CCM Magazine: The tone of Tennessee Christmas is significantly more humble than your prior Christmas catalog. Lyrically, it is decidedly more vulnerable. What inspired the contemplative tone?
Amy Grant: I wanted to create a Christmas record for an audience of one. I love the cinematic production on Home For Christmas, the Ronn Huff orchestrations—that is some beautiful, mighty Christmas music. But touring so much at Christmas time I have heard so many people’s stories. I’ve heard so many stories. In my work, conspicuous by their absence, are songs that embrace the sad side of Christmas.

After they agreed to come onboard as producers, Mac McAnally, Marshall Altman and Ed Cash and I met at Capitol Records to discuss the record. We started talking about our own Christmas experiences, good years and hard years. From that, each of them went away saying, “Do I get to produce a sad song?”

If you feel lonely / I feel it too / If nobody said it / I’m wishing you / Merry Christmas … (from “Melancholy Christmas”)

Amy Grant, CCM Magazine - image
We hadn’t even left the building and Ed had written the first verse of “Another Merry Christmas.” He met me in the lobby, and said, “I had one Christmas that was the hardest Christmas of my whole life, and I know what that feels like. So I went straight to a writer room. I’ve got this song called ‘Another Lonely Christmas.’” I said, “Can I be your co-writer? And would you please call it ‘Another Merry Christmas?’ Don’t give it away.”


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About The Author


Andrew Greer is a multiple Dove Award-nominated singer/songwriter, respected author, and co-creator of the innovative Hymns for Hunger tour with Cindy Morgan, raising awareness and resources for hunger relief organizations in hundreds of cities across the country. On tour, Andrew has shared the stage with folks like Amy Grant, Brandon Heath and Andrew Peterson. His songs have been recorded by artists like Jaci Velasquez, Seth & Nirva and Nic Gonzales (of Salvador). And his first book – Transcending Mysteries – co-authored with Ginny Owens, was published by Thomas Nelson in 2015. Andrew is also host of CCM Magazine’s “Features on Film” series, featuring one-on-one conversations with some of music’s biggest artists. For more information visit: or

One Response

  1. Joe Cantello

    Thanks for the article about Amy Grant and for the reminder that Christmas can be both the most wonderful time of the year and can be some of the most challenging, as well. It’s a reminder that God is still in control no matter what we go through this or any time of the year.

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