-a-kind gifts for his family and friends. “One of my favorite things to do for Christmas is record Christmas songs,” Bush says. “When I was really broke, [I didn’t] have enough money for gifts. There’s just so many years you can make olive oil with stuff in it. But my brother and I got to the point where we could trade out some recording time, so we’d go in and record Christmas songs and give them to our family and friends. My mom used to love them. She would play them over and over again.”
For Chris Young, growing up watching the television classic Rudolph, The Red-NosedReindeer was more childhood trauma than yuletide drama. “I was afraid of the Abominable Snowman when I was a kid,” Young admits. “There’s that whole scene where he comes up over the top of the mountains and his hair flies up…. Anytime I got left in the car by myself [and] it was wintertime, I was afraid the Abominable Snowman was going to come get me. It was terrible.”
Reba‘s older brother Pake is probably wishing he had put more thought into his wardrobe choices during their childhood Christmases. “The funniest thing I can always remember about Christmastime is my older brother Pake,” Reba says. “When we were kids at home, he’d always be the first one to jump out of bed and run down the hall with his underwear on, and he’d say, ‘If y’all don’t hurry up and get up and get in here, I’m going to open all the presents by myself.’ It was a standing rule that we’d all have to be in there before anyone could open a present. But I can still see Pake running down the hall.”
Christmas shopping for the Josh Turner has taken on new meaning as his family grows. “It was all about us, but since they’ve come along, we couldn’t care less what we get,” Turner says of the change in focus he and wife Jennifer have experienced. “As parents, we get much more satisfaction out of watching [them] open presents Christmas morning than we get out of opening our own.” The Turners have three sons, the youngest being born just this month.