Marshall said, “I remember a Christmas in my childhood. My parents split up. My sister was gone. I was invited to the house of the Italian Catholic family across the street for dinner on Christmas Eve. It was raucous and loud. They had a present for me, but at some point, I had to go back to my empty, dark house, and I just stared out my window at their house.” We ended up writing “Melancholy Christmas.”

The joyful songs felt more authentic because the sad side was embraced and validated—because it’s true.

CCM: I feel like people have come to expect this from you. You have always had a deep capacity for understanding heartache, sadness, for life’s pains. Does Christmas inspire a certain gladness and sadness for you personally?
AG: For me, even the most beautiful Christmases, it was always both things.

Amy Grant, CCM Magazine - image
One of my favorite Christmas memories was in 1992. So many great things happened that year. One of them was when a lot of transformers blew up [in Nashville] because of an ice storm. I lived on a farm that happened to have a lot of fireplaces—it was a really old house—so we closed off parts of the house to keep it warm, and three or four families moved in. For several days we were without power, and I loved that.


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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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