Christmas Q&A With Mark Elliott

What is your current single and/or album? Drunk for Nothin’.

What was a typical Thanksgiving meal look like for your family? It was almost always a huge gathering with friends and neighbors, turkey, and the whole bit. I learned the art of overeating early on.

What were your Thanksgiving traditions when you were younger? “Turkey Bowl” was the main tradition until I moved away. We played a massive tackle football game in the morning before dinner on the field at Longfellow Middle School. As I got older, it took much longer to recover. Now, it might take until the following thanksgiving to recover.

How has your Thanksgiving celebration changed since you have become an adult? It’s been smaller in later years, and we’ve subbed out the turkey for Cajon. I like that change.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving Day memory? Definitely those pre-meal football games. And the years when it rained and the field was a mud pit – those were amazing!

What are you most thankful for this year? All the new songs and new book projects. I’m lucky to still have such a creative life.

Do you prefer artificial Christmas trees or real trees? Real! Is there any other kind?

When do you decorate your Christmas tree? We usually put it up right after thanksgiving. I could easily be one of the people, though, that keeps it up all year-’round.

What is your favorite Christmas song? What makes it your favorite? I’m a sucker for sap. So, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” has always been my favorite. It’s impressive that such an old song still speaks to most people’s feelings about coming home for Christmas. But that’s the thing about classic songs. They’re timeless.

What is your go-to holiday drink? Lagavulin 16 makes every day a holiday.

What is your favorite Christmas present that you have ever received? My parents bought me a beautiful sunburst Guild 12-String guitar in the eighth grade. The got itself was inspired, but they gave it to me made it even more memorable. They wrapped up a note saying, “Go look under the bed.” Then, under the bed, another note, saying “Go downstairs and look by the T.V.,” and another note, and another note. They had me running all around the house until I came back upstairs and was under the tree.

What were your Christmas traditions when you were younger? I’m lucky that my childhood Christmas was filled with all the love, fun, and magic of Christmas that you’d hope for anyone. But, the tradition that stands out started in Nashville in 2000. My parents moved here, and we began a huge Christmas day potluck and jam session, initially for songwriters that couldn’t go home for Christmas. It grew to have about 75 people every year. The fellowship and music were as memorable as memories can be. That tradition lasted for 17 years.

How have your Christmas celebrations changed since becoming an adult? See – “The Jam”

What is your favorite Christmas memory? The memory of having the house filled with songwriters and pickers of every ilk raising the roof with music in the way only Nashville can.

How do you spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day? As a sloth does! How do you spend New Year’s Eve?I used to go out every New Years’ eve, but it’s become such a pain, really, that I often don’t anymore. Of course, if friends are having a party, I’ll still do that – but otherwise, I’m pretty low-key on that day.

What do you typically eat on New Year’s Day? My parents always tried to get me to eat blam-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. I’m told it has good luck quality. But hate them, so I always ate just one to appease the bearers of that good luck. Now that I’m older, I eat cookies instead, throwing good luck to the wind.

Do you have a New Year’s Resolution for 2022? I’ve had a New Year’s resolution on my fridge door since 2019 that I’m fond of, that doesn’t include going to the gym. So lately, I’ve just been sticking to that one. Serve My Friends Better Write more books Play more music Fight time.