The November issue of Simple Grace showcases Nashville insider Deborah Evans Price's new book Country Faith Christmas, which features the faith-filled traditions of some of country music's biggest stars such as Reba, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and more. Here, Deborah gives us an exclusive first look
After months of research and interviewing Nashville's finest, Deborah says some of the most interesting traditions the country superstars shared were all about the comfort food. "Chili is a big part of some southern Christmas celebrations," Deborah explains with a laugh. "Luke Bryan says serving chili dogs has become a part of his family's Christmas dinner and newcomer Canaan Smith also shared his mom's recipe for chili, which is always part of his family's celebration."
Country Faith Christmas not only features the traditions, but also holiday stories full of God's love and grace. One of Deborah's favorite stories came from country singer Jimmy Wayne, who had never shared this moving tale before.
"Before moving to Nashville, [Jimmy] was a guard in a prison in North Carolina and he traded shifts to work on Christmas Eve so another guard could spend the holiday with his family. He recalls hearing one of the inmates, a guy nicknamed Jelly Roll singing 'Silent Night' in his cell," says Deborah.
As Jelly Roll sang, Jimmy saw many of the inmates begin to quietly weep and when the words "all is calm" swept the prison, he couldn't hear a single sound. "That's the best Christmas I've ever experienced in my life!" Jimmy adds. "By switching shifts I was so blessed. That was so amazing—the night Jelly Roll broke the silence of that silent night."
But for Deborah, Christmas comes down to thing: "It's a time when the world slows down and we celebrate Jesus coming to earth," she says. "What a precious gift."
Learn more about the Christmas traditions of country music's biggest stars in Deborah's new book Country Faith Christmas (Regenery Faith, 2015; Hardcover $19) and the Country Faith Christmas CD (Amazon $9).
Read more uplifting stories in the November issue of Simple Grace on-sale now at stores nationwide, or download it instantly on Nook. Keep up with us by liking the Simple Grace Facebook page or follow us on Twitter (@simplegracemag).