Do you prefer artificial Christmas trees or real trees? 100% REAL.
When do you decorate your Christmas tree? We usually decorate the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. I don’t like to blend the holidays, although I have to admit, this year I believe we could all use a little Christmas–the sooner the better.
What is your favorite Christmas song? What makes it your favorite? I love the simplicity and purity of “Away In a Manger.” It beautifully tells the story of our dear Savior’s birth. It is perfect.
What is your go-to holiday drink? Years ago my answer would have been very different, but these days, I’d have to say a glass of sparking water with a splash of lime. Throw in a cherry, and it looks very festive!
What is your favorite Christmas present that you have ever received? My son was injured serving our country during his second tour in Iraq. He spent six weeks in a hospital in Germany recovering from his injuries. To see my son walk through our front door on Christmas Day was the best Christmas gift I have ever received!
What were your Christmas traditions when you were younger? I grew up in Illinois, but every Christmas we would load up the car on December 23rd and travel to my Granny Atwood’s house in Mississippi where we would meet up with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. That little five room house sat in the middle of no where and was busting at the seams. There would be thirty of us in that house–with no indoor plumbing. The kids slept in sleeping bags scattered across the floor. All of the women helped with the cooking while the men sat on the front porch singing, playing music and telling stories. Somehow Santa found us–all of us–at Granny’s every year. There was so much laughter and joy. Christmases were magical at Granny’s house.
How have your Christmas celebrations changed since becoming an adult? Nothing has changed much for me. We still celebrate the birth of Jesus. We embrace family and family values, and we count our blessings. It’s all about LOVE. It always has been.
How will Christmas be different at your house this year be different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic? Not really. We are homebodies at Christmas. We will gather together as best we can. We will still celebrate the day together with family even if some of our family members are miles apart. I think this will be a big year for Verizon and AT&T.
What is your favorite Christmas memory? My mother was very poor growing up. She always wanted to be a high school majorette, but there was never enough money to indulge in such extravagances. When my wife heard about my mom’s unfulfilled dream, she ordered her a baton along with a pair of white marching boots and a pair of tassels. When my mom opened the gift on Christmas Day she burst into tears. She was 70 years old, but she finally had her baton and boots. Later that day, she marched down the hall way twirling her baton and wearing those boots–strutting around like a peacock. She was so happy. I will never forget that day or that gift.
How do you spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day? I help put the Christmas decorations away and reflect about the year behind me and the clean slate before me where anything is possible.
How do you spend New Year’s Eve? Usually I am performing somewhere with my wife close by. I want to start every knew year with a kiss from Roxane.
How will the pandemic impact your celebrations? I am not sure. I think the crowds will be smaller if folks are planning on an evening out. I think I just might bring in the new year at Atwoodwood.
What do you typically eat on New Year’s Day? Black-eyed peas, cabbage and pork tenderloin!
Do you have a New Year’s Resolution for 2021? No matter the circumstances, I hope to live life to the fullest and appreciate the fact that some of the greatest joys in life are found in the little things. Look for the blessings.