This season, Reba McEntire has spread plenty of holiday cheer, having both re-released her 2016 album, My Kind of Christmas, and hosted the CMA Country Christmas special on ABC for the very first time.
But the Oklahoma native says nothing compares to the Decembers she remembers growing up on a ranch with her family.
“Christmas was fun,” Reba tells ABC Radio. “[My brother] Pake was always the first out of bed, and he would run down the hall. We had an old floor furnace and he would run around it so it made a lot of noise, woke everybody up.”
“And he’d just be in his underwear,” she laughs. “But he wanted to be the first to the tree. And our rule was, you can’t open a gift until everybody gets there. So I don’t know why he was in such a big hurry. But it was a lot of fun opening gifts, and then we’d go over to Grandma Smith’s, Mama’s Mama.”
For someone who would eventually spend as much time on the road as Reba would, her favorite Christmas gift would eventually come in handy. It was a piece of luggage.
“Mama still has it,” Reba explains. “Mama would always give [my sister] Susie and myself the same gift, [in] different colors. And it was a train case. You know, like a makeup case or an overnight case. Mine was blue, Susie’s was white. And Mama has it underneath her vanity at her house in Stringtown.”
You can catch Reba both singing and hosting this year’s CMA Country Christmas special, when it re-airs Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
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