Christmas for Carrie Underwood hasn’t changed that much from when she was a young girl. She usually still gets together with her family, which includes her parents, two sisters and their families…as well as her own husband, Mike Fisher, and sons Isaiah and Jacob.
Carrie says some of her Christmas traditions include a lot of traveling to visit her family and her husband Mike Fisher’s family…but also cooking and celebrating the season. “My perfect Christmas, generally we do a lot of traveling around Christmas. We’ll go see either my family or my husband’s family,” says Carrie. “I’ll spend all day cooking. I’ll make a small turkey, even though I don’t eat turkey. I’ll make myself some tofurkey; cranberry sauce, of course. Of course, sweet potato casserole. You have to have that. That’s one of my favorites because it’s a side dish and dessert, but I’ll just make a ridiculous amount of food. Just celebrate, have a fire, we wait for Santa and open our presents, then we’re off to see the next group of family. It’s all about watching it through my sons’ eyes and just getting to spend time with family.”
The mother of two loves to cook, especially at Christmas, because of the food and most importantly, due to the company gathered around the dining table. “I do love to cook, and I love to go all out for Christmas,” says Carrie. “I don’t do anything super fancy – lots of casseroles and stuff like that, like broccoli rice casserole, and some sort of macaroni dish, and there’s always deviled eggs. I don’t know why we eat deviled eggs every holiday. It’s like the holiday thing to do is make deviled eggs. What else do I do? There’s pecan pie—that’s my husband’s favorite. I love pumpkin pie, so I’ll always make that. My son and I will make Christmas cookies and things like that; green bean casserole. That’s another one. I don’t know, I might be the only one who eats green bean casserole, but it’s the kind of thing that you just have to have it. But I love to cook, and I feel like that’s, you know, I love to feast. I love to get around the table. There’s way too much food to eat and everybody’s bellies are full and everyone’s happy and thankful and enjoying the food and the company.”
She continues: “For me growing up, Christmas was always just comforting. We always had the same stockings and the same tree and the same decorations, and we would always decorate the weekend right after Thanksgiving. You know, flip the Christmas switch, put the tree up. Now that we’re adults and have kids, we can go to the Christmas tree farm and we can walk around, and we can pick out which one and ask Isaiah, ‘Which one do you think?’ Just things like that, making those memories. It’s just a joyful time of year.”
One of the traditions she enjoys with her own family is picking out a Christmas tree with her husband and two sons. “We were an artificial tree family growing up. It was easier, you know, but now in our own home, we do the real tree thing, and we kind of try to make that a little bit of a tradition. We go and we pick it out. The boys have some say in which one we get, and they feel some ownership and we all decorate it together and of course, have Christmas music playing in the house. I make cookies that were my husband’s grandmother that my kids call Gigi. It’s her recipe, her ginger snap cookies, and we make those and it’s super sweet. Isaiah loves makes Gigi’s cookies, because he still remembers her a little bit. So, it’s something special we get to do.”
One of her favorite memories from childhood was singing Christmas carols for folks in nursing homes. “Christmas was always just about family,” she says. “One thing that we always did growing up that was one of my favorite memories, we would on Christmas Eve we would go to my grandparents’ house. Us kids were always responsible for putting oranges and apples and bananas in little paper bags and we would go down to the nursing home and sing Christmas carols.”
Carrie released a special edition of her Christmas album, My Gift, last year, featuring “Favorite Time of Year,” “Let There Be Peace” and “Hallelujah” with John Legend. The global superstar says there’s nothing like Christmas music that gets you in the spirit of the season. “There is no other like part of the year that gets its own music, like exclusively. When you think about it, like entire radio stations switch over to play Christmas music around Christmas time. So, I feel like it just puts you in the mood for Christmas. Christmas is something that everybody looks forward to and to have Christmas music start playing way before Christmas. It usually does because people just can’t wait to get there. It puts you in a mood. It changes your state of mind. It gets you ready for it and it just makes you feel a certain way.”