Tennessee Christmas with Amy Grant
Whether you are dreaming of a white Christmas with every Christmas card you write or you are dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh, chances are that Christmas tunes are all around you. Each season brings a fun anticipation of artists that release their renditions of our holiday favorites. This year, Amy Grant along with Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores released an album under its Spotlight Music Program. The six-time Grammy Award-winning singer will release her new holiday album “Tennessee Christmas” available in-stores and on-line and will mark Grant’s first all-new holiday album in nearly 20 years.
Grant’s career spans more than 30 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into becoming an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. With three multi-platinum albums, six platinum albums and four gold albums, her total career album sales have exceeded 30 million. In addition to her six Grammy Awards, Grant has earned 26 Dove Awards (including four Artist of the Year Awards) and has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Conventional wisdom has it that Grant put Contemporary Christian Music on the map becoming the first Contemporary Christian artist to have a platinum record, the first to hit No. 1 on the pop charts and the first to perform at the Grammy Awards. With that, her legacy as one of the most influential artists of the past four decades is assured.
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” Luke 1:29-33
Grant opens up about her hope for her Christmas album.
“I love writing and recording Christmas music,” said Grant. “I love the joy it brings, the hope it shares, and the memories it brings to mind for all of us. My hope for ‘Tennessee Christmas’ is that it draws you and your loved ones closer to celebrate the simple joy of just being together. And ‘being together’ is one of the reasons I am so glad to partner with Cracker Barrel as they have been a gathering place for friends and family for years.”
“Tennessee Christmas” is a 13-song collection of new recordings features a mixture of classic holiday hits and heartfelt originals that beautifully capture the joy, laughter and anticipation of the Christmas season. While the album’s title track was originally written and recorded by Grant over 25 years ago, her fresh take on this holiday standard is warm and welcoming and perfectly sets the tone for the new album.
“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:20-23
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Senior Marketing Manager Julie Ulmer shares why they partnered with Grant for this album.
“Amy has been an honorary member of the Cracker Barrel family for many years as we’ve had the opportunity to share several of her albums with our guests. We always look for artists who have an authentic connection to our brand, who care about family and spending time with loved ones, and enjoy giving back. Amy has always fit that criteria for us, and she’s been a great partner over the years.”
Share a song with a friend. If you have a song or album that helps you reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, share it with a friend. Surprise them with a fun gift at their office desk or in their mailbox. Ask God who around you might need some encouragement or some holiday cheer and then be willing to share a little something with them.
Invite a friend or family member to church. Pray about whom God wants you to invite to church. Christmas is a time of year when people are more open to coming to church. Check with your church’s event calendar to see if there are special outreach opportunities that you can invite others to. Clear off your calendar so that you can attend with the people that you invite. Consider going to coffee or grabbing a meal afterwards so that you can discuss what they experienced. Ask the Holy Spirit to soften their heart and be open to starting a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Reflect. The holiday season can also be a busy time for people. Don’t allow the Christmas pageants, holiday parties and card making to creep in on your time with the Savior. Remember that Jesus is Emmanuel, “God with us,” and He wants to spend time with you daily. Take time this week to have a quiet time of reflection. Put on your favorite Christmas carols, grab a cup of hot cocoa and your Bible and just sit at Jesus’ feet. Allow yourself enough time so that you aren’t feeling rushed or pressured.