The K-LOVE Christmas Tour has become something of an annual tradition for the whole family. For 2022, the beloved outing returned with its biggest lineup yet. Artists varied by city, but this year, @Natalie Grant, @Danny Gokey, @Brandon Heath, @Tasha Layton, @Jon Reddick, @Crowder, @Matt Maher, @Jordan St. Cyr and @Katy Nichole headlined a series of special holiday shows. Combining plenty of familiar carols and classic arrangements alongside poignant originals and one-of-a-kind collaborations, these nine artists reminded audiences across the country of the unmatched beauty and meaning found in the birth of our Savior.
As this year’s featured acts rehearsed for what was a series of unforgettable evenings, K-LOVE caught up with your favorite artists on the 2022 K-LOVE Christmas Tour to chat about holiday traditions, gift-giving and the seasonal songs that just might make their setlist.
K-LOVE: One song you couldn't wait to share on the 2022 K-LOVE Christmas Tour?
Natalie Grant: “O Holy Night”
Danny Gokey: “Mary, Did You Know?” That song and I have a long history. I started singing it when I was younger, and then I finally recorded it and put it on my Christmas album. I created my own arrangement where at the end, it goes into quite a worship section declaring who God is and how awesome He is!
Brandon Heath: “God Made A Way,” my new Christmas single with Tasha [Layton]. I have always wanted to collaborate with Tasha, and it turned out so great!
Tasha Layton: One song I’m excited to share on the K-LOVE Christmas Tour is “Comfort and Joy.” We released this song as a single a couple years ago, and it has ministered to so many. I’m praying God continues to use it.
RELATED CONTENT: Tasha Layton Brings “Comfort and Joy” to the Hurting This Christmas
Jon Reddick: I just want to share songs that speak of joy and the hope of Christmas. I have experienced it for myself, and it’s the best gift you can give. Now I have the chance to share it with the rooms we are going to get to play in for the Christmas tour. I cannot wait!
Crowder: “Carol of the Bells”
Matt Maher: “Hope For Everyone”
Jordan St. Cyr: I can’t wait to share a brand new song I released this year called “The Wait Is Over.” Since the beginning of time, we have been waiting for the Messiah to reveal Himself. Now, because of the birth of Christ, every Christmas is an opportunity to celebrate His coming and how His life changed our story.
Katy Nichole: “O What A King”
K-LOVE: Current Christmas tradition you cherish?
Natalie Grant: Every Christmas Eve, my entire family gathers around the piano, and we sing Christmas songs. It started with just my parents and their kids — I’m the youngest of five kids — but the tradition has continued as our family has grown. Thirty-eight of us will gather around the piano this year!
K-LOVE: Day you start your Christmas shopping?
Danny Gokey: Me and Christmas shopping have a rough history! I don’t do very well. My wife gets on me for this, but I pray I start earlier this year and do not wait until December 23 to buy her a gift! Gifts are my wife’s love language, yet I still struggle to get out. I get overwhelmed. The heart is there, but the “get up and go” is a struggle.
K-LOVE: Favorite treat you only buy at Christmastime?
Brandon Heath: There’s an egg nog that I always get from Fresh Market. It’s THE best!
K-LOVE: Favorite Christmas ornament you hang on your tree?
Tasha Layton: Because I get a sentimental or fun ornament for my husband and kids every year, I have a lot of “favorites.” One of them is a Krispy Kreme “Hot Now” sign that I got my husband that lights up like the real one. We had one of our first dates there. I also played the Grand Ole Opry this year, and my mother-in-law gave me a Grand Ole Opry ornament, so that one is really special this year, too.
K-LOVE: Christmas song you wish you had written?
Jon Reddick: “Someday At Christmas” by Stevie Wonder, which I had a chance to cover. But also the Peanuts song, “Christmas Time Is Here.”
K-LOVE: White lights or colored lights?
Crowder: Old-school big-bulb colored lights that had zero business ever being indoors.
K-LOVE: Reason you love multi-artist tours like the K-LOVE Christmas Tour?
Matt Maher: Community is an essential and irreplaceable part of Christianity.
K-LOVE: Best Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
Jordan St. Cyr: On Christmas Eve in 2006, I proposed to my wife. She said, “yes.” Best Christmas gift ever!
K-LOVE: What the Christmas album of your dreams sounds like, if you ever get the chance to record one?
Katy Nichole: A Christmas album that is timeless, filed with the classics!
K-LOVE: Best gift you’ve ever surprised your girls with at Christmas?
Natalie Grant: Disneyland. They screamed for an hour!
K-LOVE: Where you’ll spend Christmas this year?
Danny Gokey: We are going to be visiting my family in Wisconsin. My wife’s family is from Miami, but this year, we’ll be heading north to see my parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews.
K-LOVE: One Christmas movie you watch every year?
Brandon Heath: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
K-LOVE: One thing you want people to know about your new holiday album, “This Is Christmas”?
Tasha Layton: “This Is Christmas” has a little something for everyone! Between nostalgic standards, worship songs, orchestral ballads, and fun Big Band tunes, it’s a great mix for your holiday playlist.
K-LOVE: Best thing about Christmas?
Crowder: Nativity scenes with live animals.
K-LOVE: What Christmas means to you?
Matt Maher: Celebrating the Light of the World at the darkest time of year to remind us that’s where God prefers to show up.
K-LOVE: Artist you’d most love to record a Christmas song with?
Jordan St. Cyr: @Chris Tomlin has put out some of my favorite current Christmas worship songs. They’ve helped draw me back to the heart of the season — the adoration of the birth of Jesus. I’d love to record a Christmas song with Chris.
K-LOVE: Favorite childhood Christmas memory?
Natalie Grant: Christmas caroling with my family in the neighborhood I grew up in. The neighbors would have treats ready for us as we circled the neighborhood!
K-LOVE: Christmas album you have on repeat?
Danny Gokey: Nat King Cole… Keeping those classics on repeat!
K-LOVE: How you plan to spend the holidays with your family this year?
Brandon Heath: They will join me on the Texas run of the K-LOVE Christmas Tour, and then we’ll be home with our friends and neighbors for the rest of the year.
K-LOVE: Christmas shopping… Already finished or waiting for that last-minute rush?
Tasha Layton: I’m already done with my Christmas shopping! I get super excited to give gifts, and I have things in mind all year. I stay up late after the kids go to bed and do all my shopping online.
K-LOVE: Favorite Christmas memory?
Jon Reddick: A few years ago, when we had just moved, the living room wasn’t ready, so we put the Christmas tree in the sunroom. At first it was a buzzkill, because it wasn’t our tradition, but over that holiday we grew to love it. Now we do it every year that way for my kids, and it is a memory we cherish.
K-LOVE: One thing you want people to know about your new Christmas album, “Milk & Cookies: A Very Crowder Christmas”?
Crowder: That celebrating Jesus’ birth is FUN!
K-LOVE: Favorite food or meal you only eat at Christmastime?
Matt Maher: Inordinate amounts of everything.
K-LOVE: Three words to describe how you feel about being a part of the K-LOVE Christmas Tour for the first time?
Katy Nichole: Joy, excitement and gratefulness.